Gay rights issue: What do York County teens say?

By Sarah Crawford
Central York High School

In the past year, the legal rights of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender has become a major debate across our nation. In the states of Maryland and New York, same-sex marriage is now legal. Many Americans have mixed emotions over gay rights. While the media often focuses mainly on the opinions of political figures, news pundits and other adults, nobody stops to wonder what America’s future generation has to say. After all, the opinions of today’s teenagers offer a glimpse into how they will eventually run the country.

At Dallastown Area High School, twins Aleeza and Jenna Furman shared their views on gay rights. Aleeza was adamant in her support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She said the equal rights issue all boils down to “a matter of love versus hate.” To Aleeza, the issue of gay rights speaks on a personal level because she has several friends who are a part of this community. She also noted religious opposition.

“Many people are often opposed to gay marriage because the Bible speaks against it, but religion has no place in the government,” Aleeza said. “And by that logic, we should punish anyone who dares to eat pork, or use the Lord’s name in vain.”

Aleeza gave several reasons on why she believed gay marriage should be legalized. She compared this issue to racism. Aleeza pointed out that, back in the late 60s, the government was eventually able to help protect the rights of the African Americans, so why are they holding different standards for homosexuals?

Jenna Furman also supports equality for the homosexual community. She said, “love is love and that does not change, regardless of whether it is between a man and a woman, or individuals of the same sex.” Jenna deduced that the reason gay marriage is not legal in many states is based solely on religious beliefs, or because it makes some people feel uncomfortable. “Although people can have their own opinion on gay marriage,” Jenna said, “it is not the government, nor is it any person’s place to tell people whom they may or may not love.”

However, Dylan Warner, a ninth-grader at Central York High School, does not agree with gay rights. His opposition comes strongly from his religion and the Bible. Dylan shared his first point by quoting from Leviticus 18:22: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a women, for that is detestable.” To him, this means God does not want same sex people to love each other, and to do so, would be going against His wishes.

Dylan also believes that homosexual marriage breaks the marital bond which Jesus talked about. He quoted Matthew 19:4-6 to back up his point. “Haven’t you read,” Dylan replied, “that at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Because of his interpretation of these verses, Dylan is opposed to gay marriage. He believes that “all homosexual acts are opposed by the Bible”.

Furthermore, Dylan does not agree with gay marriage for political reasons. He said that, “as a whole, the gay community tends to vote for whoever promises more homosexual rights. Considering that the gay population is quite large, this could influence the vote in an unhealthy way for the country, especially if they are voting based on just that one issue, as opposed to the economy, or more pressing problems.”

The future generation has opinions on controversial topics. They are educated, and ready to share what they have to say. Equal rights for the LGBT community is a topic that many teens feel strongly. Some agree and others disagree. Everyone has an opinion. So, as politicians, news pundits and other adults continue to argue and debate over gay rights, they should remember that America’s future generation wants to be heard, too.

 

About Matt Eyer

Assistant Features Editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Read my (mostly ancient Greece-related) books reviews at Book Buzz. Follow me on Twitter @mjeyer.
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