An outrageously important election is rapidly approaching and many voters are completely disenchanted. The discourse is uncivil, distracted, hyperbolic and impossibly divisive. Reasonable people are rendered speechless in a media atmosphere that rewards the loudest and the most outlandish. The current political climate is disheartening and energy-sucking and it will only get worse after November 2.
For a good amount of time now, one of the only public voices that has made any sense is that of The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, so it isn't surprising that his upcoming "Rally To Restore Sanity" is the first aspect of this election season to inspire me. Stewart is calling for reasonable people to stand up and be counted in an effort to reclaim common sense and civil discourse.
Perhaps it's time to resoundingly echo this call to restore sanity -- especially on the gay rights front.
Ours is a movement plagued by a vocal and penetrating fringe opposition. It is imperative that we appeal to the hearts and minds of the reasonable people who have been poisoned by said opposition. We need to encourage people to step back from the situation and to look at LGBT equality from a common sense level.
The goals of our journey are not unreasonable and they are not dissimilar from the basic human desires of our opposition.
So if you consider yourself to be a reasonable person and you do not supported rights for LGBT people, I respectfully ask you to listen up for a moment as I outline a few arguments that I consider to be quite reasonable:
1. I don't want to be physically harmed because of the person who I love or really any other reason – I am guessing you don't either. It is as simple as that, so please disregard irrational claims that a "hate crime" is code for punishing people's thoughts or that anti-bullying efforts in schools are code for trying to push homosexuality in schools. Can't we all at least agree that violence and bullying should be avoided?
2. I don't want to be fired from my job because I am gay. I would like to be judged based on my performance and not my sexual orientation. This includes if I am in the military. People who want to serve our great nation should not be precluded from doing so because they are gay. This is the epitome of reasonable requests, so if you are a reasonable person, please contact your Senator right now to let them know that they need to utilize common sense in next week's vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
3. Due to chronological and geographic luck, I was allowed to marry the person I love in California before Proposition 8, but I think it is a fair request to let everyone else marry the person who they love as well. If you disagree, I implore you to offer me a reasonable argument as to why. Seriously, look me in the eye and tell me that you deserve to be married and I don't.
It is time to reclaim our issues from the cloud of abstract opposition and ground them in the common sense they already possess.
Photo credit: Adam Rogers