Photo by Tyler Meuter

As the 2016 Presidential Election draws near, voters have once again been thrust onto the tightrope of American politics. I think it is safe to say that everyone’s views fall somewhere along the line, but at the end of the day they must find their way towards one of the two extremes. There are some views that will always find themselves on one particular side of the chasm; others will tiptoe the wire between conservatives and liberal until they are seen as ‘universally good’ by both camps.

LGBT rights have been historically seen as the former. The left has made it a large part of their platform in recent years, while the right has staunchly defended America’s traditional values. When viewed through the lens of other right wing beliefs, however, it becomes increasingly unclear as to why the barriers between conservative ideologies and gay rights even exist in the first place.

For conservatives, the U.S. Constitution is paramount to any other document or piece of legislation ever drafted in this country. Nothing else so perfectly and succinctly lays out the principles on which our nation was founded. For every argument against possessing firearms, the first response is always to point at the Constitution’s second amendment. Conservatives support a small government; if it oversteps its bounds on regulation, where will it draw the line to stop?

Why, then, should conservatives support the restriction of gay rights? A small and unintrusive government would certainly keep its nose out of business that is considered to be personal. If Congress can barely even find a way to regulate businesses, they should have no hand in regulating marriage.

Another argument is that homosexual relationships go against America’s traditional view of the “family.” But, at the same time, we are living in a time when almost three percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 will get pregnant. Roughly 40 to 50 percent of couples married in the United States will get a divorce. Clearly, the definition of  family is already undergoing a huge change.

Aside from this, most arguments tend to come from religious perspectives. While I am a God-fearing man, the idea of a Christian Sharia law is one that terrifies me. As I’ve mentioned, conservatives are never too keen on spitting in the face of the Constitution. As such, it makes no sense to me that conservatives point to their right to bear arms while skipping over the right to escape religious legislation. America was founded as a refuge for those escaping oppression. Creating laws based off of religion goes directly against our founding principles and parallels both the Catholic Britain we rebelled against and the Sharia law of many Middle Eastern countries today.

I am a Christian. I own a gun. I hold a lot of conservative beliefs. And when compared to other ideas held by the right, I think that equality for the gay community fits the bill perfectly. The sight of two men kissing still makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t pretend to understand arguments for genders other than male and female. But at the end of the day, I believe that at America’s core it is a land of freedom. If you’re gay, be gay. If you’re straight, be straight. Once this view takes hold on both sides of the perilous tightrope, America will be one step closer to what the Founders intended it to be.