Current Editorial: ARC should learn from its Prop 8 mistakes

American River College has a history with Proposition 8. That history includes everything from vocal protests in Rose Marks Quad during a moment of silence, to the Associated Student Body at the Supreme Court. Yes, even we, at The Current, got swept up in the controversy.

Well, a couple of those former ASB folks jumped into the ARC political fray at the last election. The Supreme Court heard arguments about Prop 8 and the Defense Of Marriage Act in March. We feel it’s best for us to enter the fray as well.

The students of ARC have tremendous impact on the Sacramento community. Alumni work in the region to help the local economy, professors work in businesses throughout the city, and many students live their entire lives within the city limits. All these things influence our local communities, as well as the local economy. So, when ARC students take a controversial stand on a hot button political issue, people listen.

The ASB is the voice of the students. They are our clubs and our representatives. When the ASB took a stance in 2008 on the issue of Prop 8, they crossed over the line. They represent all of the students and the needs of the school. They should not have taken a stance supporting Prop 8. They should not have alienated students and faculty. They should not have been pushing the religious beliefs of a selected few people.

That same reasoning applies to our state and federal governments. With multiple recent polls showing that American opinion has, to use Obama’s term, “evolved” on the issue, shouldn’t our representatives stop pushing ideological issues and side with treating everyone equally?

The arguments against gay marriage are many, but most of them seem to have a fundamental flaw. They say that marriage should only be between “a man and a woman.” The reasoning for this is usually backed up by biblical references. The problem here is not with an individual’s right to believe that, it is with forcing any belief on other people. Marriage, as recognized by the government, is not religious.

The argument that marriage should be defined by religious values misses the fact that married people receive different federal and state benefits. That argument also fails to recognize that non-religious heterosexual couples get married everyday.

We at The Current are as diverse as our campus. We are gay and we are straight. We are single and we are married. We are politically right and left. We are students. Treat us as equals.

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