Separation of politics, marriage necessary

Vel Lewis

Monday was a historic day for Alabama as same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the state and some couples were able to get married. The world did not end, and Alabama did not burn for allowing same-sex couples to marry. Instead, something beautiful happened. Large contingents of Alabamians came together throughout the state to cheer on people who finally had the opportunity to marry the person they love.

Unfortunately, some counties in Alabama refused to issue licenses due to a statement from Chief Justice Roy Moore. The reason for doing this is not entirely clear, but it can be assumed that it was politically motivated. No doubt this order stemmed from conservative political pressure, resulting in Justice Moore publicly denouncing the federal ruling. This is why judges should not be elected on the basis of political party affiliations. It allows for certain political and religious beliefs to reign supreme in the justice system that should be focused on upholding the Constitution. Judges should be free to make their 
rulings without fear of their decisions affecting them politically in the next election.

Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage has caused many divides in both government and religion. Arguments for and against the separation of church and state continue to be brought up in regards to marriage. People should not presume that they can define how others should live their lives. Another person’s private life, love life and married life is their own business. It is appalling that some think it is their prerogative to make rules as to what is an acceptable form of love.

The arguments that marriage should be between a man and woman because of Biblical associations have been taken out of context when defining marriage in the law. Why are some forms of sin, as detailed in the Bible, seen as less sinful than others? We all commit sins and in the the Bible they are all seen as equal. Christians who use the Bible to argue against same-sex couples are being hypocrites because no one is free of sin.

One of my Facebook friends said the majority of Alabamians support a ban on same-sex marriage and those of us who disagreed with the majority could either deal with people’s opposition or leave the state. Well, I am not going anywhere. If the majority of people do not want same-sex marriage in my state, I am not going to just accept it or leave. I am going to keep fighting until we are all equal in the eyes of the law. Did change ever occur because people left the state despite the opinions of the majority? No, they stayed and fought. The hard work of thousands have allowed for us to get to where we are today. Just 10 years ago, it was rare for people to be open about their sexual 
preferences. Now more than ever, it is embraced and accepted.

There is a cultural shift happening right before our eyes. We need to embrace the change that is occurring instead of rejecting it. I firmly believe that love is blind, and that it sees no color or gender. It is truly a beautiful thing to publicly express the love you have for another through marriage, and it should be available to everyone no matter who they choose to marry.

Alabama has been given this unique opportunity to be a positive example for other states and the world. Some will say if Alabama can do it, then we can too. This is our chance to show that our state is inclusive to everyone and keep the past in the past. The future is bright for us. So no, Alabama is not going to burn in Hell, but will blaze a trail that will instead burn the chains of oppression that have long held us captive from forward progress.

Vel Lewis is a junior majoring in public relations and political science. Her column runs biweekly.