Without trying to be too philosophical, I can't help but reflect on how much Americans value being treated equally. At least that seems to be the goal from the beginning:
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.
While those words actual effect pertained to a sliver of humans on this continent at the time (i.e. white, land-owning men), they have painted the ideological picture for hundreds of years. Time and again, the American ideal of equal treatment prevails - despite numerous stumbles and gaffs along the way. American's are all too human....
Even less lofty language is part of our common vernacular while still reflecting the concept of equality:
All for one and one for all.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
With this as background, it's hard for me to understand how much social discourse is spent trying to affect the opposite: "how do I get ahead of the next person while still espousing equality for all?"
Frankly, it's hypocrisy.
When any group faces inequality, we all suffer. Take marriage for example - and only if we can put aside the religious arguments for the time being (I know it's hard, but just try it for a few minutes). Marriage as a civil institution is a contract between two adults to share their life and responsibilities. This contract provides the blueprint of how to address various transactions from property rights to estate disbursement. Without the marriage contract, civil society would be a mixed bag of regulations, contracts and various agreements.
Again, please put aside the religious argument for the time being.
Now, in the context of a civil contract, marriage is currently applied to only a segment of our American population, albeit the majority. However, a significant group currently faces inequality: same-sex couples. Without the marriage contract available to them, they face many negative consequences.
From a civil perspective, America needs to reconsider what marriage means. I know, I know, Americans have been doing this for decades now. What is truly amazing is that the argument always seems to boil down to the religious aspect of marriage. It is by inserting these religious beliefs into the civil marriage discussion that the ideology of our country's founders gets muddied. Despite all such protestations, the statement "all created equal" holds sway and I believe in the end will prevail.
Patience is the virtue that is in short supply these days. I know I share in that impatience. As I have stated before, hypocrisy seems to rule this issue and hypocrisy only fuels my impatience. Why one group - in this case the majority - thinks that applying religious standards to a civil, secular contract justifies unequal treatment is the hypocrisy I speak of. Think about that when you hear people discussing marriage inequality.
These sentiments led to the creation of a grassroots, community website: www.FacesInEquality.org. Please check it out, read some stories and contribute your own. Applying equality across the board is the American way. Historically, currently and hopefully forever.