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Discrimination against gay marriage must end

by AMY LASSITER Staff Writer

In the United States, 31 states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions as of January 2013. The banning and overall negative attitude toward gay marriage is something that needs to be abolished.

Of these 31 amendments, 10 make only same-sex marriage unconstitutional; 17 make both same-sex marriage and civil unions unconstitutional; and two make same-sex marriage, civil unions, and other contracts unconstitutional. Hawaii’s amendment is unique in that it does not make same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but allows the state to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Most arguments against same-sex marriage relate to personal bias or beliefs. Many people, such as Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, believe that same-sex marriage threatens religious freedom in the United States.

“I think religion should not be brought into state. There are so many different religions in this world and trying to appeal to one specific religious group is a way of forcing beliefs upon people,” said freshman Anshu Patel.

Other religious organizations feel that children do best when raised by a mother and father, and that legalizing same-sex marriage is, therefore, contrary to the best interests of children. This statement, of course, is absolutely untrue.

Throughout America, there are a number of vast and diverse types of families. Many children are raised by single parents, foster parents, and other family members, yet they still live a very happy and safe life. As long as a child’s guardians love and take care of them, it will not make a difference if there are two fathers or mothers.

The idea that homosexuality is sinful, harmful, or wrong is completely untrue. The romance of another person does not conflict with anyone’s personal life except their own. It should not matter if you fall in love with the same or opposite gender. As long as both partners are happy and the relationship is consensual, they should be able to marry. Stripping away someone’s rights because you dislike who they are is discrimination and bigotry.

“God made us all equal so we should have equal rights. Banning gay marriage is just the same as saying a man and a woman cannot get married. Love is love, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in love with and want to marry the same sex,” freshman Srija Kommareddy said.

America is meant to be a land of opportunity and equal rights. All over the world, our country is known as a place where every race, gender, and religion is accepted. Our government ironically fails to see how denying rights for a certain group of people is discrimination, yet most polls show that a majority of Americans now support full marriage rights for all Americans.

More and more Americans are opening up to same-sex marriage such as Republican Senator Rob Portman. Recently, his son came out to the senator and his wife and changed Portman’s view on LGBTQ rights. Although some news outlets saw this change as insincere, this decision shows the steady and positive change in our country’s viewpoints.

I hope that one day, the 31 states that have banned gay marriage, as well as the Supreme Court, will be able to open their minds and understand that personal beliefs are not more important than the rights of Americans.

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