Opinions & Editorials

Closets Are Meant For Clothes

With the recent overturn of the bill in Arizona that would allow institutions to discriminate against the gay community, now the state supports legalizing gay marriage. The bill that was ultimately vetoed by Arizona’s governor would have allowed business owners, as long as they asserted their religious beliefs, to decline service to gay and lesbian customers. For a country that separates church from state, this bill would have seemingly blurred the lines.

According to CNN, the Arizona state House of Representatives passed the bill with a 33-27 vote. Thankfully, Republican Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the highly controversial bill last week. The Huffington Post found that a Public Policy Poll reported 66 percent of Arizona voters disapproved of the proposed law. Only 22 percent indicated support for the bill while the remaining 12 percent was torn on the issue. This poll also concluded that 49 percent of Arizona voters would support giving marriage rights to gay couples. 41 percent do not support gay marriage, while 10 percent are unsure on the matter.

In other news, there is also Iowa Congressman, Steve King, who believes that identifying as gay is a personal choice. From an article in Mediaite, King stated that their “self-professed behavior” cannot be “independently verified.” This is quite an outlandish remark. Stephen Colbert of The Daily Show is requesting that gays around the country send photos or videos to Steve King to prove that they are in fact, gay. Colbert also mockingly remarked that the envelopes photos are sent in should be labeled “campaign contributions,” so that it will definitely be read by King. For the record, the state of Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2008.

Moving to the sports sector, America is now wondering when the National Football League will welcome homosexual players. We can assume that gay men have been functioning in the N.F.L. for decades because gay people are clearly a part of all walks of life, out or not. However, we still must ask: is America even ready for this? Now with Michael Sam who aims to be the first openly gay N.F.L. player we will most certainly see the answer to this in time. New York Daily News reports that Sam received quite a bit of support which is great to hear. In an interview, Sam stated that he just wants to be known as “Michael Sam the football player,” not “Michael Sam the gay football player.” This speaks volumes to how as humans, seemingly everyone needs some kind of a sexual orientation label when it reality the matter should not concern anyone.

To answer my question, the New York Times believes that it is time to accept an openly gay player into the NFL. In an article entitled “It’s Time for the N.F.L. to Welcome a Gay Player,” there is a focus on how the N.F.L. is “the behemoth of the American sports landscape.”

Overall, from America to even the gay rights issues at the Olympics in Sochi, I would like to think my fellow Jaspers and Americans can and will realize sooner than later that it is 2014 and that closets are for clothes. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable in being who they are.