Gay marriage will one day be a reality in America
In America, there are two sides to every story: the liberal side and the conservative side.
One could describe either side with a number of adjectives but one of the biggest differences between those two parties is the issue of homosexuality and whether or not gay marriage should be legalized.
Wednesday was a historic day in this nation regardless of any one person’s political or personal opinion of the issues. Just 20 years ago, this would have been unheard of.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because it denied federal benefits to gay couples legally married in their state, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave. Under DOMA, gay couples who are legally married in their states were not considered married in the eyes of the federal government, and were ineligible for the federal benefits that come with marriage. The law had helped determine who is covered by more than 1,100 federal laws, programs and benefits.
Not counting California, 12 states and the District of Columbia have authorized gay marriage.
The Supreme Court also made a technical ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Prop 8 banned gay marriage in the state.
The decisions were handed down 10 years to the day after the court decided Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down anti-sodomy laws across the country. They also came just ahead of the weekend when many large cities celebrate gay pride by observing the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, considered the beginning of the gay rights movement.
Regardless of personal beliefs, if any person looks at history, the rights of gay people have come an incredibly long way. Homosexuality was once considered criminal and a mental illness. Decades later, the gay rights movement is waiting to make its final step by working towards legalizing marriage between same sex couples. If any of us looks back on how far that journey has come, it is logical to assume that soon – at least in the next decade, if not much sooner – gay marriage will be legalized.
For or against gay marriage? The majority of people have some opinion on the topic.
No matter the opinions, though, Wednesday’s rulings point to a changing climate in America.
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