By: Ross Whitford
When I talk to people who live in the south, I often hear how they wish they weren’t stereotyped as much as those in the north. Entire states are viewed a certain way because of one or two people and their actions. Texas doesn’t necessarily want to be known as the gun-toting state, and Florida doesn’t want to be known as the retirement state. The problem with southern stereotypes is that there are those who not only seem to embrace the stereotype, but act on it.
In Alabama, a state that is still remembered for its strong reaction against the civil rights movement, marriage equality is still an ongoing fight. When a Federal Circuit Judge declared that same sex marriages were in fact legal in Alabama, the Alabama state Supreme Court issued an order to all county offices to ignore the decision and to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. People who were celebrating a civil rights victory were suddenly shocked and dismayed by the Court’s decision to deny them their rights.
Meanwhile in South Carolina, the state that started the American Civil War, there is a blatant disregard of the “separation of church and state”. The state Senate has brought forward a bill that would allow government employees to decline issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples if the employee had a “sincerely held religious belief” against it. This southern state that once led the fight in state’s rights against the Federal government now fights against the unscrupulous decision by the Supreme Court that same-sex marriage bans are illegal. They have declared that the religious belief of one citizen is more important, and more sacrosanct, than the human rights of another. Is it possible that some simply don’t believe that they don’t deserve the same rights?
Marriage is a blessing. It is a something that people dream about. It’s when two people love each other so much, that they want to spend their lives together. But most importantly, marriage is a right. Same sex marriage is simply the union of two people in love, who want to seal that bond under law. Until all marriage is recognized in all corners of this country, we will continue to be a people at war with each other over the ideals and the building blocks of who we are, and who we want to be.Back