Our View: Standing up for coming out

DKS Editors

In Monday’s edition of the Daily Kent Stater, a front-page story ran that examined the challenges still associated with coming out. Students, faculty and staff noted that, while changing times have made it slightly easier, coming out is still a struggle.

But as we are now in the middle of National Coming Out week, a time to support the challenges of coming out, we hope the importance of supporting the need for equal rights for all is both apparent and can be furthered.

This week, events will draw awareness to the struggles that LGBTQ individuals still are forced to deal with. And while small strides have been made, such as eight states having legalized same-sex marriage, we think that more could be done.

According to the 1967 Supreme Court ruling in Loving vs. Virginia, “[Marriage is] one of the basic civil rights of man.” But Ohio is one of the 31 states with constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, although Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) approved a petition in April that will attempt to get the issue put back on Ohio voting ballots.

Now, we recognize the 1976 ruling ended race restrictions on marriage in the United States, but the words of the ruling still stand. Marriage is a basic civil right.

But, 45 years later, the issues surrounding same-sex marriage are still heavily debated.

We recognize that there are backed arguments on both side of this issue. In opposition, marriage is believed to be a union between one man and one woman. In 2003, Pope John Paul II stated, “No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman.” There is also the thought that children have the right to have both a mother and a father raise them.

In the pro view, allowing same-sex marriage does even more than granting a basic right to all people. It would also offer access to hospital visitations, family health coverage and a number of other basic rights allocated in opposite-sex marriages.

Additionally, a study published by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2010 showed children raised by lesbian mothers had fewer social problems and higher academic abilities than those raised by opposite-sex parents.

Again, we recognize these rights are still highly debated, so right now, we will not argue personal beliefs, nor will we look to stir a debate.

Rather, we seek to recognize the struggles people may have with coming out, and we are calling for mutual respect for all.