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Minnesota just became the twelfth state to legalize gay marriage and it is one of the most widely debated political issues of this generation. More states are starting to allow it and the subject has greatly divided the country. A majority of liberals approve of gay marriage and a majority of conservatives oppose it. While I am one of those conservatives who oppose gay marriage, it is not solely for the same reasons as many others. I believe the Republican Party should not accept gay marriage, not just because of religious views, but because of what the Republican Party is supposed to stand for. Republicans are supposed to believe in limited government. Therefore, I question why they emphasize their opposition to gay marriage only for religious purposes and not for political views as well. It makes no sense for government to be involved in marriage and that is why I do not believe in straight marriage either, at least in terms of civil marriage. Marriage is a purely religious term and makes no sense from a secular point of view. So while I welcome conservatives who do not approve of gay marriage for religious reasons, their opinion would be more widely accepted and logical if they agreed the government should have no say about what defines a marriage and leave that to religious institutions. Now I know there are a few reasons why civil marriage came about in this country and if all civil marriage ceased to exist there would be a few problems that needed to be addressed. First of all the tax system. In many places you are already able to file taxes with someone else who does not have to be a spouse so I feel the easiest and best solution would be to just allow any two people file taxes jointly. It would not matter if they were both men or women, if they were siblings or friends. The federal government would have to accept any two people filing together and there would not be people complaining about not being able to file with their gay partner. An overdramatized issue is for gay people not being able to visit their partners in the hospital because they are not married. Now I do not know the extent to which all the stories told are true, but Republicans should compromise on this that anyone should be allowed to visit a loved one in the hospital whether married or not, straight or not. Another big debate within the issue is whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children. While many do not believe they should, it would not make constitutional sense to disallow them to. If single males or females are able to adopt children why shouldn’t a pair of them be able to? There are too many children who need a stable home to grow up to turn them down. It might be hard for some people to accept this, but they should think about the future and realize this would be the best compromise and alternative to the current system and other possible future ones. Other than for logical reasons and to make the separation between ‘church and state’ more wide and clear, this idea has other benefits. The Republican Party often does not look good when its representatives are stating their disapproval of gay marriage. Many Republicans and religious persons are probably tired of being called bigots and homophobes, myself included. This could end that hatred towards us and give a more positive view of the party which it desperately needs in this point in American history. Accepting this idea does not mean accepting gay acts, it just means setting law as a reflection of the constitution. In my opinion, gay marriage advocates are right when they say it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. Well, I believe it is unconstitutional to allow any civil marriage. Let the religious institutions deal with the issue of gay marriage and let the government focus on what it is supposed to do, protect the safety of the American people and provide basic needs for all of us to live meaningful lives.
Holder orders probe of IRS targeting conservative groups -
IRS targets conservative groups. And lands in hot water.
Crews finish installing World Trade Center spire -
One World Trade Center is complete! Now stretching 1,776 feet into the air, it marks a new turning point since September 11, 2001.
5 things we learned from Sanford's win -
Mark Sanford’s victory on Tuesday teaches us a few things about elections and forgiveness.
Watch Sanford reflect on his victory and read 5 lessons learned from his win.
In South Carolina politics, two very different campaign styles -
Take a look at these two competing candidates and their very different campaign styles…
Next In Office -
Considering a run for office? What’s holding you back? Start with research and some help at www.NextInOffice.org
HAPPY MAY DAY!
Did you get a basket on your doorstep today?
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and there are many reasons to support children in need. In 2007, there were approximately 149,000 reported cases of child abuse reported in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC (Child Abuse Fact Sheet). There are many reasons to get involved and help the children who are in need of support.
Reggie Kelsey is a great example of a child who was in need of help and support. According to movethefood.org, he aged out of the foster care system in 2001, and after 3 ½ moths of trying to live on his own, he died in the Des Moines River. Reggie worried about living independently, since he functioned at a third grade level. After he aged out of the foster care system, Reggie had tried to get the support that he needed by moving from shelter to shelter and camping outside. He had worked with the Iowa homeless Youth Center and other agencies to try to qualify for federal disability payments. As a result of Reggie’s death, the Iowa Aftercare Services network was developed to assist those who age out of the foster care system. Currently, the program includes a monthly stipend and additional services. Reggie’s Sleep Out is named in honor of Children, and its goal is to prevent another tragedy.
Like Reggie, there are many children in the United States who are in need of help and support. On 2007, there were approximately 149,000 cases of reported child abuse in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC (Child Abuse Fact Sheet). According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the kids who are at the highest risk of abuse range in age from 4—7 years old and 12—15 years old. There are several warning signs to look for with abused children, including; frequent, unexplained injuries; conflicting explanations for injuries or explanations that don’t fit with the nature of the injuries; unexplained absences from school (from children who might be kept at home for their injuries to heal); and difficulty moving or walking (which might indicate that the child is in pain).
Not only is it important to protect the well—being of a child, it is also important to acknowledge that child abuse can also be a burden to our society. In 2008, the prevent Child Abuse America report stated that the United States spends approximately $103.8 billion annually in response to child abuse. The largest direct cost is to support the child welfare system, and other costs include hospital and medical costs, mental health care costs, and law enforcement interventions. Prevent Child Abuse America went on to report that the long term effects of abuse could be detrimental to the child’s future as well. Children who have been abused could seek out long term mental health care, become delinquent in their youth and adulthood, and struggle to maintain long term employment. There was also a link found between child abuse and long—term health effects, such as: teen pregnancy, STDs, central nervous system damage, speech problems, delayed language development, and aggressive tendencies (Societal Costs of Abuse).
The Adverse Childhood Experience study found that maltreatment of a child can lead to an increased risk of obesity, substance abuse, or heart disease (Societal Costs of Abuse). Adult survivors of child abuse are disproportionally unemployed or underemployed. In addition to health risks and decreased productivity at work, the National Institute of Justice stated that 13% of all adult violence is linked to adverse childhood treatment (Societal Costs of Abuse).
Child abuse is something that can be prevented, but everyone can do something to support this important cause. One thing that can be done is to support Reggie’s Sleep Out, which was named to honor Reggie Kelsey. The funds raised from Reggie’s Sleep Out go towards programs that help youths who age out of the foster care system to transition in to adult life (Reggie’s Sleep Out). Another thing that can be done to help youths is to report suspected child abuse to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1—800—422—4453 or http://bit.ly/11R6vWk (Child Physical Abuse Fact Sheet). A valuable way to invest in a child is to become a Court—Appointed Special Advocate for children who are involved in the court system. According to the National CASA web—site, CASA volunteers, who are appointed by judges, advocate for children who are involved in the court system. Volunteers work with children until each case is closed and the child is placed in a safe and permanent home. Last year, more than 77,000 CASA and guardian ad—litem volunteers helped 234,000 abused children find safe, permanent homes (About Us – CASA for Children).
Photos: George W. Bush's life, legacy -
Hope everyone’s having a great Monday!
Take a break from your day and look at this collection of photos of our former president and his family.
What’s your favorite photo?