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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Opinion: This conservative’s concern is love

Love. It’s kind of a simple thing – or at least it should be. There are many facets of love, all of which we define over and over again until it becomes a twisted web meaning something completely different to each individual.

My question may seem simple and infantile, but why does society feel the need to confine and define whom people are allowed to love? Is there something so wrong about loving another person without caring about their gender, race or orientation?

I may be a bit more conservative, and I may have some beliefs quite contrary to what others who walk this campus may have, but there is something within me that begs to be more understanding toward the choices of my peers and fellow citizens.

Each person born in this country is given a set of rights that the government, the state and the church cannot strip away. While we may not see eye-to-eye on whether or not the definition of marriage should be one man and one woman and not one man and one man, or one woman and one woman, you can’t deny that the very Declaration of Independence sets this out for everyone born in the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

If we are all created equal and given these rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then what right have we to say what constitutes happiness for one person over the other? We all seek out things that make us happy, make the stomach flutter in anticipation, give the world a brighter sheen because there is another human being that you love.

This feeling should be simple and universally accepted. But today we have restrictions on love and whom everyone is supposed to fall in love with and eventually marry. Marriage to a member of the same sex is forbidden in most states, which prevents same-sex couples from declaring their love to one another through a traditionally respected act. And if you look at any official definition of love, it has nothing to say about gender.

While I may be a straight conservative, I have to look at the controversy surrounding gay marriage and take a step back. I cannot stop someone from trying to create a life with the person they choose to love. There is no way I can control the lives of my friends, coworkers and superiors — it’s not my place. It may seem cliché to try and balance between the middle of support and opposition, but my belief lies in the power of love.

 The crux of my problems teeters in this gray area, I have friends that are attracted to the same sex and I could not imagine denying them the same rights I posses just because I love someone of the opposite sex. I want them to be able to outwardly express their love the same as me, if that is their desire. Love is not bound by gender, race or orientation. Maybe it’s time we start thinking of it in those terms.

Katie Reule, a junior public relations and journalism major from Charlotte, N.C., is an intern news reporter.

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