This past Tuesday, voters in Maine voted to outlaw same-sex marriage.
For a nation that prides itself on moving forward, we definitely took a giant leap backward. Just 40 years ago, the United States outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment.
Today, however, we have found another group of people to discriminate against: the LBGT community. Although it is not acceptable to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or the color of your skin, it IS acceptable to segregate people on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Firstly, there is the Defense of Marriage Act. This allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. Not only are these gay couples unable to enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, but they are also denied federal benefits currently reserved as special privileges to opposite-sex married couples.
Secondly, hate offenses based on bias against sexual orientation and gender expression have increased in the past few years. In a recent CNN article regarding the recent hate crime bill, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that more than 7,000 hate-crime incidents were reported by the FBI in 2007, the most current year with complete data. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/22/hate.crimes/ )
THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I am not gay, but I do not believe in discriminating against anyone for any reason.
My only fear is that once the issue of gay marriage is over, society will look for a new group to target. I am afraid that the bull's eye might land on me.