Human Rights Vs. Popular Vote, Religion, And Constitutional Amendments

With the passage of gay marriage rights in the New York State legislature, the debate is again beginning about the opposition of religious groups, the call for a vote of the people on the issue, and talk of a federal constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage nationally, and in the states.

Only once has a constitutional amendment been passed to limit human rights–the 18th Amendment ban on the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages–and it was repealed by the 21st Amendment fourteen years later.

The purpose of amendments has always been to improve on human rights, not restrict human rights, and gay marriage is a human right!

Organized religion has often been opposed to human rights internationally, as well as in this country, as witness the religious groups which supported slavery, racial segregation, and denial of equality for women. Of course, not all religious groups promoted denial of human rights, and there are glorious crusades on the opposite end of these issues that dignify America’s history as a country improving its human rights record over time. But should any religious group or individual views on gay marriage be determinant of such a human right existing? The answer is clearly NO!

Should the American people be able to vote on the issue of human rights, and deny unpopular groups their basic human rights? Again, the answer is NO, as it is clear that if one had had a vote on interracial marriage in the 1960s, the vast majority would have opposed it, but so what? It is none of anyone’s business what other adults do in their personal lives and for their personal happiness!

It is likely that large percentages of Americans today do not like interracial marriage, do not like racial integration, do not like that women have become so equal with men, but that is a personal thought, and should not rule on the issue of human rights!

Human rights should be inviolable, not subject to anyone’s whims or prejudices! No one should be able to deny or take away anyone’s human rights under any circumstances, as this is democracy and human freedom on its grandest scale!