Many people come to the United States in hopes of having the freedom that they hear others talk about. What many don’t realize is that there are still many citizens fighting for certain freedoms even today in America. Many people define freedom in several ways: religious freedom, freedom to own a gun, and freedom to speak what is on their mind. However, there are still many people who are hoping for the freedom to love and marry that one special person in order to make their family complete without persecution. Many find that person, but for homosexuals it is still a battle that they are fighting in order to become an official couple in many states. Love should have no boundaries, especially in a land that is known for its freedom, but many realize that there are some things worth fighting for and many continue to do just that. After all, this is America and we deserve to be free in so many ways.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, it is now left up to each individual state to decide on their own laws after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the second section of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional (Squillace). This was the first step to victory for same-sex couples nationally, but now they will have to wait on the state’s decision if it is not legal in their area already. Another factor that some same-sex couples are looking at is health care and other tax purposes, especially for those couples who already have a child and maybe only one partner is currently employed (Squillace). If a couple wants to be married and are willing to pay taxes just like all other citizens, then this should not be a hard decision for the government to make as this could also help the local economy in many ways.
One positive step that was taken in Knoxville was started with Mayor Madeline Rogero when she decided that it was time to allow city employee’s domestic partners to receive health benefits as well as life insurance (Hall). Although this is small step in the right direction, there are still many steps that will have to be taken before the same thing is available at the state level. However, it does seem that a trend is starting in the state of Tennessee as the city of Collegedale was actually the first city in Tennessee to offer these benefits to same-sex couples (Hall). Maybe with Collegedale and Knoxville allowing this, other larger cities may join in and allow benefits for everyone, and not just city employees.
Not every couple is hoping for rights just for insurance and other benefit purposes, many just want to be married. Tennessee does not currently recognize same-sex marriage from other states, which causes another problem for couples who move to the area. One couple is currently employed at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty were married in New York but once they came to Knoxville they discovered that their marriage would not be recognized (Haas). These ladies fought back with the state...