Posted on behalf of Tyler Mastin.
On February 5, 2014, Time Magazine published an article stating that the United States Department of Justice has stated that it is in the process of eliminating legal distinctions between straight and same-sex couples in the federal criminal justice system. This would ensure that gay Americans have the same rights as heterosexual couples when filing bankruptcy, testifying in court or visiting partners in prison.
Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages,”
This is one of the major steps for equality nation wide since the United States Supreme Court decision of Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013). Now after the the ruling, Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in some jurisdictions within the United States and by the federal government. As of January 2014, seventeen states, (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage. But where does this lead the United States in future, on the issue of same-sex marriages on the national level?
I, like most pro-marriage equality people believe that same-sex marriage should be adopted to the United States Constitution in the fourteenth amendment in section one. Which states that, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” It say it there right in the amendment that no citizen born or naturalized have the state in which they live in deprive said person of life, liberty, and equal protection of the law.
Even within the United States Declaration of Independence its even stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” So if all men (and women) are created equal, why is it that some American are denied the happiness? Has the basic fundamental and unalienable rights that every American, be it man or women, black or white, gay or straight, ceased to apply to every American, but now only apply to those seen to be “normal”? It is time we as American take a stand against what society pegs to be “normal” and redefine the way we look at equality in America. Do it not for us living today but do it for the future. We must not change the laws and peoples outlooks because it should be done, we must change because it has to be done.