One step forward and two steps back

Carly Besser Opinion Editor

I’m proud to be a part of many things that are larger than myself. I’m proud to be a Racer, I’m proud to be a Kentuckian, but I am not proud to be within the region of the sixth circuit.

A 2-1 decision by the sixth circuit reversed the strikedowns of gay marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. Everything that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender identifiers and supporters have worked hard for has now been reverted back to step one.

Regardless of anyone’s stance on gay marriage, Gov. Steve Beshear’s reason for defending the ban was laughable to anyone. He claimed that allowing gay marriage will harm Kentucky’s fertility rate.

Many of us hung our heads in embarrassment that this man was the sole representative of our state and that he would defend such an asinine assertion. But lo and behold, he got what he wanted.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote a 42-page decision three months after hearing oral arguments. He stated that when judges and lawyers make the final decisions about the legality of gay marriage, they become the heroes. Instead, the people themselves should be able to decide what the definition of marriage is.

LGBT people don’t care who gets the gold medal once they can marry their partner. It’s not about who gets the credit. They just want to marry the people they love.

He also labels the legality of gay marriage as a “new social issue.” Despite public support of gay marriage inching up in the past decade, gay marriage is not a new social issue.

For decades, committed LGBT couples have sat on the other side of the fence hoping they can affirm their relationship through a legal union. This is an issue that has perpetuated itself for years.

Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtry was the dissenter of the case. Her written dissent was a blistering, even mocking rebuttal to Sutton’s decision.

She asserts that Sutton did not look at the plaintiffs as people who are suffering actual harm, but as social activists and political zealots who happened to make it to appeals court.

In the issue of gay marriage, opposers often try to remove a face from the argument.

They see the fight for marriage equality as a platform for political activism and fail to realize that their decisions and opinions directly hurt those who fall in the LGBT community.

Now that vehemently opposing gay marriage is less popular than supporting it, Republican officials are now using the “let’s wait and see” tactic in hopes of stifling marriage equality, despite it being overdue.

People who are fighting for marriage equality are not trying to push reform on residents of the sixth circuit. They’re trying to marry their partners; they’re trying to see their family members marry their loved ones.

They’re campaigning with their hearts and with hopes that politics laced with homophobia will eventually be a thing only read about in history textbooks.

To further denigrate the relationships of gay couple is hateful, regardless of how you justify it.

Column by Carly Besser, Opinion Editor