“. . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”
– Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (1776)
“. . . a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
-Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (1863)
“All men are created equal.” Lying underneath the ink of this seemingly ordinary phrase are the foundations of humanity: hope, justice, happiness, opportunity, and, above all, truth. It is for this reason that equality is of utmost importance to man; with equality comes freedom, and with freedom comes the ability to live a limitless life. And what is of more importance than such a life-a life worth living? In fact, this is the greatest aspiration I could ever fathom; there is nothing greater than life. And there is no greater a life than a happy one. Thus, equality is the fountain from which all that is worth living flows; to deprive of equality is to dehydrate, devalue, and destroy. This, I believe…
People take equality for granted. As a gay youth growing up in today’s society, I feel the heavy weight of inequality thrust upon me every which way I go. Where everyone else is free, I am broken. My existence is a paradox within itself; forced to hide my identity, I am a captive in a country where all are supposed to be free. And yet, I continue to look to the future? continue to grasp for the hope, happiness, and opportunity that everyone else is already endowed with. But why? Why should I have to strive to obtain what is already awarded to the rest of my equals? Why should I have to suffer for being as good of a person as my neighbor? The answer? There is none-no rational answer, at least. As a human being, I am entitled to the same rights as any other of our kind; I am entitled to equality. This I believe. This, I know.
Equality is a necessity. If man is not equal to man, then what is he? A monster? Yes, if such is his mindset. Denying that man is the same as man is denying logic? denying reality. Furthermore, it is denying basic rights to those who are equally deserving of them. One can even indirectly deny oneself of such rights; if one man is allowed the means to deprive another of happiness, who is to say that the same will not happen to him? By establishing the precedent of inequality, man poses a danger to all around him, including himself. It is thus in the best interest of humankind to establish each other as equals, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, physical handicap, mental state of being, or any other petty difference. To be different is to be the same. This, I believe…
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