As arguments began Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court over Proposition 8 (which eliminated the marriage rights of same-sex couples in California), it has become clear there is a divide in public opinion as it pertains to the issue at hand. Even more interesting in the matter is the seeming inability of some of the justices hearing the case to determine whether or not it is even appropriate to be reviewed at this time. “You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cell phones or the internet?” remarked Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. as he expressed the notion that due to the newness of this issue, there was no need to come to a speedy decision. But before we begin to discuss personal opinion on the matter, it is important to examine key information to gather a full understanding.
First and foremost, what is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative that proposed a change to the California constitution by adding a new section that read that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” At the time, 52.24% of voters in California voted in favor of the proposition which led to a ban on all same sex marriages. This did not affect domestic partnerships or marriages performed prior to November 5th, 2008.
4 years later there has been a clear shift in public opinion on the matter in the state of California.Today 61% of California voters are now in favor of same-sex marriage.
Meet The Plaintiffs
Kris Perry & Sandy Stier
Partnered for over 13 years, these two women have raised 4 boys who are now preparing for college. They have certainly demonstrated the ability to maintain a family structure.
AND Jeff Zarillo & Paul Katami
Partnered for more than 12 years, these two seek marriage as the first step in beginning a family which they intend to do if granted that right.
As these two couples embark on their quest for marriage equality to enjoy the benefits shared by any other couple who have exhibited a sense of commitment to their significant other as well as family values, people will continue to debate whether or not this institution is constitutional. While some will argue based upon legal interpretation, others will argue based upon religious or moral beliefs. It is interesting to see how this will all play out in the end.
Here are highlights from the first day of hearings:
If you personally don’t want to marry someone of the same sex that’s great- Don’t! But why should your personal beliefs on the matter (which you clearly have no interest in) hinder others from achieving equality? Who are we to determine whether or not two people should be ALLOWED to marry one another solely based upon their gender? Be content and confident in your own sexual orientation by allowing yourself to coexist while not placing such emphasis on an issue that truly does not affect you.
That being said, I do not agree with the constant comparisons that are drawn between the fight for same-sex marriage and the civil rights movement. Yes, it is evident that both movements are surrounding a group of people that are being deprived of certain “inalienable rights”. However, it is impossible to compare the fight for marriage equality to the fight against racial inequality. I find it difficult to compare anything to what Blacks in America endured simply to be able to do things such as attend equal schools, exercise their right to vote or simply drink from a water fountain. I say this not to negate the struggles of those in pursuit same-sex marriages, for it is equally important.
All in all, I believe that marriage equality SHOULD exist.
Additionally, check out this video that takes on a satirical approach to the issue.
It kind of has a point… doesn’t it?
What are your thoughts on this issue?