Equality Means ‘It’s For Everyone

by Ashley Carter
Columnist

On Oct. 3 in New York, nine gang members kidnapped and beat three men, sexually assaulted two of them, and robbed and beat another man. The only reason for the attacks was the sexuality of the victims.

This news comes very soon after a string of suicides committed by gay and lesbian students who were bullied in school. The most recent, an 18-year-old college student named Tyler Clementi, has received a great deal of media attention, but he is not the only victim. In the last month, Billy Lucas, 15, Asher Brown, 13, and Seth Walsh, 13, have all taken their lives. All were bullied due to their sexuality.

Obviously, the issues surrounding homosexuality are incredibly controversial and not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Issues of religious and social expectations must be addressed before the issue can be put to rest. But no matter what their beliefs are, Americans must ask themselves — does sexual orientation make anyone less of a human being?

The answer is no. No man or woman is any less of a person simply because of his or her sexual preferences, just like no man or woman is less of a person because of religion or race. However, no one watching the U.S. news in the last month would know that our society is based on equality.

Americans are proud of having a society that encourages equality among all, regardless of race or religion. Our Constitution specifically says that all men are created equal. All men, not only those that we think deserve it.

When American students are bullied until they feel that suicide is their only option, simply because of their sexual orientation, we should see that Americans are not raising children who live by the laws of their society. When gay men and women are beaten and sexually assaulted, for no other reason than their sexuality, we should know that there is a problem in this country. We cannot go on pretending that the problem is not there.

We should all be equal in America — man, woman or child. It is time for Americans to practice what we preach.

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