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December 29, 2012

Don't deny rights to gay couples

The Daily Star

---- — The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.

I’ve begun to wonder whether religion is a blessing or a curse. Many of us believe that America’s places of worship contribute to higher rates of suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth.

Versions of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” are shared by 21 world religions. This rule is also referred to as the ethic of reciprocity and is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights.

Based on the belief that homosexuality is a choice, many Christians insist same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed the benefits of marriage. If it were a choice, people would’ve had to at some time in their life made the decision to be “straight.” I doubt that homosexual couples were ever provided an opportunity to make that choice. In fact, a person’s sexuality is not a choice, any more than our son made a conscious decision to be predominantly left-handed.

President Obama’s opinion has evolved on this topic; he’s explained: “1Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.”

My opinion regarding marriage for gay, lesbian and transgender couples has also been evolving during the last 20 years. After nearly 50 years of marriage, I’ve come to recognize that it would be terribly unfair to deny the benefits and happiness that marriage can provide to those of a different sexual orientation.

James O’Leary