What’s right

Today, during my Constitutional Rights class, we talked about the “new generation rights” or, in other words, the rights that aren’t written in the Italian Constitution, but have become fundamental for our jurisdictional system.

We also talked about marriage and adoption rights for gay couples. In case you didn’t know it, the Italian Parliament is discussing a law about it in these days, but it’s not about marriage and adoption: it’s about civil partnership and -not anymore- step-child adoption. Sad, right?

Anyway, the discussion we had in class made me think about the rightness of discussing people’s rights. What I mean is that we should draw a line between the rights that, to be satisfied, need to compress other rights, and the rights that to be satisfied don’t need anything, except some laws.

If I want to built a house on your field, of course I can’t, and of course there has to be a law that forbids me to do it. But if I want to marry my girlfriend and by marrying her I’m not damaging anybody, why can’t I? Because you think it’s wrong? Well, I think that wearing blue with brown is wrong, but I don’t go around telling people how badly I hate their outfits: if they want to look bad, who am I to tell them not to do so?

Why does the Parliament have to discuss if I can marry a girl or not? Why does a class of law students have the right to do so?

This morning I had the feeling that fifty people I barely know had the right -and the possibility- to decide if I can or can not be happy. Is it fair? No, it isn’t: I don’t have the right to tell them who they can marry, or when or at what conditions, why should they? Why should they have that giant and absurd power over my life?

They talked about gay marriage as they would have talked about what kind of candy tastes better -peach or strawberry?- without even considering that what they were saying might have an influence on other people’s lives.

I’m not a piece of candy -we are not-, but feeling like one -like a tiny, insignificant piece of nothing waiting on a shelf, asking myself if someone will eat me or not- is awful. It was this morning and it still is now.

I’m not a piece of candy: I’m a person. And my life is not something abstract, something could or couldn’t, might or mightn’t, should or shouldn’t, be right. Mi life is right, because it’s mine and I have the right to live it the way I want to.

So stop pretending that I’m wrong, and give me what’s right.


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