One small step for another state, another giant step for the entire nation

By Anthony Garcia

November 13, 2013

Looking in the news lately, there seems to be a variety of things happening all at once.

First, grown, professional NFL players bullying each other to the point where one quits his job. Then, in Cook County, legislators have passed another budget where no new taxes are added on. Here at home, a Facebook confessions pages is all the rage.

For me, one of the most important pieces of news that happened this past week and is something that affects the entire DU community is the introduction of Illinois as the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois House passed the bill by a 61-54 vote, leaving some in this great state to rejoice and leaving others bitter and disillusioned with the ruling.

Now, I don’t want to turn this into a debate about whether or not the ruling was correct and I don’t want to fight with anyone about whether or not gay marriage is moral. By this point, I think my personal feelings about the issue are known and have been expressed in the past.

What I want to point out is the idea that change has been sweeping across America. It has finally hit Illinois and I couldn’t be happier.  

I find it amazing that there is such a hardcore stance against something that seemingly doesn’t affect every person in this country. This might be unpopular to say by some, but who am I to say who someone can or cannot marry? I don’t care who heterosexuals marry, why change my tune about homosexuals?

I understand this thinking deviates from my own personal upbringing, especially since I was baptized at 8-years-old, received communion at 10 and was confirmed at 12. Along with being taught that marriage between homosexuals is a sin, the Catholic Church also taught me that abortion is something no one should ever consider. If growing up Catholic in today’s world is not confusing, than I don’t know what is.

I also do not blame my parents for raising me in that way. In fact, I probably would have done the same thing since they were raised themselves during a different time.  

But, times are changing now, and it’s time we embrace them.

Since coming to Dominican, I’ve learned that we have to love and accept others for who they are. We have to let people be the unique individuals that they are and we should support them with as much caritas as we possibly can.

The amount of people that I have met here who support marriage between homosexuals is encouraging, inspiring and just downright beautiful. Looking back four years ago before even stepping foot on campus, I never would have guessed that about a Catholic institution. We may be a liberal Catholic institution, but we are still Catholic, nonetheless.

According to a Gallop poll conducted this past May, 53 percent of the country agreed that same-sex marriage should be legalized and supported. Surely, that has to be a sign of the changes that are sweeping this nation, this state and this campus.

The fact that Illinois joins 14 other states in support of same-sex marriage gives me hope for the rest of the country joining in on the chain of unity. For me, it’s no longer pie-in-the-sky thinking to reason that the Catholic Church will join in and accept everyone for who they are, like they claim to already do.

Call all of us who support equality for all optimists, idealists or just plain crazy. They said the same thing about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Harvey Milk, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

They all turned out to be smart, decent human beings, right?