More than a feeling

Kirsten Beverley

Some heterosexual and homosexual students believe outlawing gay marriage shouldn’t be done

Maybe the band Boston got it right with its 1976 hit song “More Than a Feeling.”

For Susan Baker, junior earth science major, and Renee Morgan, a Kent State alumna, homosexuality is not a preference.

“It’s not something I can just turn on and off,” Baker said.

Baker and Morgan met just like many couples — at a bar. The couple has been in a monogamous relationship for two months now and feels that it should be their choice as to whether or not to get married one day — no one else’s.

“I don’t see how (marriage) could affect someone so greatly when it’s between two people,” Morgan said. “It’s up to them. It’s not up to the world.”

Those who oppose same-sex marriage, such as Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, often quote the Bible when defending their argument. Protesters like Knight say all true Christians oppose same-sex marriage.

But saying all Christians oppose same-sex marriage may be a false generalization.

“I am Catholic, but I don’t think you can use the Bible,” said Abby Maloney, junior psychology major. “It’s the opinion of people like you and me. Besides, aren’t the overarching concepts of the Bible things like treat people well and love your family?”

Baker and Morgan believe the greatest misconception is they choose this life. The couple said Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, hit the nail on the head when she said, “It’s not a lifestyle. It’s a life,” at a debate Wednesday night in the Kiva.

Baker and Morgan would like to see the same benefits that heterosexual couples receive when they get married.

“My greatest fear is that down the road, I will be with my partner for 30 years and something will happen to her, and I won’t be able to see her.”

When Baker was asked what she would say to someone who told her she could never marry the woman she loves, now or ever, she said, “Times are changing, and even if it’s set in stone, stone erodes with time, and I’ll be able to marry whomever I want in time.”

It seems what astonishes many is that the debate of gay marriage is in the hands of the government.

“I’m Christian, but I don’t believe that the Bible was written as a guide for how we must live,” said Brandon Lash, sophomore business management major. “Everybody has fought so hard for keeping our rights and keeping church and state separate, so for a conservative political group to use Christian values as a defense for why there shouldn’t be same-sex marriages is hard for me to swallow.”

Baker hopes people understand her relationship isn’t any different than any heterosexual relationship — “people love who they love,” she said.

Morgan advises those who don’t understand her relationship to try and stand in her shoes just as she has tried to stand in theirs.

If students would like a safe place to discuss their sexuality or ask questions about sexuality, students can go to a Safe Zone. Students can look for a pink triangle on an organization’s or faculty member’s door, signifying their acceptance of diversity and all individuals.

Some Safe Zones on campus include Professor Fred Smith, room 201 of the Art Building; the Daily Kent Stater office, room 101 Taylor Hall; Dan Terrell, residence hall director, room 112 Harbourt Hall; and Kent Interhall Council, in the Tri-Towers Rotunda. Students can find a complete list of Safe Zones on campus by going to the Pride!Kent Web site.

For more information or questions please contact Honors College/Graduate Studies reporter Kirsten Beverley at [email protected].