The United States’ Declaration of Independence reads, “[We] hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address furthers, “[the] [United States’] fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” But in the United States today, not all are equal. Within the majority of the United States, same-sex couples cannot be married or reap the benefits of said marriage. Marriage is basic to the recognition as equals in society and any status short of this becomes inferior, unjust and unconstitutional. Our nation cannot live up to its promise of equality and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until the invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is done away with. Equality under the law extends to all persons. Legalizing same-sex marriage, a recognition of basic American principles, would represent the culmination of our nation’s commitment to equal rights. Americans and those who believe and live by the words of the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot stand idle while this wrong continues. Any prohibitions on same-sex marriage, whatsoever, are entirely discriminatory. Gay rights are civil rights and all Americans should have the right to marry the person of their choice, regardless of their sexual orientation. Thus, same-sex marriage should be legalized in the United States. Sadly but moreover shamefully, the United States government discriminates among its citizens all the time. During the 1920s, “38 states prohibited whites from marrying black and certain Asians” (Levy 1). Until 1954, all states “[were] allowed to operate segregated schools” (1). Presently same-sex couples are prohibited from marrying each other. Currently same-sex couples can marry under legislation passed “[in] Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa and The Netherlands” (Strasser 4). Such couples have many protections of marriage “[in] Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay” (4). And at least some protections are given “[in] Andorra, Austria, Brazil, Columbia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland” (4). To, contrast only a mere five states within the U.S.—New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont—have legalized same-sex marriage. Legalizing same-sex marriage is essentially the “last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed” (1) in our two century struggle to attain the goals set for this nation at its formation. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry whom they the love is morally and constitutionally unjustifiable. Love, as well as, commitment (to some) exists as the essential pillars of marriage. These qualities do not discriminate on account of gender. Love and commitment can exist between a man and a woman and it can and does exist between men and between women. Marriage is a basic right. Not legalizing same-sex marriage stands as an unjust obstacle to equality. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held “[that] marriage is one of the most fundamental rights that we have as Americans under our Constitution” (Olson 3). Marriage embodies the expression of our “desire to create a social partnership” (3) , to live and share life’s joys and burdens with the person we love, and to “form a lasting bond and a social identity” (3). The Supreme Court has said that marriage is a part of the Constitutions protections of liberty, privacy, freedom of association and spiritual identification. In short, the right to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document