27 March 2013

Marriage Equality

Today, there are few issues that evoke controversy and argument more than the ongoing debate regarding same-sex marriage. Religious conservatives passionately argue that the states need to maintain what they see as "tradition" and limit marriage to one man and one woman. Other people have come to the conclusion that there really is no compelling secular argument to justify limiting marriages to heterosexual couples.

A few have pointed out that it seems to be strange that proponents of "traditional" marriage who cite the Bible as reason enough to justify bans on same-sex marriage seem to be forgetting other aspects of that same "traditional" marriage, as shown here:




Interestingly, the views of society appear to be changing as time goes on, with the pushes in recent years to defeat constitutional amendments to bar same-sex marriages, and in several states to allow for same-sex couples to marry and enjoy the legal benefits that marriage provides. It appears that society is evolving and more people are backing equal rights.

The other night, I was perusing some of the links on Buzzfeed and found this image, which I think says a lot about the arguments people have proffered in favour of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California Proposition 8:

Larger image here)


Even my own views have changed considerably. Back in 2006, when Wisconsin approved a ban on same-sex marriage to be added into the state constitution, I voted in support of it. Fast forward to today, where I am but one of a growing contingent of voters who regret that vote.

The truth is that the American vision is equal justice under the law. America is the great melting pot where everyone has the chance to succeed and pursue their dreams through hard work and honest living. Denying same-sex couples the countless benefits afforded to heterosexual couples is not only a dishonest and deceitful repudiation of that vision, it fundamentally stands against what our country is supposed to be about.

America's had struggles along the way, most notably in terms of drawn-out racial and anti-immigrant tension. We still do, but we also are trying to overcome these and create "a more perfect Union." It is time we recognise that denying legal rights and benefits on the idea of what two consenting adults do in the bedroom is frankly none of our business.

So, here's hoping the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriages with the same gusto with which they shut down interracial-marriage bans in 1967...

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