MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 27, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Don’t make state last on equality

I am a lifelong, born-and-raised Okie from Muskogee, and when I travel I tell people how great it is to live in Oklahoma, and even more importantly, Muskogee. I even sing them our song when requested, and sometimes when it’s not. However, after hearing the attitudes of so many people around here and their opinions on same-sex marriage I have to say I’ve never been more ashamed of where I’m from.

Oklahomans seem to think that the rest of the country should adhere to the same beliefs as them, because this is a Christian nation. The truth of the matter is this is not a “Christian” nation, but rather a nation with explicit rules barring people’s religious beliefs from affecting laws. When you say you think same-sex marriage should be illegal because it’s a sin, you are spitting in the face of the founding fathers and everything they held true. More importantly you are spitting in the face of fellow human beings, who simply wish to have the same rights as straight couples.

Not everyone in this country (or even this state) is a Christian, therefore telling someone they are wrong based on your “holy” bible is the same as me telling someone they are wrong based on “The Hobbit.” Both might be wonderful books, but in the eyes of the law, purely fiction.

I’m a member of the least oppressed group in the nation (straight, white males), but that doesn’t mean I’m not offended by the narrow-minded views so many people in this state hold regarding equal rights in the eyes of the law. Please open your minds and realize that the same-sex marriage debate is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time, and please help Oklahoma not be one of the last states in the country to legalize gay marriage.

We have so much to be proud of here, but being the state that held out until the bitter end on marriage equality will be a major blemish on our history.

MARK INGOLD

Muskogee

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