The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Personal opinion shouldn’t deny anyone equality of rights

By Dylan Bradley/editor-in-chief

Society cannot allow personal beliefs or opinions to foster public policy that destroys equal rights.

Social issues such as gay marriage, abortion and the legalization of marijuana have been worked into public policy and onto the legislative floor for decades.

Debate is the healthy result of differing points of view and beliefs meeting, but the result of those debates should not result in the creation of laws that grant rights to one side and not the other.

Gay marriage has become one of the hottest debates. Regardless of whether being gay is a choice or predetermined by genetics, the choice for two people to vow themselves to one another is a personal matter.

It does not affect any existing heterosexual marriages, nor does it lessen the sanctity of marriage. The marriage ceremony varies throughout the world. Boys and girls dream of their wedding days, regardless of which role they fit.

Legally, a marriage certificate should be valid as long as there are two names of consenting, non-related adults present.

Regardless of opinion or belief, denying homosexuals the right to be married denies them the rights granted to others. It implies that one sexual orientation is below another, and we are not a culture that accepts discrimination.

Abortion is another issue that has been debated for decades.

The belief that abortion is wrong or right is a personal one. It remains a choice that a woman will make, sometimes regardless of the involvement of the father, legality in the state or religious affiliation. 

The debate on whether abortion is murder continues, but until it is deemed so, it remains a personal medical procedure. To deny the choice is to deny a human right.

Then there’s marijuana, a drug that is sold to the public in some places, strictly prescribed in others or completely outlawed.

We should not deny any person the right to decide what they put in their own bodies. That is their right, their choice. Public safety should be public policy, but the choice of ingestion is ultimately a private decision.

If it’s proven that the use of marijuana leads to higher rates of crime and poverty, we could require drug testing before allowing access to aid and shelters.

This country should be an environment that produces strong cultures, art and knowledge. Instead, we have allowed our beliefs to infringe on each other. We insist that our own beliefs and morals are the right way.

We have transformed our government into a system of policymakers who make laws discriminating against one group of humans to gain the vote of others.

If life is a test and anyone is grading at the end, we’ve collectively failed.

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