KHAVARI: "I WILL BE THE FIRST GOVERNOR IN FLORIDA TO OFFICIATE AT A SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. I SUPPORT THE LATEST LAWSUIT IN STATE COURT AND ALL OTHER EFFORTS TO END THE INJUSTICE IN FLORIDA. HOW CAN WE DENY BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN AMERICA? SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ISN'T RADICAL LIBERALISM, IT IS COMMON SENSE CONSERVATISM."
Farid A. Khavari
Respecting human rights and the rights of the individual is one of the most important and cherished principles of America. This is the cornerstone of what makes us an exceptional nation. This was once a radical, revolutionary concept that the founding fathers fought a war to secure for us 240 years ago.
What is a more conservative value than human rights? What is a more important basic human right than to choose whom you love? What is more conservative than to marry that person and have a permanent relationship?
America isn't perfect, but one of our great traditions is to use our Constitution and our democracy to uphold our ideals that began with the Bill of Rights and continued through further amendments and laws over the years. 17 states have legalized same-sex marriage, and Florida must be number 18.
Like a majority of people, I am sick of radical so-called "conservatives" who claim to be all about decency, equality, rights and freedom--for the people who agree with them. They give conservatism and decency a bad name. To them "liberal" is a bad word. And yet, the values we cherish in America are the most liberal in the world, aren't they? How is denying people basic rights "conservative"?
It's time to stop letting Big Money tell us what to think, or party politics to divide us on important issues. We are all Americans.
Let's put this issue behind us and stop telling people whom they can marry. It's just common sense.
Farid A. Khavari, Ph.D., economist is a candidate for Florida Governor 2014.