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Overturning of same-sex marriage ban

by SOPHIA D’ADAMO Staff Writer

Officials in Oregon and Pennsylvania decided not to challenge the court’s decisions on overturning bans on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, May 21.

Federal judges this week said that a ban on same-sex marriage is a discriminatory action.

Oregon became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriages on Monday, May 19, and Pennsylvania became the 19th state on Tuesday, May 20. They were followed by Montana on Wednesday, May 21, and South Dakota on Thursday, May 22.

“Americans across the board are supporting marriage equality in recent numbers. That number goes up virtually every single day,” said Charles Joughin, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, May 21, 55 percent of those who voted support same-sex marriage, while 42 percent oppose.

Freshman Gabriella Orpen said, “I am so glad that Oregon and Pennsylvania decided to allow same-sex marriage. Everyone should be treated equally, no matter what their sexual preference is.”

Ben West and Paul Rummell from Portland, Oregon have been fostering Jay, an eight-year old boy, since 2012. Jay has been passed from one foster home to the next, and one day asked, “When am I going to have a forever family?”

Both West and Rummel participated in Oregon’s case to reverse the ban on same-sex marriage on April 23, 2014. In February, they were able to formally adopt Jay, but it was not until Monday, after they made their commitment vows, that they were able to feel like a real family.

“The ruling brought validity to [Jay’s] forever family, that we as a society recognize his family is important and that we’re taking on the responsibility to raise this child that didn’t get the right start at life and we’re making sure that he has every opportunity to grow and be a wonderful, healthy person,” said West.

Since 2006, when West and Rummel first met, they have seen significant changes in peoples’ attitudes toward gay rights and the acceptance of gays and lesbians.

West said, “The mood in the nation has changed so dramatically. People’s stereotypes and thoughts around this issue are starting to crumble because they’re starting to see our families out more visible. And younger people are beginning to speak up and say, ‘This is such a non-issue for us.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are currently over 70 marriage equality cases that have been filed in 29 states, including Puerto Rico, that are trying to fight for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Judges have decided to end gay marriage bans in Arkansas, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, while pro-marriage rulings occurred in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Freshman Megan Alkema said, “It is about time that states like Oregon and Pennsylvania are recognizing that same-sex marriage should be allowed. Hopefully in the near future, every state will do the same.”

Marriage equality is not only a plus for gay couples, but for their families as well. By supporting this issue, new families blossom and are able to grow and develop healthy with the tight bond of love.

Do you agree with overturning same-sex marriage bans? Why or why not?

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