Equal Means Equal: If Not Then Here's 'Plan B'

Section 1, Amendment 14, Constitution of The United States of America:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Now until someone can point out the part of the Constitution that explains that every American citizen is entitled to and protected by the rights and laws listed in the Constitution of the United States EXCEPT when in conflict with the beliefs of any member of the 1,529 different religious organizations currently recognized by the US government, I’m just going to assume that when the guys who wrote and ratified the 14th amendment said that “all American citizens should be equal in the eyes of the law” what they meant was “all American citizens should be equal in the eyes of the law.”

The issue of marriage equality shouldn’t involve whether or not you agree with same-sex marriage. Whether you support it or not shouldn’t matter in the least. The only thing that should matter is whether or not you believe that every one of the 330 million citizens of this country are entitled to the same rights and protections under the law. If you do not condone it, no one is saying you have to. If you are against it on religious grounds, I don’t have a problem with that either. If you are against it because you just don’t like gay people, so be it, I don’t have a problem. I do have a problem with anyone in this country being denied the same rights as anyone one else.

Yes, I get that it’s a religious issue for some and I respect that. However, no one is being asked or made to abandon their religious beliefs. If your religion dictates that you not treat a gay man as a man then you are free to not allow him in your home or church, although, I’ve yet to find that particular religion. I also understand that it’s a moral issue for some and I respect that too. But no one is being asked or made to abandon their moral code. And some people flat-out, just don’t like gay people, which I also understand. But no one is being asked or made to like anyone that they don’t like. I don’t like intolerant people. I don’t like people who use religion to justify oppression, but they are all entitled to the same rights as an American that I am.

This country has 330 million citizens. Every race, religion, culture and language is represented here. And 2 1/2 centuries ago the founders envisioned a country that would eventually contain people from every race, religion, culture and language group. This is why they made sure to put on paper the words and terms “Separation of Church and State, and religious freedom”. They also left no questions as to what the state religion would be. There was to be NO state religion. You can believe what you want or believe nothing at all, and what you do or do not believe has no bearing on your place in society or the rights you are entitled to as an American.

Again, I understand the opposition on religious grounds. My opinion however is that my religion belongs in my home and in my church and I have no expectations of everyone adhering to my beliefs just like they should have no expectations of me adhering to theirs.

Anyone who feels that they should be governed by God’s law are free to live in Vatican City where the Bible is the law, or roll with the Saudi Royal Family. But if you are going to call yourself an American and mean it, you need to accept two very important facts. The laws and rights of this country are not found in the Bible, Torah, Quran, Book of Mormon or even that ridiculous scam that the Scientologists con people with. They are found in the United States Constitution.

As a person of color I do have a very real problem with other people of color who stand in opposition to marriage equality. The EXACT arguments used today, almost word for word, are the same arguments that 60 years ago the State of Virginia argued before the Supreme Court when they tried to ban interracial marriage. And 10 years before that, the EXACT same arguments were used to justify Jim Crow in the south. And 10 years before that the EXACT same arguments were used by the Department of Defense when they testified in opposition to the integration of the United States Armed Forces. And 100 years before that the South used the EXACT same arguments to justify the practice of slavery and defend the reason why they were leaving the Union. Things that people of color, especially those tasked with writing, enforcing and defending the laws of the land. I’m lookin at you Justice Thomas…..

There should be no question as to the illegality of denying an American citizen his rights. But there are other questions that should be asked.

Mr. President, how can you, being on both your 3rd wife and (alleged) 14th sexual misconduct allegation, sign ANYTHING  that requires a moral code? Or try to deny any American the right to serve their country?

acceptable for their son to give his life to

Mr. Vice President, it’s been said that you are a man of conviction. Unlike the President you serve, you often take the 5 minute drive from your office to Arlington Cemetery. As a man of conviction, when should we expect you to take the drive to Arlington and mourn with a grieving family in front of a flag draped coffin, and then explain to this family exactly why you don’t think their son is entitled to the rights that you both swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend, and that he gave his life for?

If you’ve written, sponsored, supported or voted for legislation that denies same sex couples the right to adopt, and there are plenty on my side of the aisle who have, how do you question the abilities of a same-sex couple to be good parents when there are state facilities all over the country full of kids born to heterosexual couples who were shitty parents?

Mr. Santorum, seriously? You don’t think that gay people should be allowed in the classroom? When it comes to violating our kids in school, You know what you NEVER see? Gay and lesbian teachers caught molesting kids. You know what you ALWAYS see? Heterosexual teachers caught molesting kids. And just in case your bigotry isn’t clear enough for the masses, it takes marbles to stand up in front of people and say that what consenting adults do behind closed doors, if it’s something he doesn’t agree with, should have no expectations of the right to privacy. 

And to everyone else who is in opposition to marriage equality, or LGBTQ rights, if you feel that your beliefs preclude you from accepting that every American is entitled to the same rights and protections under the law, would you then be willing to exempt the roughly 40% of the citizens of the United States who identify as gay, non-Christian or non religious at all from paying taxes, serving this country in its military, local or federal governments or obeying any of the laws that they aren’t entitled to be protected by?

Live and let live. It should be just that simple. But it isn’t. So I have a Plan B…of sorts. A compromise if you will. Sort of a separate but equal kind of deal. Let this marinate for a bit.

Gay and lesbian Americans want the rights that they as well as most Americans feel they should be entitled to under the Constitution. Other people are offended that tax paying, law-abiding American citizens would actually want to have the same rights as they do. And many church and religious organizations, despite not paying a dime in taxes, believe they have the right to influence legislation. So why not meet in the middle?

Gay America: You will no longer be so “gay”. We get it, you’re gay. Cool it with the leather and jazz hands. Does every day have to be a pride parade? You will immediately stop your unholy assault on the sacred institution of marriage as it is putting a terrible strain on the 4 out of 10 traditional marriages that will make it past 10 years.

Not cool with Gay America: You will immediately and without opposition support a Congressional bill to exempt gay and lesbian Americans from paying taxes, working and generally contributing to society. You may integrate church and state and allow your clergy to have a say in your local laws. Now, on to the division of property.

Not cool with Gay America: you and especially any politician opposed to marriage equality will agree to relinquish all claims to the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington State, Hawaii and Washington DC along with their 214 Electoral Votes as there are already same-sex marriage or civil union laws on the books or in legislation in these states. This collection of states will be known as the Free And Gay States. (wait for it).

The remaining states will be known as the Sectarian Homophobic And Republican Theocratic States–see what I did there?

Now, I’m not suggesting that people start moving. You are free to remain where you are. You must however accept and abide by the laws of your state. For example, if you are a flag waving, street sweeper packing, bible quoting patriot from the mountains of Colorado and the state decides to ban anything bigger than a .22 pop gun (see how I slid that in there?), there will be no whining about the 2nd amendment. I guess the only thing left to iron out is money. With the millions of newly exempted taxpayers there could be a huge revenue problem. We could ask the giant corporations to kick in 1-2% more, or 1-2% period. Not likely to happen though. There has to be somewhere to find the money. Wait a second. This could work.

Churches, have I got a deal for you. A lot of you feel an obligation to have a say in the laws of the land, but are nowhere to be found when deficit reduction is the subject. So let’s kill two birds with one stone. Churches, to make up for the loss of tax revenue from Gay America you will immediately begin paying taxes. And by giving up your tax exempt status you may now LEGALLY offer opinions on matters of state and legislation. A compromise that we all can live with.

Now obviously that last part was in no way to be taken seriously. To even consider anything remotely similar to this is silly. Just as silly as the notion of someone having to sue for the rights they are legally entitled to have by virtue of being born in this country. Just as silly as denying someone those rights on grounds that have nothing to do with the law.

Let me end this as I began it. If your beliefs forbid you to accept equality then so be it. I have no problem with that. I believe in religious freedom and I accept and will defend your right to worship however and whomever you want. Your personal beliefs are just that. Your. Personal. Beliefs. Your personal beliefs might be to not condone homosexuality or to not accept same-sex marriage. Our very public law however says: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Author: Ryan Eatmon

Son, Father, political hack, lover of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and the Marquette University Golden Eagles. Co-Founder and Admin of The Blue Route.

What say you, the people?