On Friday, October 1, same-sex marriage became legal in North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn deemed the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional and overturned the state’s marriage restriction. As imaginable, upheaval was soon to take place among politicians and citizens throughout the republican state, as the fight against marriage equality had been so prevalent statewide for many years prior.
The most predominant argument of the opposing side is that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, as so declared by the Defense of Marriage Act that president Bill Clinton signed in September 21, 1996. Additional arguments include: the optimum household for a child includes both a mother and a father figure; gay couples are not able to reproduce; and that gay marriage is unorthodox according to religious sacred texts and doctrine.
The 14th amendment to the United States Constitution states:
“…No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall and State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protections of the laws.”
This means that equal protection gratifies equal accessibility to the civil benefits of marriage. Married couples are offered over 1000 benefits under federal law such as social security disbursements, multiple taxation elements, family and medical leave, as well as benefits for federal workers and continued health coverage. Frankly, this in itself goes to show that marriage between homosexual partners should be a right, not a privilege as deemed by unconstitutional bans. The argument remains that same-sex marriage should be prohibited due to the majority’s disdainful religious beliefs.
The same argument was presented nearly sixty years ago in relation to the unlawful marriage of interracial couples. Due to religious rational, miscegenation was not legal nationwide until June of 1967. The final ruling for the court case that awarded interracial marriage, Loving vs. Virginia, established that marriage is “one of the basic rights of man”.
Coincidentally, the nation’s current president is interracial. President Obama one declared “I’m the product of a mixed marriage that would have been illegal in 12 states when I was born”.
His mother being a white woman from Kansas and his father, a Kenyan native, married in 1961 in Hawaii, one of the only nine states that never declared these marriages illegal. With this said, marriage is a secular institution which should not be restricted by religious oppositions. In reference to the “optimum household consisting of a mother and a father”, our nation’s president’s household nor consisted of a stable mother and father, and most would say that he is a successful individual. Most would attest that running a nation is a great stride in one’s career.
In an AFCARS Report, there are over 397,000 children living without a permanent home. According to UNICEF as of 2011, there are an estimated 153 million orphans worldwide. Additionally, there are over 7 billion people in the world. The argument of same-sex couples not being able to reproduce is not an argument that will ever stand in any federal setting because after review, it is essentially irrelevant. In conclusion, if the main argument restricting marriage of two humans of the same sex is religiously based, we must be reminded that religious freedom includes all humans and the right to not practice religion at all. Not every person is going to believe in the same way as the majority, and the minority should also be righted a standing voice. As a nation together, we should want to advocate peace and the basic civil rights of all who reside within our barriers.