Where is America Headed?

Over the past era of civil rights movements, America has seen great progress. August 18th, 1920, women's suffrage ended with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which prohibited all states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on sex. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 became a landmark piece of legislation while America watched segregation based on race become outlawed. With the perseverance of a few strong individuals such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. who stood up for their unalienable rights, America was determined to fight injustice and bring equality to all.

The United States of America was established under the idea Thomas Jefferson presented in the Constitution, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," and "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its Foundations on such Principles." America, up to this point has aimed and progressed toward achieving this standard of equality.

However, this election of 2008 marks great sorrow for American civil rights. The passage of Proposition 8, banned gay marriage in the state of California. For one of the first times in history, legislation banned a civil right instead of protecting it. Under the Constitution of the United States of America, it is our right as Americans to alter or abolish this piece of legislation. Personally, I feel that it is not just our right but it is our duty to abolish such legislation in the name of freedom and to uphold the form of government our founders created to maintain our unalienable rights.

Those that may ponder why I say it is your duty to amend this piece of legislation, I leave you with a poem written by Martin Niemoller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Proposition 8 is only the beginning of a downturn in American civil rights. When your rights are outlawed by the government, who will stand by your side?