Nothing to fear


We should be aware of the implications of the language we use when we discuss minorities who have been historically discriminated against. Last week, in a commentary piece opposing gay marriage, a student told us we should be "scared" of recent court rulings declaring bans on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Nothing indicates a weak argument more than the use of fear to deliver it. It is an incredibly destructive tool that is increasingly used in politics by Republicans and its introduction into the debate around gay marriage is no less insidious.

Heterosexuals have nothing to fear from gay marriage. We have just as good a shot at a successful marriage and happy family with or without it.

In fact, gay marriage will only improve our society by increasing adoptions and by easing the sense of oppression felt by gay and lesbian couples.

While it is true that a majority of Americans presently oppose gay marriage, a majority of Americans also once opposed interracial marriage. Since that has changed, support of gay marriage will too.

According to a recent Pew Research poll, 56 percent of 15-25-year-olds supported allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry.

It is not a coincidence since more young people know someone who is gay or lesbian than older Americans. Having a gay or lesbian friend de-stigmatizes homosexuality and has made younger people more tolerant of the idea of gay marriage.

Gay marriage faces decades of court battles before federal recognition. In the meantime, let us not demagogue this issue by stoking fears. We have nothing to fear from gay marriage.

Brett Tinder is the President of the RU Democrats. He is also a Livingston College senior majoring in political science.

 


Brett Tinder

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