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Expand rights for gays, lesbians

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Katie Martin
June 11, 2010

I really do love my country; however, I am embarrassed about how the people of this nation continue to say that the United States is the “best country in the world,” but it is still legal for an employee to “hire and fire” based on someone’s sexual orientation; it is still acceptable for homosexuals to be denied housing just because they are gay or lesbian; it is just fine for heterosexuals to serve openly in the military, but only heterosexuals.


A country should be judged by how it treats its people and supplies rights to all its citizens, not just the majority.


Cyril Cocosme from the Embassy of France told me that gay and lesbian couples are able to take part in civil unions all over his country despite religious influence.


Jim Harris, from the Embassy of Israel, said Israel provides full rights to gay and lesbian residents. Gay men and women are also able to serve openly in their military.


I realize that people will always find a way to make it so people “who are not like everyone else” suffer. Is that, however, the way “the greatest nation on Earth” should treat any group of people?


I do have hope, however, because I believe social change is inevitable and civil rights for homosexuals will someday be equal to those of heterosexuals. But when that time will come is completely up to the people.


I suggest that the people and the government of this nation get past their anxiety of change and help the United States live up to its exaggerated reputation of being “the best nation on Earth” so I can stop feeling like I live in a country that supports bigotry.


Katie Martin wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

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