Research Paper/Rough Draft
Same Sex Marriage and American Rights
Do laws prohibiting same sex marriage violate constitutional rights?
I have always taken pride in the fact that I was born American. In grade school, every morning we would rise for our country’s Pledge of Allegiance. I remember I would always be so overcome with pride; namely, “one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” What exactly does liberty and justice for all mean? Liberty is defined as the state of being free within a society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life (Dictionary.com). The definition of justice is as follows: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness (Dictionary.com). These two, very powerful words can be found in our country’s Pledge of Allegiance but are they found in our society? Banning gay marriage is directly against the constitution and the pledge America knows verbatim, violating the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution was written to protect each and every individual from “oppressive restrictions.” The Constitution itself promises the right to pursue happiness. The United States of America has been known throughout history as a place of freedom and courage and our pledge clearly states this.
Gay rights have come a long way in the last century but there is still so much more road to cover. “The number of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in the U.S. is subjective. Studies pointing to the statistics are estimates at best. The most widely accepted statistic is that 1 in every 10 individuals is lesbian, gay or bisexual (Johnson). That would mean that 1 in every 10 people you meet is part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite community. 1 in every 10 people has faced some sort of discrimination for being who they were born to be. Some say being gay is a choice and that people choose to live this way. I am a 32 year old lesbian woman and I am here to tell you that being gay is about as much of a choice as being born African American or being born a woman. This is not an arguable fact, but a fact never the less. The individuals, who “know” that being attracted to the same sex is a choice, do not have the understanding of what it is to be gay. Many studies have proven that homosexuals have a different genetic make-up than heterosexuals do. It has been proven that homosexuals carry an extra chromosome than straight individuals do. (Johnson) Also, being in the gay community myself, I have asked many of my friends and acquaintances when, in fact, they knew they were gay and the answer always seems to remain the same: “I knew since I was a child.” As children, we do not know what it is to be gay or homosexual. However, as children, everyone I spoke to knew when they started to look at individuals it was individuals of the same sex. It is not a choice to be gay, but it is a choice to live in freedom and courage of being who you are or living in shame and fear of being who you are. That is the only choice involved with homosexuality.
Our country has seen a great deal of discrimination. Fortunately, our country has been able to overturn a majority of what I refer to as “hate laws.” African Americans were considered slaves and not people well into the mid to late 1800’s. After the Civil War, the slaves were freed and all black men were given the right to vote but in reality, they weren’t able to vote. African Americans were told they had to take tests they could never pass or pay money to vote. It wasn’t until Martin Luther King Jr. worked diligently to help African Americans utilize their right to vote to change the government and to be treated equally.
Another example of civil rights being taken away within this society is the equality of women. Women weren’t even allowed to attend school until 1880. The indigent...