American nationalism can be described in the foundational terms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; however, these fundamental ideas are impacted across every state when equal rights intersect with the complex issue of marriage rights. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others” (Jefferson, 1900). When approaching the various stances on marriage, civil unions, and equal rights in regards to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community it is fundamentally important to follow Jefferson’s cue and approach the varied perspectives with an open mind. With the average person’s opinion on marriage equality having been shaped by their upbringing it is important to review not only the arguments of the Democrat and Republican parties, but also the stances of those in the middle whose lack of affiliation could create a moderate and tolerable solution to this current issue.
The histories of marriage equality, sexual orientation, and gender identity in the United States have been taboo, bloody, and are now under serious debate. From interracial marriage to acknowledging HIV and AIDs as serious problems in our country, America has had a way of avoiding issues that American’s see as important until the debate drives society farther apart. This is once again evident in the debate of marriage equality in United States. Currently, the majority of the America’s states continue to have laws against LGBT marriage and civil unions or they continue to fully ignore the issue. Joseph Bottum wrote an article that addressed that taboo of this discussion, the history, and its effects on society. As a Catholic, Bottum conceded that the reason the debate has felt so personal was because it questioned how we saw our own identities as well as an attack on Christians because some politicians have taken the gay rights movement and warped it into an anti-religious movement (2013). Understanding the viewpoints of the liberals, conservatives, and those in between will allow a solution that can avoid this issue from continuing sexual orientation related discrimination while preventing an uprising of religious discrimination.
Currently, the general consensus of conservative Republicans is that marriage needs to be defined as between one man and one woman. This supports a Christian biblical belief that strictly states that any relationships of a non-heterosexual nature are unnatural. Opposing parties and activists are leery to support this definition of marriage because of the blatant display of religious connections. Additionally, using this definition Federally would be a direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States stating:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of...