The Gay Days of Summer


Brian Cahn / Zuma Press / TNS

Pro-gay marriage demonstrators rallied outside the Supreme Court.

Lemuel Lan, Webmaster

Outside the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington DC, a massive crowd cheers as the verdict is returned. The vote falls five to four. On June 26, 2015, gay marriage is legalized across the United States of America. Before this moment, fourteen states still prohibited same-sex marriage, including Missouri.

The Obergefell v. Hodges case overruled the ruling of the 1971 Baker v. Nelson case, which gave states the power to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In President Obama’s words, “This ruling is a victory for America… When all Americans are truly treated as equal, we are more free.”

However, this decision was not greeted with consensus all around. Various groups, both religious and political, voiced their disagreement with the decision. Several raised the question of whether or not religious institutions would have to grant marriages to same-sex couples if it went against their beliefs. However, the court stated that these matters would have to be determined underneath state laws.

Still, in a recent poll conducted around the time of the decision, nearly 60 percent of Americans support extending the same rights and privileges to same-sex couples. But by the glance of the numbers, these results indicate that only a little more than half of America supports the extension of fair treatment to same-sex couples. Even the Supreme Court decision could have easily swayed to a vote of denying gay couples legal rights to marriage.

Certainly these are grand steps that America is taking, a push for equality to provide the rights of union between two people in love. Should one person be denied the right to call their beloved their partner for life simply because of being the same sex?

The great dissent for many lies within their beliefs and their constructs of what defines marriage.

A great number of Americans hold to the notion of a traditional marriage, involving the union between one man and one woman.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the judge who wrote the majority opinion in favor of legalizing gay marriage, states,  “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.”

Should America hold its beliefs within an age-old tradition, a tradition that has justified holding slaves as property and depriving natives of their land because of their belief in manifest destiny?

America has always been known as the country to offer equal opportunities and equal rights, as well as the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. The decision made has set America down a path that cannot, and should not, be altered.

Restrictions should not be set for those who wish to pursue their own sense of happiness, no matter who their love interest may be. As a nation, why do we spend our time judging and limiting one another, instead of working as a unified country?

We waste time refusing others the right to love and to be married when we truly have no business meddling with their union. Marriage is, indeed, a sacred union, meant for the two partners involved to confess and promise their undying love for each other. The bond made between two individuals is of no one else’s concern, whether they be straight or gay.

Indeed, there is no time like the present. How we, as citizens of America, take the decision, will be in our own hands. On June 26th, America stood for equality and fairness. On that day, America took a step forwards towards happiness for all. On that day, love spoke. And nothing speaks louder than love.