The 2004 vote on this issue confirmed Oklahomans view that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, but as much as we struggle with the idea of a gay couple being married, we must come to the realization that gay marriage will be legal in all states, maybe quicker than we think.
Instead of taking the traditional Oklahoma approach of preaching about values and telling others how sinful they are, we need to really think about how we want to treat our fellow Oklahomans because it will take a cohesive, diverse population to catapult this state into a prosperous future. Oklahoma politicians are especially in no position to talk about values.
Oklahomans are hardworking, dedicated individuals who want happiness, freedom and good health. Gay people are no different. Gay people in Oklahoma are our doctors, nurses, paramedics, firemen, policemen, construction workers, state employees, oil field workers and teachers. But more importantly, gay people are our family, friends and neighbors. The leaders of this great state should focus on how to make all Oklahomans live a better life, not just a select few. Passing judgment on others by commenting on divisive issues that have nothing to do with our protection and our economy will only hold Oklahoma back while the rest of the country is moving forward.
In the Dec. 25 Gazette cover article Wish Lists, Representative James Lankford said, People cheer when couples kiss at the end of a wedding because the want to celebrate the joy of seeing a man show affection and commitment to his wife. Aside from the obvious attempt to push his political view and definition of marriage platform in a lighthearted Christmas piece, the man is dead wrong and living in a different century in his mind.
Never in my life have I cheered at the end of wedding because the groom agreed to the contract and showed affection to the bride. In 1993, well before 9/11 focused world attention on Islamic fundamentalism, I took a university class where the professor warned us that religious fundamentalism was rising up across the globe in all major religions and would have dire consequences for humanity. Who knew that 20 years later, I would be seeing American politicians legislating against women, gay people and non-Christians and imprisoning people for life for minor, nonviolent offenses?
A few years ago, I was quite depressed about this. It seemed few people were paying attention to what was happening. Now, however, a line has been crossed.
Social media, for example, which was previously dim on the subject is now brightly lit with scores of people fighting with words and demanding they not be subjugated to the religious doctrine and practice of another. I am hopeful now that the politicians who wish to do so will soon be rejected by the people. This constituent cheers at the end of weddings in joy and public witness that the couple, whomever they may be, has fulfilled their desire to begin a new life together.
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