By Paul E. Gable
(Ed. Note: The writer is a journalist in Indiana and my son, who expresses the viewpoint of many in the next generation.)
I am going to start today by admitting two things. I am in favor of equal marriage rights for all citizens, regardless of their sexual preference. I do not know all the ins and outs of the Constitution.
I may not be able to tell you word for word what is in Article IV (admission of new states and changing of states), but I do know that the document that some want to trample on and others love to embrace as if it were the Holy Grail guarantees everyone certain rights of equal protection.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say you get those rights ONLY if you are a heterosexual adult. And, during the Civil Rights movement, nowhere did it say you got those rights ONLY if you were a white adult. While I am not in favor of government having any sort of residency inside my house, especially, my bedroom, someone needs to tell the U.S. Supreme Court to get with the times and grant equal marriage rights to every person in this country regardless of sexual preference.
Acceptance of same-sex marriage has come a long way over the years as polls show a majority of Americans are in favor. Nine states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage. Voters in three of those states affirmed their support for such nuptials last year.
Just how far have we come in a decade? Well, 10 years ago, only 36 percent of Americans were in favor of legalizing gay marriage. Today, 58 percent, myself included, support gay marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court should declare that the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees extend to the right of gay, lesbian and transgender couples to marry.
This week, the high court heard Hollingsworth vs. Perry, which challenges Proposition 8, the California referendum that repealed the right of same sex couples to marry that had been granted by the state’s courts. Also on the docket is United States vs. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law bars the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriage and denies gay and lesbian spouses a range of federal benefits that are usually reserved for married couples.
We have a great opportunity to see history be made this week. We have an opportunity to see the American Dream live out to its true fashion in that every American, regardless of creed and sexual preference, be granted the rights that are promised to them in the aforementioned Constitution. Last time I checked my calendar, it read 2013, and it is past time to get with the times.
I hope that at some point in my life, gay marriage will not be an issue and everyone who stood against this right will look as outdated as George Wallace and Strom Thurmond when they stood on school steps and gave rambling speeches against fellow citizens because of skin color.
The U.S. Supreme Court has a great opportunity this week to play a major part in this civil rights triumph. I ask the U.S. Supreme Court to remember back to 1967, when it ruled laws in 41 states prohibiting interracial marriage as being unconstitutional and nullified the 16 remaining laws.
I just hope the justices do not become cowards and shrink away from it.