On May 9th, 2012 Obama finally stated his stance on same-sex marriage. In his interview with ABC News that morning he gave his affirmation on same-sex marriage. The White House Blog tells you how this was no easy decision for president, and it took him quite some time to come up with his position in this debate between same-sex marriage. His decision started off with talking to the First Lady, Michelle Obama, about what his and hers stance should be on this issue. From there it led to him talking to many people that were in same-sex relationships that were serving in office or fighting over seas because of Obama’s earlier policy that was passed- Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After that he went onto talking to his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, who happen to have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. His two daughters were unaware of the fact that their friends’ parents are being treated differently because they are in same-sex relationships. The president, after much contemplation, decided his stance and ended with “treat others the way you would want to be treated”. A statement we learned in kindergarten right?
Personally, I feel as if that same-sex marriage is not a big deal. Don’t people always say, “Love is blind”? If we believe in that statement then why are we giving the same-sex couples such a hard time? I see no difference in a woman and woman getting married, a man and man getting married, or a man and a woman getting married. Love knows no gender, it just happens and no one can control whom he or she love. And, honestly, we’re in a generation where it’s acceptable to get divorced after 72 days, but a same-sex couple that has been partners for 30+ years has no rights to marriage. How does that even remotely seem okay to people?
In the constitution the 14th Amendment section 1 states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States… nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Marriage is a privilege in the United States and the 14th amendment clearly states that no state shall make or enforce laws that take away men and women’s privileges. Not letting same-sex couples could be considered unconstitutional, but then people bring “religion” into it. America is a country that can’t force any religion upon you, and since we have religious freedom they shouldn’t be allowed to use “faith” and “religion” to control whether or not they can get married or not.
This issue may continue on for the next few years, or the next few decades. Either way, this is an issue that needs to be targeted and an issue that needs to be given more thought. Imagine waking up one day and knowing that you don’t have the rights to get married.
Whether it’s to re-elect President Obama, or have a new president step in and take charge of our nation, it’s almost time to vote. The elections of 2012 are now only a mere 6-ish months away. For upperclassmen in high school, and newbies in college this will be the first election that we get a say in. Maybe that’s worth nothing to us, or maybe within ourselves we know our vote can make a difference, either way we are the voice of tomorrow, we are the Millennial Generation.
According to Pew Research 52% of the voters in 2008 were from ages 18-29, and 66% of that 52% voted for Obama. According to political scientist Daniel Shea “Issues such as climate change, the war in Iraq, gay marriage, the future of Social Security, and health care reform caught young voters’ attention… This reflects their deep concern about the critical issues at stake and the impact of this election on the country’s future.”
Websites such as Rock the Vote are created to help attract young voters, make it easier for them to register for voting, and to keep them up to date with what is going on with the elections currently. Their main mission is to “engage and build political power for young people in our country.” Over the past 21 years that it has been in action it has registered more than 5 million people to vote. According to the website “The Millennial Generation is diverse and huge in number, making up nearly 1/4 of the entire electorate in 2012. This is both the challenge and the opportunity. Rock the Vote is dedicated to building the political power of young people by engaging them in the electoral process, urging politicians to pay attention to issues that matter to young voters, and protecting their fundamental right to vote. Our goal is to reinvigorate our country’s democracy and redefine citizenship for a generation in 2012 and beyond.” Websites like this are targeted towards our generation because without us their is no voice for tomorrow; without us issues will go undermined; without us the rights we want for ourselves, for our friends, for our family, and for our future generations will not happen. In order to encourage young voters to vote Rock the Vote has “Scan to Vote” shirts that have the barcodes you can scan from your phone.
Personally, I believe we need to start voting as soon as we are of age. Our votes make a huge difference because it’s when we come into government and state what we want and elections are our time to let candidates know those things. And not only that is an important fact, but if we instill involvement in politics now, we know what to face in the future and what to ask for in the future. For those of us who are going to be voting for our first time we’re going to need to know how the economy is doing, our likely hood for financial aid for college, health care reforms, environmental issues, how quickly we’ll get jobs out of college, etc. Those things won’t be in our favor if we do not stand up and “Rock the Vote” now. Since we are the voice of tomorrow we need to let the candidates know what we want. Even if you take just a quick glance over at the chart to the left, it is us young voters who seem to be more concerned with current issues, we are the ones who voice our opinions more. If we instill in ourselves to “Rock the Vote” starting now then we can pass that onto future generations and have them be more involved from a younger age.