by Sgass2 on February 17, 2014 - 10:32pm
In the course of our nation’s history social issues continuously rise and fall as the most pressing conflicts we as citizen’s face. In the past issues surrounding racism, segregation, and equal rights for woman took the forefront. However today, despite progress, similar issues still do exist. While we live in a nation tremendously more open minded than we did say twenty years ago, full equality still has not been reached. Today, the issue of equal marriage rights for homosexuals leads this charge. Melissa Harris- Perry tackles this very issue in an article titled, “What Difference Will Marriage Equality Make?” (Harris-Perry, 2013). This article discusses the hot topic of gay marriage in a different and enlightening way. Perry discusses how in recent years gay marriage has finally been recognized by politicians and law makers as a legal right and a necessity. She commends these previously close-minded leaders for their changed views; however, her main focus revolves around these laws only being a start of a larger social change. She challenges readers to realize that this social progress goes far beyond the law but instead focuses on redefining how humans connect themselves. She is a believer that marriage equality has already passed whether these laws push through or not. Gays aren’t concerned about being able to celebrate marriage with a white wedding but instead they seek to redefine relationships and the ways in which humans connect themselves. Harris-Perry pushes readers to dig deep and make a real difference, urging people to realize that in order for true equality we must recognize gay families just as we do any other family even if this means redefining the institution of family itself.
After reading this article I, a supporter of gay marriage, was uplifted. I was drawn to Perry-Harris’ argument due to her unique point of view on the issue and the implications her argument could produce (Harris-Perry, 2013). Being a student in the 21st century I’ve been exposed to this issue a number of times, however, I’ve never came across this point of view. Unlike most pro- gay marriage advocates, Harris-Perry doesn’t just seek equality when it comes to marriage but equality on a broader scale. She wants to redefine the very relationships that anti-gay marriage proponents base their argument on. Many argue that gay parents can’t be good care takers or can’t provide a good upbringing for children. She challenges this realizing that we have to redefine family and laws won’t be enough. Society as a whole has to take action. She doesn’t just want these couples to be able to celebrate their love with a big wedding in a Church but instead she wants gays to not feel ashamed to be parents, families, and lovers in the public eye. This point of view struck me because there was no personal gain or political power push, instead she urges readers to push a change that will bring positive consequences. This leads to my next point, an argument with positive implications. Often times we seek change for political power or authoritative positions but this point of view urges true social change. If Harris-Perry can get others to see this issue through her lens social change can be achieved allowing a future where these social issues will hopefully no longer exist. These positive consequences or implications urge readers to dig deeper than just a law and truly ask themselves, “What Difference Will Marriage Equality Make?” Therefore when analyzing this article I was awestruck by Harris-Perry’s point of view on the issue and the positive and momentous implications her opinion could lead too. She highlights a way of thinking that can actually perpetuate change in a positive way and lead our nation one step closer too social equality.
Harris-Perry, Melissa. Nation. 4/15/2013, Vol. 296 Issue 15, p10-10. 1p.