The legality of same-sex marriage is a controversial subject that has been debated for the last several decades amongst all cultures. Although thirty-seven states allow same-sex marriage, thirteen states ban these unions. This topic is still at the forefront of many legal and political discussions; however, the gay and lesbian community has made huge strides for civil liberties. Gay couples still do not have some of the same basic rights that many take for granted, but there have been huge accomplishments over the last twenty years. Marriage equality is a human right that every citizen should receive without prejudice, and regardless of gender.
Some ...view middle of the document...
However, the traditional family of the twenty-first century is nothing like the traditional family of even a hundred years ago. According to Olson (2013), “Simply because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain that way. Otherwise, we would still have segregated schools and debtors’ prisons” (as cited in McKee & Taverner 2013 p. 119). Also, a same-sex relationship between men and young boys were a tradition many years ago, but sex with minors is not only illegal, it is immoral. Throughout time, traditions change, and we must continue to strive for positive change for a better society.
Many believe homosexuality is a choice. According to Whitehead (2014), “Perceptions of the cause of homosexuality are crucial when predicting attitudes toward same-sex civil rights (p. 3). Many believe it is a choice to be homosexual. Therefore, they do not believe it is a civil-rights issue. Society must understand that biological factors, not choices, affect one’s gender identity. When society understands that homosexuals do not choose their gender any more than the rest of society chooses to be heterosexual, they will become more accepting of the basic human rights of everyone. Social awareness is the key to understanding and acceptance.
In the 1970’s the Gay Right’s Movement became strong. Unfortunately in the 1980’s the AIDS epidemic created fear among many. Opponents of homosexuality took advantage of the situation to incite fear. According to Herdt and Polen-Petit (2014), “A new wave of religious conservatism generated moral campaigns against all homosexuality, abortion, and comprehensive sex education” (p 46). In the beginning, the gay community was crippled, but they began to rise against their opponents. The gay and lesbian community began to fight for sex education and sexual literacy. They made huge accomplishments in the movement during the latter part of the 1980’s, and the early 1990's, which included passing a national domestic partnership bill, but there was also a major setback in 1996.
Until 1996, the Federal Government did not define marriage as the union of a man and woman; until DOMA was created. The Defense of Marriage Act created a new definition for marriage that would cause huge controversy throughout the United States.
Solomon and Tiemann (2012) discussed the following:
In addition, Section 3 of DOMA provides that for all purposes of federal law, the word "marriage" means "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and the word "spouse" refers "only to a person of the opposite-sex who is a husband or wife (p 35).
It was not until 2011 until President Obama voiced his opinion on Section 3 of DOMA. While he could not repeal the law, he stated he would not enforce it. Finally, in 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional. A huge victory for the LGBTQ community.
California leads the...