Support for same-sex marriage is mounting as the Supreme Court decides on two landmark cases. In the image above, supporters of same-sex marriage rally in San Francisco, California, where many are hoping the Supreme Court will reverse California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Click on the link below to watch a short video that gives insight into the current Supreme Court Cases regarding gay marriage and the fight for equality.
Shouldn’t all have the right to be with who they love?
The media is currently having a field day while covering the heated debate on gay marriage. For those who have trouble supporting this change, the hesitation surrounds the definition of marriage and how changing that definition will lead to the surfacing of other controversial issues.
One individual who is quite passionate about this debate is Dr. Richard Land, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He feels that legalizing same-sex marriage will only open the door to the legalization of polygamy as the definition of marriage is ruined. “If you make the ultimate value a person’s right to express their sexuality with another person and to have that identified as marriage, then how do you keep polygamy from happening?
“How do keep consensual adult siblings from getting married?” Land feels very strongly that there are no positive aspects of same sex marriage. He predicts that backlash will arise in response to the possible legalization.
With time brings change. While looking back on the history of the world, specifically the United States, there are many examples of groups who were limited in what they could and could not do. For example, in the 1830’s as the Irish began to immigrate, the Protestant Anglo-American’s feared they would threaten their way of life and act like savages. The Irish were exploited and reduced to a life of maltreatment. Multiculturalism has always been a fear of many, but today, more and more are coming to accept diversity as they begin to understand the benefits.
With every debate there are two sides. Land, in addition to many more, has the right to defend his views. He seems to be stuck in the past as he rejects a change in marriage and even admits that if same-sex marriage is legalized, he will keep fighting for the people to return to tradition. If same-sex marriage is legalized, there is no way to predict that the people will support further changes such as polygamy. It has never been right to limit the rights of people in the past and it should not be acceptable today. Only time will tell whether or not people will come to accept equality for all.
David A. Patten “SBC’s Land: Polygamy Will Follow Gay Marriage”
In a recent article in the New York Times, John Harwood discussed the sea of change on gay rights over the past 50 years. The fight for gay rights is less than a half-century old. This week, the Supreme Court hears two landmark cases on same-sex marriage and as a result, gay marriage is getting a ton of publicity and new supporters.
In President Obama’s Inaugural Address this past January he included gays and lesbians in his speech for the first time in history, saying, “our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”
The changes have been so rapid that it seems astonishing to realize how many gays and lesbians were in the closet for such a long time. There was a period when disapproval of homosexuality was so powerful that many hesitated to identify themselves in society. George McGovern was the first presidential candidate permitted openly gay speakers at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Jimmy Carter opposed discrimination against gay men and lesbians. In addition, the emergence of AIDS in the 1980s gave the gay rights movement new energy and urgency. As a result, lawmakers aligned with gay activists and began to make alliances on Capitol Hill.
The momentum continued with Bill Clinton, who pulled the movement further into the political mainstream by attending a high-profile gay-sponsored fundraiser, highlighted AIDS at his 1992 convention, and promised an executive order that said discrimination of gay men and lesbians in the military would not be tolerated.
Today, popular culture, especially in television has presented an array of gay figures in a positive light. The younger generation of voters are more socially tolerant and do not regard same-sex marriage as controversial compared to their older counterparts. These attitudes and public opinion have altered the debate, as the public opinion is shifting to favor gay and lesbian couples to wed. Alas, whatever the Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage may not reflect the public’s opinion as a whole.
After World War II, the American Psychiatric Association labeled homosexuality as a mental disorder. These barriers were eventually broken down, but it took a ton of perseverance. Looking back through the past 50 years, gays and lesbians have overcome so many obstacles in such a short time. Gay activists 50 years ago would have never imagined how much has already been accomplished. This should bring hope and motivation for all those struggling to fight for marriage equality in America.
There are nine states plus Washington D.C. that allow same-sex marriage. While this seems like a smaller number, it is a huge step in achieving marriage equality in all 50 states. Yes, there is still so much to do. However, so much has already been done. No one can give up yet.