1920: Women were given the right to vote and used their voices to change generations and pave the way for their place in today’s society.
1960s: African Americans’ fight against segregation and for equal civil rights produced the Voting Rights Act, finally resulting in progress for actual equality.
2013: The Supreme Court is hearing cases and being given the opportunity to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, making gay marriage legal and allowing them to receive the same benefits as straight couples, resulting in equality and the end of second class citizenship for homosexuals across the United States.
It’s about time.
We believe love between people is a civil right. Therefore all love, gay or straight, should be treated and respected equally. They have a right to equal protection, no matter what sexuality, under our Constitution.
The most prominent argument against this progress has revolved around religion.
Though religion may hold value for some people contemporarily, the Old Testament is old news. The sanctity of marriage cannot be defended by a book where men have several wives.
Anyway, the Bible only states that a man shall not “lie” with another man, which is already legal.
To many, marriage may be defined as a contract with God. But to the government, it is not. For any marriage to be legal, the couple must go to the courthouse and get a marriage license. Why? Because a contract with God cannot give you insurance benefits or make your marriage recognized by the state.
There is a separation between church and state for a reason; because we also have freedom of religion. People are free to practice whatever religion they want, or not practice at all. All of our laws should reflect that freedom.
That means right now, people who do not believe in any type of religion are able to get married, solely because they are straight. So why should religious law dictate laws of government?
Gay people who truly love each other and want to commit themselves to one person for the rest of their lives should have that right.
During the movie “What Happens in Vegas” where the two main characters marry each other on a drunken night out, and then get a divorce shortly thereafter, the judge says something that can be applied to this issue.
With the divorcing couple in front of him, the judge said, “Gay people aren’t ruining the sanctity of marriage, you people are!”
Straight people have the right to get married and divorce within weeks, to fight in court for huge settlements, and put children through custody hearings. But gay people who want to marry and have been together for dozens of years cannot make it legal in the eyes of the law.
Any way you look at it, homosexuals should have the right to participate in the “marital bliss” straight people do.
Progress has been made. The Supreme Court has seen the protestors, heard the logic, watched the couples who truly love each other be denied benefits, and decided to hear these cases. Now, we wait for the nine justices in black robes to decide the fate of marriage equality.