- Faith & Family
I held the traditional Christian belief about marriage being between a man and a woman but have a civil rights view towards gay
rights. Gays should not be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation. They should not be denied jobs or housing and should not have to face ridicule. I do not like discrimination and have fought for equality based on race, gender, national origin, religion and age, because the law protects these classes of people. There should be a federal law protecting people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. I have witnessed the unfair treatment that gay people suffer in the workplace and it reminds me of the open and hostile discrimination faced by Blacks in the 1960’s before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when people could be fired based on their race. In fact, many civil rights activists were fired including Rosa Parks.
I have witnessed the unfair treatment that gay people suffer in the workplace and it reminds me of the open and hostile discrimination faced by Blacks in the 1960’s before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . .
Still, I have mixed feelings about gay marriage. I recall a news story about a gay couple that had become foster parents to three Black babies — all born HIV-positive and addicted to crack. The babies were not wanted by anyone, because of their HIV status and obvious neurological and physical problems. But a white gay couple took in the three boys and paid for their medical attention, schooling, clothes, food and most importantly they provided love. The Department of Health and Human Services in its infinite wisdom decided to take the boys away from their foster parents because they were gay and Florida law did not permit gay couples to adopt children, in part because gays could not get married.
The injustice of this situation made me rethink my traditional views on gay marriage and completely made me a supporter of changing the law to support gay adoptions. If two people love each other and want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, why should society bar this union? Perhaps, we don’t have to call it “marriage” but use another word like “union contracts.” In traditional marriage, couples can file joint tax returns, get health benefits and can enter into mortgages. Why should gay couples be denied the right to give each other health benefits?
Some people object to gay couples because they feel that they will not raise children with the proper morals. But straight couples who are members of the Ku Klux Klan can raise children and everyone thinks it is great. Gay couples are just as capable as anyone else of giving love and instruction to children. I have a cousin that is a school teacher. She has more education on early childhood learning, child psychology and practical experience than most straight couples I know. Yet, she cannot adopt a child because she is gay. President Obama has made a bold step forward to insure the rights of all citizens of this country and I applaud his courage. As Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.”
Reginald J. Clyne is a partner at Clyne and Associates, P.A. of Miami/Fort Lauderdale.
By Reginald J. Clyne, Esq.
Miami Times columnist