Love is arguably one of the most important aspects of life and many people show their love for each other by getting married. Many view marriage as the ultimate symbol of a couple’s love and love is often seen as one of the things that can make us happy. However for several years now our country has been in debate over whether or not LBGT couples should have the right to marry. Even though everyone has the right to experience love, we as a country have prevented this community from experiencing the ultimate act of love. If all people in this country are truly equal then why do some not have the right to marry? Is this not an unjust law? Not only does this law rid the LBGT community of this symbol of love but it also creates financial obstacles. Married couples have many financial benefits that unmarried couples do not have. So this unjust law gives financial benefits to some and prevents the LBGT community from experiencing the happiness that comes from marriage. By not allowing LBGT couples to marry, we as a country are preventing equality, just as we did when we did not allow African Americans to vote.
Before and during the civil rights movement African Americans did not have the right to vote. However, Americans were able to band together to exterminate this unjust law. In Martin Luther King’s, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, he explains that there are two kinds of laws, just and unjust. He goes on to say that one has a “moral responsibility to obey just laws… and disobey unjust laws.” So according to MLK, it is our moral responsibility to stand up against the unjust laws of society. And what law better to exterminate than one that rids people of their happiness. So we as a society must stand up against this injustice and face the government. However he urges that “one who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty.” He promotes change through compliancy and peace and does not think that violence is effective or necessary. Many may respond to this and claim that in time these social injustices will be gone and marriage will be a right given to all, but MLK does not support this approach.
Martin Luther King Jr. says in his letter that there is “a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time will inevitably cure all ills.” King encourages people to take action and not stand idly by while injustices take place. I believe that just as King encouraged people to stand up for African Americans’ rights, he would encourage Americans to fight for the rights of the LBGT community. So we, as Americans, cannot stand by and let another American community live with inequality, we must flood the streets with protests and other demonstrations and fill politicians mail boxes with letters and pleas for equality. Pastors, rabbis and others alike should disregard the law and marry all couples who seek the bond of marriage. We must not abide by this law, for if we do so, we are only showing that unjust laws are okay. Let us start a movement to free the LBGT community from the chains of injustice.
Do you think MLK would support a movement like this one? If so, what actions do you think he would take? Do you think a movement like this is necessary to provide the LBGT community with the right to vote? Would you participate in a movement like this?