The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, April 19, 11:08 p.m.

Advancement of social issues key to our generation

Two years after finishing my commitment to the military, I am proud to say that I have served. The recent change in policy that the U.S. military has made, to recognize same-sex marriage, is a breakthrough in our country’s battle for equal rights. The stance the military is taking will, in my eyes, bring about the movement for marriage rights for all citizens nationwide. It will cause each of us to look inside ourselves and realize that this right is not only deserved, it is given.

A movement as great as this is possible for our time. Generations before us couldn’t imagine an African American president, let alone the possibility for a man to marry another man. Yet in our time, society has elected Barack Obama for not just one but two presidential terms.

Nationwide, we need to grow together, with equal rights for all, to deal with the more serious struggles our country faces. The rights of individuals should be second nature now. The need for us to come together as a nation is more important today than any other time in the past decade. Our generation is the key to coming together.

With that said, this article is more a “thank you” than anything. The idea that I could marry the person I love and be able to have the rights I’ve fought for is priceless. Imagine being a military member: The deployment bells are calling you off to the desert, mountains or ocean, and servicecould require months or nearly a year away from your loved ones.

If you are in a heterosexual marriage, your spouse has access to the knowledge of your well-being and, if anything should happen to you, the ability to make decisions on your behalf. Now imagine yourself as a person in a same-sex relationship. You love your partner, care for them and may even have children with them. This type of relationship has not been recognized until this week, yet it is a mirror image of the emotions felt by any straight couple, separated by the call of duty.

I agree with some that the importance of marriage is not seen in the eyes of most Americans today, but that could change with the thought that you can marry anyone you wish and still be accepted by society. We could grow from a nation of bigots with a moral agenda to a nation that is concerned, not about big business but ourselves, the citizens.

With that said, this is our chance. Our generation can see between the lines. The black and white of the generations before us needs to be smeared grey. Let’s get out there and be a new society of people that can live together in a world of equals.

You may not like homosexuals or people other than yourself, but being accepting of each other is the first step. So homosexuality isn’t you, that’s great! You are unique and deserve to be. To come together as a new generation, or as a society, and change the world would be something that other people dream of. We could do what no society has done before and that is to change history before it has time to write itself.

Antonio Addessi is a third-year psychology student with a minor in Marxism and socialism.