Marriage Inequality: The Right To Marry

1432 words - 6 pages

Marriage is defined as “(1) the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage ("Marriage," 2003, p. 659). Despite the latter definition’s addition to dictionaries in the past decade, this definition of marriage is still debated. Being a touchy subject in both politics and religion today, it’s been very hard to come to an agreement. There are two main sides to this argument regarding the nature of marriage. Some stick to their conservative and/or religious beliefs, while others state that marriage is a civil right (Kim, 2011, p. [Page 38]). However, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in North Carolina and thirty-two other states at this time ("Defining Marriage: State Defense," 2014). Homosexuals have been denied many of the rights given to those that are heterosexual. Same-sex couples are not able to receive other benefits as a heterosexual couple would. The lack of benefits is extremely unequal and unfair. This unacceptable treatment is unconstitutional and should not continue.
Great progress has been made over the years in the LGBT community. Until a few decades ago, there were no laws protecting any citizens from hate crimes. Years before, racial hate crimes were committed in during the civil rights movement. Victims could not be helped, whatsoever. Many years later, anti-LGBT hate crimes were still being committed and were still being overlooked. Investigators were unable to assist homosexual citizens and couples as they were not covered under federal law ("Hate Crimes Law," n.d.). October 7th, 1998, 22 year old Matthew Shepard, was abducted, then tied to a split rail fence and severely beaten by the butt of a pistol. 18 hours after the attack, Matthew was found by a cyclist who mistook him for a scarecrow. Matt died 5 days later. His death and his passion for equality spurred the formation of a law protecting those that were victim to anti-gay hate crimes, like the one Matt experienced. 12 years, 14 floor votes, 1 million e-mails, and 86,582 hate crimes later, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was created ("Matthew's Story," n.d.). This Act now protects homosexual citizens from vicious hate crimes ("Matthew Shepard and James," 2009). Not only is the hatred coming from others in the community, but it is also seen in Congress.
Other Pro-LGBT bills have overlooked due to bitterness as well. Beginning in 2004 and continuing until 2006, Congress attempted to pass the ‘Federal Marriage Amendment,’ a bill which prevents any state from licensing and recognizing marriages of same-sex marriages. In the 1990’s, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” banned service from open LGBT citizens ("Hate Crimes Law," n.d.). The discrimination and oppression of homosexual citizens is improper. Laws regarding Domestic...

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