Why Gay Rights Matter
For most of my life, I saw homosexuals as 'deviant' from the norm, but I never honestly considered that they were somehow sub-human because of this. I would hear stories about Gay Rights activists not always being gay, and I accepted this reality - I didn't fully understand what it meant, however.
What it means to me is this: It is completely acceptable to advocate equality for a cause, even when it has absolutely no direct impact on you personally. Something is either justifiable or it is not. There is absolutely no justification for treating individuals who have a different sexual orientation as 'inferior' and thus less deserving of basic human rights.
It doesn't help, of course, that so many people and organizations over the years have flat-out lied to the public about homosexuality. Statistics have been skewed and tortured to support ridiculous conclusions, though these tactics seem to have failed so utterly that they are few and far between in this day and age. Religion, of course, seems to be the major player in this game, and I would even argue that, without religion, homosexuality would never have been considered something 'objectionable' or 'immoral'.
You might ask what 'Gay Rights' advocacy entails: It is true that modern society is mostly accepting and tolerant of homosexuality, or at least enough so that the facts are fairly well-known. One important issue to consider, however, is marriage: it is still illegal in 45 US states for homosexuals to marry. Though many attempts have been made, no rational argument has yet been presented against allowing same-sex marriages. I argue that any two consenting adults should be allowed to get married under the same legal rights and limitations, no matter what, period.
Another issue which still plagues this country is that of homosexuality in the military. The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is still in effect, which grants the military the power to prevent openly gay and bisexual recruits from serving, among other things. There are a lot of problems with this policy and with the reasons given for the policy to exist, but chief among them is the fact that sexual orientation is none of the government's business. The other major problem has to do with civil rights - citizens of a sovereign nation should all have the equal right to serve in the armed forces.
It is true that the Constitution does not specifically restrict anyone from discriminating on the basis of sexual preference. However, it is also true that the Constitution did not originally contain any protections for blacks, women, or Indians - America had to come to the realization that these were people too.
We have come to a point where homosexuality is mainly accepted and understood by mainstream society. The average person generally either knows or is friends with at least one homosexual/bisexual person, and the general feelings towards these groups of people have been drifting towards 'neutral' - which is the way things ought to be. Equal Rights should be applied equally, and to do otherwise is intellectually dishonest.