Proposition 8: A Violation Against Civil Rights?
Should sexual preference determine marriage? Should someone’s “belief system” establish the rights of a human being? There is a considerable amount of social unrest in the U.S. regarding the government’s decision to deny homosexuals the right to marry. Christian politicians are also using religion as a defense system to establish their argument that homosexuality is an abomination. While these people may believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, and regardless of the fact that a traditional marriage lies upon the state of being united with a person of the opposite sex, times have changed and our generation has liberated, it is time to accept everyone for who they are. In November of 2008, California voters were in favor of Proposition 8 which in straightforward terms claims that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” however, in August of 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Proposition 8 claiming that the proposition served no purpose but to virtually degrade the status of human dignity of homosexuals in the state of California. Furthermore, prohibiting gays and lesbians to marry also violates the Fourteenth Amendment which grants every American citizen equality. Same-sex couples ought to be extended the right to marry because marriage is a protected right for all citizens.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S has a short but hectic history. It was first drawn into attention in a Hawaii case in 1993 where judges found no reason not to extend same-sex couples the right to marriage, according to the state’s constitution. This ruling actually prompted the U.S. Congress to introduce the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Since the passing of this act, all states have scrambled to define their own position on the issue and in some instances, recognizing civil unions or domestic partnerships. There has been an ongoing dispute between heterosexuals and the homosexuals with gay-marriage supporters winning some victories of courts granting equal marriage acts, but mostly of opponents winning the legislative fight with the triumph of 27 states passing constitutional bans on gay marriage. Most Americans still seem to be opposed of gay marriage laws passing, however, why are we continuously claiming to be the “land of the free” when we deny certain citizens equal rights because of their sexual preference?
The right to marriage should be a given right to whoever seeks it. Whether a person chooses to accept this or not, the truth is that we as Americans are living among 3.1 million people that are in same-sex relationships, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Not to mention that 31 million people in the U.S. claim to be homosexual. Same-sex couples choose to live this life because they strongly believe that they are incapable of truly loving someone of the opposite sex in the same way that they could love someone of the same sex. Who are we to discriminate anyone because they do not love according to a heterosexual’s standards and morals? This dispute on the
“morality” of homosexuality could be debated for all of eternity. But should morality act in forming the laws that govern the citizens of the U.S.? This may be viewed as unfair when put into consideration that everyone’s moral principles differ from another. However, it would be prejudice to endorse one religion’s morality into a law that affects so many, including some that do not accept religion in their own lives. Regardless of the debate on morality, the most important factor in deciding the end result of the legality of same-sex marriage should be the law. When Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Proposition 8, he did so by claiming that “moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians...Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that...
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