Mr. President, Congress Persons, Distinguished Clergy, and Guests:
I come before you this great afternoon as a happily married heterosexual woman and a proponent of same-sex marriages. The institution of marriage has been in a state of unrest for many, many decades. It was only after the civil war that African-Americans were allowed to marry in all areas of the United States. It was only after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that mixed race couples could marry anywhere in the United States. But until recently, same-sex couples could not marry anywhere in the world.
Our country provides for a variety of local, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination of gays and lesbians and providing equal rights in a variety of settings including employment, housing, education, and even adoption of children. The exception to this rule however, remains marriage. In refusing to allow same-sex couples the same right as heterosexuals to enter into lifelong, committed partnerships, aren't we infringing on their rights of equality in a democratic society?
Same-sex couples want the right to be allowed to participate in health-care decision making for their partners, to obtain joint health care, home, and auto insurance policies, to inherit automatically in the absence of a will, and to have joint child custody. These are the very same rights that are taken for granted by us heterosexual couples but are nonetheless the very same rights that same-sex couples are fighting for everyday. Karen and Marcye Nicholson-McFadden, raising two children together, seeking full marriage rights for same-sex couples in a lawsuit state:
We can't fully protect our family if we can't get married. It's frightening to think about such an extreme step as changing this nation's Constitution in order to discriminate against families like ours. We pay New Jersey taxes, support New Jersey's economy, and live under New Jersey's Constitution. We don't... [continues]
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(2005, 04). Recognize Same-Sex Marriages. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Recognize-Same-Sex-Marriages-55844.html
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"Recognize Same-Sex Marriages." StudyMode.com. 04, 2005. Accessed 04, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Recognize-Same-Sex-Marriages-55844.html.