That One Time I Was Censored for an Article About Gay Rights

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article for my high school newspaper in support of gay rights. In that same paper, one of my co-editors wrote an article to support the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. The day the paper came out, the principal told us that we could not publish the paper online until we made changes. I went to a Catholic school, and he did not believe that our articles adequately represented a Catholic view. Because they didn’t.

My assertions that homosexuality is normal and that marriage should be an obvious equal right were intentionally mild, but still entirely genuine. I could have used stronger language and more impassioned examples, but my intent was not to shock. My intent was to present a compassionate view on the subject that people might consider with an open mind. But my most fundamental arguments were still too disparate from Catholic belief. The principal met with us and expressed his concern.

“What exactly would you want me to change?” I asked. He responded the next day with a two page e-mail. Essentially, I would have had to change my entire stance on the normalcy of homosexuality, and to me that was unacceptable.

Instead, I discussed the fact that our newspaper was being censored at length with my teacher. For the sake of honest journalism and free speech, neither of us felt comfortable changing the story, so the paper remained unpublished. At least until this January, when my teacher informed me that in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she had published the original paper online with only an added disclaimer. It was a small victory, but it allowed me to share my voice uncensored.

Today, a much bigger victory happened in Oregon. Gay marriage is finally legal, and it feels so right. There a few causes I support more wholeheartedly than gay rights. The need for equality is obvious. I struggle to understand how anyone could limit not only a basic human right to marriage, but also love itself.

Love may be the most ambiguous and abstract word in the English language, but everyone can understand its power. At the basic level, it is pure and transcendent. On a more complex level, it can overwhelm everything. Decisions based in love are often selfless and rarely destructive.

The fight for gay rights is a fight for love, and anything with that basis cannot be stopped. The ability to experience this historic fight is exhilarating, but it should have ended long ago. Still, I cannot wait to tell future generations about how I remember the day that Oregon legalized gay marriage. Obviously, they will be super impressed that I’m that old because gay marriage won’t even be discussed separately from straight marriage at that point.

I am elated that Oregon can now be an example of compassion and equality, and I am excited to witness the continued spread of love. Equality will prevail.

2 thoughts on “That One Time I Was Censored for an Article About Gay Rights

  1. Since I was your age have had a passion for social justice, and I see movement in and out of the church toward believing as you and I do. However we must be patient with those who have not reached that level of thinking or it can result in deep divisions that exacerbate the problem.I commend you for handling this situation as you have.

  2. “One giant leap for man kind.” The fact that gay marriage is becoming legal in new places warms my heart. That is how it should have been from the beginning, and it feels like justice to me. Religion has always bugged me when it comes to gay rights. As a Christian I grew up learning to love everyone and treat everyone with respect and compassion, but as I got older those same people who taught me to treat people this way turned their backs on the lessons I thought they believed in and found an exception to the rule. I don’t think these people are bad individuals, but I do think that they are misguided, the basis for Christianity as I see it is to treat everyone with kindness, and for whatever reason some people are only willing to pick and choose. Gay rights shouldn’t be something to discuss. When we look back at slavery among African-Americans, and how equality among women was much less than it was today, we think, or at least I think how stupid we were back then to not realize that these are people and we are no better, or no more right than they are. I am proud to live in Oregon, and proud to see a change in the way people think.

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