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Americans must focus on issues that affect everyone

By Joe Zylka
Managing Editor

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that same-sex couples are allowed to marry in all 50 states in the Union. The High Court’s ruling was the spark that ignited the celebration across the country.

That is all fine and dandy for the same-sex couples; I stand with them and the Supreme Court in the belief that the 14th Amendment provides all Americans with the guarantees of life, liberty and property, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientations, etc.

At the end of the day however, the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) make up a whopping 3.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to a July 2014 survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To put that into perspective, only 34 out of 1,000 Americans identify themselves as LGBT; and 966 out of 1,000 Americans identify themselves as straight.

If the gay marriage ruling only affects 3.4 percent of the population, why is this topic subject to such harsh criticism, intense media coverage, valiant speeches given by politicians and fiery social media discussions? Why are Americans so wrapped up in this debate when it does not affect roughly 97 percent of citizens?

This is a ruling that was years overdue, but the media and people of the United States should focus on issues that affect 100 percent of the population, not 3.4 percent. Critical issues, like the U.S. National Debt, are almost never talked about on television, despite the fact that our debt has ballooned to $18.2 trillion.

What about the ridiculous amount of private money that is allowed to pour into our political systems, confusing voters and scaring people away from the polls, thereby weakening the democratic process of elections?

Consider the 109 million Americans who receive welfare benefits. How are we going to help those people get back onto their feet and start contributing to society again?

The gay marriage ruling was a major step forward in the ongoing Civil Rights battle in the U.S., but, if Americans put the same effort, thought and passion into a wider variety of issues—like they have with the gay marriage issue— this great nation will eventually have fewer problems.