Indiana, PA - Indiana County

SUSAN COMFORT: Constitution ensures equal rights for gays

on June 26, 2013 10:20 AM

Enshrined in the U.S. Bill of Rights are the principles of equality and freedom — values that we can all agree are the most fundamental basis of democracy and human rights. No group or individual should be denied these rights, and yet we have laws that deny marriage equality to millions of lesbian and gay Americans.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule today on Proposition 8, California’s 2008 legislation denying people their basic human rights of marriage.

The court should overturn this law and reinstate the legality of gay marriage. Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative supported by a majority of voters (52 percent) in California, and some may argue that for this reason it should be upheld by the courts.

However, any student of history knows that it is wrong to put discrimination to a vote. Indeed, our Constitution is there to protect minorities from ill-conceived, short-sighted legislation. We are truly fortunate to have broad consensus in this country that we all possess certain “inalienable rights.” Let’s make sure that we uphold them for everyone, and support LGBT marriage rights.

On Friday night at the Indiana Theater, there will be an event (a panel discussion followed by a movie) organized by the Indiana Center for Community Growth to bring people together to support interfaith dialogue and safe communities in our region.

Organized by the center in collaboration with the Indiana Cares Campaign to End Homophobia, this event is scheduled to coincide with celebrations around the world in June to recognize Gay Pride, and it is also part of a six-month series featuring events and film screenings on social and environmental justice.

In planning these events, our goal has been that Indiana continue to be one of those special places where democratic dialogue, civic participation and dynamic leadership thrive. Please join us.

Susan Comfort

The Indiana Center for Community Growth

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