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Why can’t we accept one another?

Good day,

My name is Debre Evans, I am 15, and I seem to have a bigger heart than most of you people. Why do you hate gay people?

There's no reason good enough to hate someone so much that you drive them to a point where they want to kill themselves. This society is so messed up, just thinking about it gives me a massive headache.

We constantly go on about how whites and blacks should have equal rights, but why can't gay and straight people have equal rights? Nobody will ever be equal to one another, so why do we try so hard to make everyone equal? You can't force someone to be exactly like you — you can try, but they will always be different.

Diversity is defined by the University of Oregon as: “Encompassing acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.”

Why can't we accept each other's differences? One of the reasons teenagers commit suicide is due to children being bullied at school as a result of his or her sexual orientation.

The acceptance that will come about through legalising gay marriage will show teenagers that homosexuality is accepted and respected in society. We need to explain to younger generations that being different is not a social disability, so that they will never feel the need to take their own lives because they are gay.

Love is love, whether it is between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. The love is still the same, they feel the same, and they care the same. Why can't there be same-sex marriage?

Don't go and pull something out of the Bible because that's the only thing you know of it. Love is still love, no matter what. I will fight for, and be the voice of, all gay people who can't use their voice because you've silenced them.

I will not be silent. Why can't we accept one another? You don't walk down the street looking at people, thinking, “Oh, they're gay”. Not everyone has a stereotypical “gay” look. Some of them look just like you and I. You judge gay people but deep down they could be judging you. They could be thinking, “Gross, they like the opposite sex”, but you don't hear them go on and on about opposite-sex marriage.

Statistics I've found indicate that a lot of people, nine out of 13, will have a same-sex experience in their life. You're probably thinking, “No, not me”, but anything can happen — nobody has the power to control the future. Many of these experiences happen in college, or some people want to try something new.

Many people think gay people can be changed. They possibly could change, but it's up to them. You can't control someone else's feelings. It's a choice we should accept and respect. You accept people of the same sex share love with each other in private but if you see it in public, you're suddenly disgusted? That makes a lot of sense.

Someone who disagrees may say, “The purpose of marriage is to procreate, and same-sex couples can't have children”. So should we also prohibit straight couples from getting married if they are biologically incapable of having children?

What about if they simply don't want kids? The percentage of married couples with children has been declining over the past 25 years, but couples who don't want children can still get married. And does adoption count? My research showed about 19 per cent of same-sex couples adopt kids. In addition, there are plenty of legal benefits, like hospital visitation rights, joint tax returns, welfare benefits for spouses, and estate inheritance, that married couples enjoy regardless of whether or not they choose to have children. Should the Government prevent straight couples from receiving those benefits until they have kids?

Other people might ask why gay marriage should be legalised, but my question is this: why should other people be able to choose who marries who? If a man and a woman get married, no one seems to care. They are two people who feel affection for one another and those two people want to start a family. If we change the scenario a little bit and a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, try to get married it causes uproar. They are not allowed to be married or raise a family together.

Even though to most people gay marriage should be illegal and should stay in its current state, we need to change the world for future generations.

We feared that different religions were going to clash, but now all of the religions coexist. White people had black and Hispanic slaves, but we overcame the odds and now white men, black men, and Hispanic men can be equals. If it is possible to overcome such fierce obstacles then we can overcome the boundary obstructing gay marriages and straight marriages alike.

Gay marriage should be legalised for these reasons. Evolution will always continue and at any given point in time, something will occur that we will not like in this world, but we can overcome this.

Gay marriage is a controversial issue that people have been fighting for years, and it has finally come to the surface. We should take charge of it. Wake up everyone, it is 2015!

Accept people for being different, it's what makes us different that makes us unique and being unique isn't boring, it makes life exciting.

I'm going to leave you with this question: what if it was the other way around — would you want them to fight for you?

DEBRE EVANS

• On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Speaking out: Debre Evans, 15, says everyone deserves equal rights (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 19, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 19, 2015 at 1:25 am)

Why can’t we accept one another?

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