In late March, the Supreme Court of the United States drew a crowd of protestors on both sides of the gay marriage issue as the justices heard the case involving the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.
The 2008 voter-approved measure was one of two cases being heard on the subject during the hearings. Also on the table was the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits legally married same-sex couples Federal marriage benefits.
I am denied multiple benefits. I am not legally allowed to go into the hospital room if my boyfriend’s doctor says only family can enter.
Another right I am denied is survivor benefits. Which are the benefits given to spouses of government employees that pass on. Just like Edith Windsor the wife of a veteran who was denied rights because they were two women. Windsor is the plaintiff in DOMA Supreme Court hearing.
Having these cases heard at a national level have, yet again, reignited the same-sex marriage debate.
Similar to thousands of other LGBTQ+ individuals, I am anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision.
With 38 states currently banning same-sex marriage; it could be assumed that is a more popular action.
However, this is wrong. The New York Times released a graph showing the rise of those in favor of same-sex marriage since 2004. In 1996, 68 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. That number dropped to 48 percent in 2012, according to a Gallup poll.
The legal benefits of marriage are what we are fighting for.
The claim that we are anti-religious and are corrupting the sanctity of marriage is false.
Loving vs. Virginia, the case regarding Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virgina for marrying each other, was decided in favor of letting interracial couples marry.
It was discriminatory to ban inter-racial couples from marrying.
Were some Americans upset at the decision? Yes.
Was it the right thing to do? Yes.
“Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits?” asked Justice Sonia So to mayor of Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending Prop 8.
“Your Honor, I cannot,” Cooper responded.
The defense used procreation as a defining reason.
I then say that every married couple that has not, or do not plan on having or can no longer have children have their marriage revoked.
Justice Elena Kagan also questioned it.
“If you are over the age of 55, you don’t help us serve the government’s interest in regulating procreation through marriage so why is that different?”
Cooper could not answer this either.
The DOMA defense was that same-sex marriage was different in every way from opposite-sex marriage.
Yet, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought otherwise.
“You are really diminishing what the state has said is marriage,” Ginsburg said to DOMA defense attorney Paul Clement. “There’s two kinds of marriage, there’s full marriage and then there’s sort of skim milk marriage.”
“The Federal Government is saying that within its own realm in Federal policies, where we assume that the Federal Government has the authority to define the terms that appear in their own statute, that in those areas, they are going to have their own definition,” Clement said.
DOMA needs to be repealed and same-sex marriage legalized nationwide because I am a human not a second-class citizen.