COLUMN: It's about time

I am baffled as to how the Republican party and other groups on the right will express their undying love and devotion to “God and Country," and still not understand how civil liberties operate.

Recently, a federal court began hearing a Michigan case that will answer the questioned constitutionality of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban that was introduced by public vote in 2004.

Vote Equal, a Grand Rapids native rights group, updated its Twitter and Facebook feed throughout the first day of the case hearing, documenting history in 140 words or less.

Nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are the plaintiffs in the case, fighting both against the marriage ban and the adoption ban on the basis of state discrimination.

The state of Michigan has brought up children’s rights and the impact of same-sex parents in a negative light, despite previous expert opinion.

What Michigan has not recognized, other than gay marriage since 2004, is the part of the U.S. constitution that explicitly states, “…nor shall any state deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

This means that unless there is a clear, legitimate reason, the state cannot – and should not – deny a person their civil rights.

History doesn’t just happen. A person acts, and the world reacts.

We are living in a time where we are not just seeing history being made, but we are on the front lines of changing it in the name of human rights.

However, caution should be taken when being optimistic in this case. Michigan in the recent years has become a cesspool for poor policy and legislation.

As students, this is our moment in history. The majority of my generation is on my side and I can only get more excited as we all cross the finish line together.

Gay marriage is not the only issue that is pertinent to the LGBTQ community, but the state might finally recognize the sanctity of all marriages – and it's about time.

While systematic discrimination for LGBTQ employees is still rampant, we are here, ready to fight.

Liberation is coming.

Why? Not because of some old white judge, but because we are generationally done with gender policing. We are done asserting a heteropatriarchal normative culture – it’s a real thing, Google it.

I'll end with a line from the civil rights movement, in the song “We Shall Overcome” – deep in my heart, I do believe we’re on to victory someday.


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