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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Maurer
4Reels club to host 24-Hour Film Challenge
Amelia Kashian April 18, 2024

Gay people should fight for their civil rights

There has been a lot of coverage lately about Constance McMillen, the high school student who wanted to take her girlfriend to her high school prom, only to have her request denied and the prom cancelled. Thankfully, McMillen did not cower back into the closet, but choose  to fight a battle that gays and lesbians across the country and across the world have been engaged in for decades.

In a country where women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920 and blacks weren’t granted their civil rights until 1964, it comes as no surprise that homosexuals are still not treated like the human beings that they are. Yes, there have been advancements, like the landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas court case that rid the country of laws regarding sodomy. Yet repealing laws that pertain specifically to sexual acts is not enough.

As an openly gay person, it’s a slap in the face whenever I hear someone speak about homosexuality as if it were a choice. Who in their right mind would choose to be ridiculed by classmates, be universally hated and be unable to marry the person they love? The first step to gaining rights is to educate those around us. We must make them realize that the life we live is not a choice made through a masochistic desire for hatred and intolerance but something that is felt within and cannot be changed. Simply saying that it is a choice gives an easy out to those people who want to deny us our rights.

The Matthew Shepard Act was signed into law by Barack Obama in 2009 and helped give authorities the ability to investigate deeper into hate crimes among other things. While this law was passed with good intentions, it’s not enough to stop the amount of hate that is geared toward homosexuals in general. Separating us into groups only goes to further to accentuate our differences, rather than focus on the fact that regardless of race or sexual orientation, we are all the same and should be treated as such.

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One of the biggest oppositions that gay people face are from those who feel our rights are not due to us because the Bible says it is an “abomination.” While I can respect their right to believe in whatever religion they choose, I wish their decision about the well being and rights of their fellow humans was found within their heart and not within the pages of a book.

Gay people in this country don’t have it nearly as bad as those in other countries. In Sudan, simply being gay can land you life in prison or with the death penalty. In Guyana, male homosexuality is illegal while female homosexuality is legal. I’m thankful I don’t think live in any of these places. But in the United States, it’s a sad state of affairs when two people, regardless of sex, are unable to prove their love to each other through marriage in a country that prides itself on having liberty and justice for all

It’s time for people of all faiths and backgrounds to reevaluate their stand on the rights of others. We are either a country united together or divided by petty differences. It’s time for more people to have the same courage and conviction of McMillen to stand up for injustice wherever it may appear.

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