It looks like we will finally get to a definitive legal opinion on whether gay’s have a right to be married. The Supreme Court has at long last stopped ignoring the issue and decided last week to take on the controversial matter. It is about time.
What the court will specifically consider is whether the Constitution holds a right to same sex marriage. According to The Washington Post, the court will address two essential questions. One is “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” The other is “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?"
So hearing that the highest court in the land will once and for all set a standard for all states is great news for those of us that support the right to same sex marriage. Of course, it is great news only if our side wins. If not, it looks like we will be back to a state by state fight, with gay couples being able to be married in some states but not recognized as still married when they travel or move to other states.
There should be one rule on this and finally there will be. Now, I am not a constitutional lawyer so I have no idea what legal criteria will be used to make this ultimate decision. But to a lot of us, this should be very simple. It should be like the same way laws prohibiting people of different races from being married were struck down in the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court ruling. Here are the words the Supreme Court used in making it the law of the land that anyone could marry anyone, at least across racial lines:
“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
To me, that covers same sex marriage or at least I don’t see why it shouldn’t. If the freedom to marry is one of the most vital personal rights for heterosexuals then why should it not be for gay couples? To claim that a gay couple's love and desire to marry isn't the same or shouldn't be valued the same as a heterosexual couple's is just plain discriminatory and should be stopped.
The only way the 14th Amendment does not protect gays is if somehow it is determined that they do not have equal rights under the law as everybody else. And I just don’t see the ruling going that way, not after all the progress we have seen in this area and the opening of minds through the years.
It took the courts a long time to get the guts to rule on this matter, but better late than never. Now let’s hope they make the right decision and provide equal protection of the law for all our citizens, finally.
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