Land of the Not-so-Free (Gays in America)

Topics: Homosexuality, Same-sex marriage, Same-sex marriage in the United States Pages: 6 (2198 words) Published: November 10, 2011
There is change all around us in the world today, it is understandable that these changes can become overwhelming and hard to handle. When it comes to being homosexual in the United States there is a lot a tension that has formed around the subject, such as discrimination, harassment, violence, hate speeches, and even laws and proposed amendments trying to take away rights from homosexuals. The debate over same-sex marriage is not about "tolerance" but "preference"; most individuals who are opposed to single-sex marriage would believe they will not “tolerate” it just because they “prefer” to not see it. Granted that we have devolved from previous centuries by the decreased acceptance of homosexual relationships, we are still trapped in a narrow minded society that doesn’t give every American, which includes “gay” or “straight“, the equal rights they deserve. So should America be called the “Land of the Free” if there is not a freedom to love whomever you please? The answer is no; not until an amendment is passed in the Constitution stating that marriage shall consist of a man and woman, a woman and woman, or of a man and man without any acts of violence being committed upon them because of sexual orientation Throughout time different regions and cultures have come to accept romantic same-sex relationships, including marriage, so why can‘t America?

In 2003, the Federal Marriage Amendment, written by the Alliance for Marriage, was proposed to Congress. As stated in the Federal Marriage Amendment, "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman". However, marriage hasn’t always been defined this way between “a man and a woman”. According to the online dictionary, marriage is “the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities” and nowhere in the definition does it exclaim specific genders. There are some states who are helping with the gay-rights movement while some - not so much. According to the Online Debate Database Homosexual Statistics”, thirty-three percent of the US have DOMA in effect. DOMA, as it states at the official factual DOMA website, is the “defense of marriage act” that sustains marriage in all those states, including California, to only a man and woman. California has been under a push and pull battle between the government and the people since May of 2008 concerning this huge controversy. In May of 2008, California allowed single-sex marriage to take place, filling the cities with over 18000 gay couples. This was a great progression until November of that year, just a few months later, did the California Supreme court decide to change their Constitution by adding Proposition 8 as an amendment. However, researched by Time Magazine writer John Cloud, Proposition 8 only won by a mere 4.4%, 52.2% in favor while 47.8 were opposed to the ban on gay marriage in California. The President of the United States, Barrack Obama, also is opposed to Proposition 8 saying in an MTV interview that it is “unnecessary”, researched by blogger and writer Andrew B. The president also states that although he believes marriage is between a man and woman, constitutional rights shouldn’t be “played with” just to “prohibit somebody who cares about another person” (Andrew B).

Even though Obama is not exactly in favor of gay marriage, he is in favor of gay-acceptance. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass" policy is a practical ban on gay men, lesbians and bisexuals serving in the military says Chai Feldblum, the Legal Director of the Campaign for Military Service. This policy was made to “protect” the homosexual in the armed forces from being harassed, but...
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