The 10 Percent: Fighting for marriage

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Editor’s note: Brian Ratto, 27, is a Manteca native living in Stockton. He’s also a gay man. Ratto came out more than a decade ago. In doing so, he joined an estimated 10 percent of the country’s population as a homosexual. This column is written from his perspective.

The year 2008 was a big one for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in California.

California was fighting whether or not LGBT people should have the right to marriage.

California’s Proposition 8, was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment that stated “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Sadly, the proposition passed with 52-percent of the votes cast being in favor of banning same-sex marriage.

Since the ban on gay marriage originally passed in 2008 there has been a number of states that passed gay marriage into law: Vermont, Iowa and, most recently, Washington to name a few.

In an article published in the Advocate, an LGBT magazine, in Feb. 2012, Jennifer Eherntraut Sergo, the cousin of Tyler Clementi (an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who committed suicide after being bullied for being gay) spoke about how the joy she and her husband are able to share, and the LGBT community cannot is unjust.

“No relationship is more or less important than ours,” Eherntraut Sergo said. “Why could we experience this immense joy because of our sexual orientation?”

I agree with this statement.

Just because I am gay does not make the love I have for my boyfriend any less than the love my best friend has for her boyfriend.

When I think about a loving relationship I do not think about the gender of the two people in the relationship I think of the love they share.

Across the country politicians have been battling over same-sex marriage to win public office, none more fiercely than Rick Santorum, republican presidential candidate.

“We have a serious issue about trying to get moms and dads to marry and stay together,” Santorum said, during a campaign speech on Feb. 14. “I don’t see [allowing gay marriage] as encouraging that. I think at least from my perspective it tends to water down marriage.”

Allowing same-sex couples the right to marriage, will not “water down” marriage.

What waters down marriage is the 55-hour marriage of Britney Spears to Jason Alexander and the 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian to Kris Humphries.

I have nothing against these celebrities as people, I just disagree with them being able to marry so nonchalantly.

Recently the 9th District Court of Appeals voted two to one ruling California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

This is a huge victory for the LGBT community.

But there have been huge setbacks for marriage equality across the nation as well.

New Jersey legislature just passed gay marriage into law, yet Gov. Chris Christie, as promised, quickly vetoed the bill.
This makes me want to fight for marriage equality more.

Before 1967, it was illegal for interracial couples to marry in the United States.

The case went from the state of Virginia courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and the ban was lifted because people fought for it.
My fight for marriage is just the same as the interracial couples fight in the 1960s.

I want to have the same legal rights given to me that my grandparents had when they were married.

I know some will say that marriage is a religious joining of man and woman.

Yet, I can’t believe all marriages are based on religion.

With all the issues our government has currently, why are so many people worried that allowing homosexuals to marry would destroy our county?

If anything, the money earned off the marriage license and divorce fees would help the government.

Marriage is something all people have the right to It’s also something this gay man will fight to have.