"Legalizing Gay Marriage: why 'Civil Unions' are Separate but NOT EQUAL"
In modern-day USA, gay rights is a highly contentious issue in the political limelight. The most faithful Christian demographics have consistently been the gay community's strongest opponents, whereas more secular demographics have always been increasingly supportive. And although in the current year, 2012, credible polls suggest that over 50 % of Americans now support gay marriage (including President Obama, most remarkably) - only the most controversial of all demanded rights by gays, notably - the fact remains that the number of states where it's legal has yet to reach double-digits (source: "CNN Poll: Americans' attitudes toward gay community changing"). This is in major part due to the substantial number of those so-called "moderates" whom practically view themselves as saintly for supporting civil unions for same-sex couples while 'diplomatically' (in THEIR deluded heads, that is) reserving marriage for heterosexuals only.
Such statements, in truth, are vociferous endorsements of decreased discrimination, yes, but the fact remains that ANY discrimination whatsoever is reprehensible!! Indeed, it is imperative that we as a society acknowledge the crucial (if inconvenient) fact that anything less than no discrimination is totally unacceptable and in need of full eradication nonetheless. In fact, the mere notion that these constituents feel great about themselves for reaching this supposed 'happy medium' is all the more offensive. See, the philosophy that gays should have the right to enter civil unions but not actual marriages is equatable to the long-abolished pretext which decided blacks should have the right to ride on the bus with whites, but only as long as they stayed in the seats designated to them in the back; hence, just as we realized it was NOT social justice to make African Americans experience a merely decreased degree of discrimination (in other words, a form of discrimination nevertheless), we must now in turn face the unavoidable fact that granting homosexuals some but not all rights is no less a shameful social injustice, too.
Even if we are to speak purely in legal terms, the civil unions offered in a handful of states to gay couples still lack many essential protections provided to married couples. Thus, if the only problem with gay marriage is the very inclusion of the word 'marriage' itself, which is what most of these supposed "moderates" say, the civil union compromise remains legally insufficient. But as far as I'm concerned that legal conundrum is secondary, actually, to simple moralistic implications of the matter. Indeed, who is ANYONE to feel entitled to the detestable "right" of denying his or her fellow tax-paying citizen, gay or straight for that matter, to basic civil liberties?! Such is certainly NOT the American way - as a matter of strict fact, it is the total antithesis to the one thing that this country is most founded upon: freedom!
Our primary constitutional liberty to religious freedom, for instance, works to perfectly illuminate the fallacy in the essence of gay marriage opponents' argument altogether: although every American has the right to feel and even publicly express personal resentment towards others' religions of choice, most important of all is that nobody has the right to impede on another citizen's liberty to make that choice for his or her own self, not EVER, at least not on American soil. We each have the liberty to practice our own religions freely (if we have one at all, of course) so long as they do not involve any unlawful acts, as that is one of the primary inherent protections written into the heart of the US constitution! By that same token, in constitutional theory, thus, opponents of gay marriage have the right to feel so, the right even to openly voice so, but never the right to strip any one person or group of their respective right to marry whom they wish, just as no one reserves the right to take that same liberty from them either.
All in all, the main point I mean to emphasize here is that regardless of one's personal feelings of discomfort about another having all the same liberties extended to his or her own self, there are basic constitutional rights that take precedence before anything else in this country. Historically, our country's ancestors traveled here for refuge from, quite often, religiously-fueled discrimination, which ironically alone is the central catalyst to all the opposition against gays. By allowing this prejudice to win we as a country are regressing socially, emulating the very discrimination that tormented our ancestors. No, rather we must accept the inevitable fact that it is NOT the American way to disenfranchise groups of people of their basic civil liberties even in the slightest. Inconvenient to some as it may be, it hence must be acknowledged by all that just as heterosexuals are afforded the right to marry whom they wish, so homosexuals should be afforded just the same.