There seems to be a crusade against same-sex couples in the United States, and this conflict affects the rights of those wanting a peaceful life in matrimony. It is a persistent battle, and continues to be as difficult as the fight for women’s rights and the desegregation conflicts of the past. Infringing upon Civil rights makes this a matter of human decency, and ignorance-based resistance makes it a matter of fear. Both sides have evoked controversy from political and religious standpoints, and both sides have fought diligently for their beliefs. However, when two consenting adults decide to marry, it is not the business of the government to dictate the relationship between the impending spouses. Marriage is the right of all consenting adults, and when those rights are the property of the state simply because of religious beliefs or personal beliefs, same-sex couples become second-class citizens. Gay marriage has become the dream for many American citizens, and to deny it means to deny one’s rights.
Vice President Joe Biden loosely quoted President Obama at a fundraiser last Sunday stating, “That everybody in America should have the dignity to choose who they love and marry who they choose.” He then enlightened his audience with the president’s reasons saying, “He believes that but not just because it’s a human right because it’s about treating everyone with dignity.” Many oppositionists claim this kind of allowance will lead to morality issues, some even going so far as to claim bestiality and pedophilia would be next in line for legalization. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s outrageous response on Glen Beck’s show is a strong example of the ideas and fears voiced by antagonists of marriage equality. When asked if the Supreme Court’s June reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) would lead to polygamous unions, Rand answered, “I think it’s a conundrum. If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further, does it have to be humans, you know?”
Some suggest the DOMA ruling is the end to traditional family values, claiming same-sex couples have children without both a father and a mother. In this society, however, the number of children living in single-parent homes has doubled, nearly, in the past 50 years. As society changes, people adapt, reinventing coping mechanisms and accepting life as it is; homes with one parent are no exception. In the 1950s, a single-parent home was something scarce and rarely spoken about, but today is much more acceptable and commonplace.
Educating our youth, as opposed to misinforming them or teaching them hate, is the only solution for a future where all people are fairly treated. Holding on to aged ideologies will only enhance the fear and will oppress the change coming. As humans evolve socially, the need for freedom, acceptance, and understanding rises, as does the desire for oppressing those needs. Many people fighting against the lawful union of same-sex couples also see change in society to be unnecessary, or against nature or religious law. This, in turn, creates disorder and interrupts the natural flow of progress. This is just my take, but allowing those who love one another to marry; allowing gay marriage in America, is simply one part of the American dream- a dream that is multi-faceted, to say the least.
From a legal standpoint, marriage is simply a contract between two people allowing certain conditions and rights. This contract allows married persons to have benefits protecting them, rights between them, and secures legal obligations of any offspring. From a domestic standpoint, marriage is about love, family, and partnership. Individuals who want the perks of legal marriage will have it, eventually; this battle will continue until won. Though progress is a slow constant, some will always fight the change, and it is from these battles that growth blooms. The right to marry whomever one chooses is a personal choice as well as a birthright in this country, and once that right is acknowledged, accepted, and put into place, a true freedom can commence.
An op-ed written by: Amy Magness Whatley