SAME SEX MARRAIGE IN THE US: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
The United States Supreme Court ruled on the morning of 26th June 2015 in the favor of same sex marriage, uplifting the bans in 14 of its states. Announcing it a legal right, Justice Anthony Kennedy gave in to the demand of the plaintiffs to be given equal dignity in the eyes of the law, and said that the constitution grants them that right.
The rights of the LGBT community and same sex marriage laws have long been in debate with an ongoing struggle from both sides. In 1996, the US congress passed the defense of marriage act prohibiting federal recognition of same sex marriage. The amendment was signed by the then president Bill Clinton. In another case in 2003, Massachusetts judges allowed same sex marriage.
After Friday’s ruling, while those supporting same sex marriage were seen celebrating outside the courthouse, those against it, were heard expressing grief. There were Christian conservatives condemning the decision amongst the mass celebration too.
There were mixed reactions from the American leaders too. President Barrack Obama stated that the ruling was “a victory for America.” He also said, “When all Americans are treated as equals, we are all more free.” White house also turned its twitter handle to rainbow colors. The Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton merely posted “proud” on her twitter handle, raising questions about her true allegiance.
Even the justices in the panel remain divided on the decision. Although the majority decided on granting equal rights, Justice Antonin Scalia considers it “a threat to the democracy”. Chief justice John Roberts warns the people fighting for the cause saying that there is a darker side to achieving their goals by judicial fiat.
While those in power remain in a strife over the ruling, there are some gay people who quite uniquely are opposing same sex marriage just as much as the anti gay marriage advocacy groups. They feel that the religious and social significance of the wedding ceremony loses it meaning when compared to a heterosexual marriage. Although these people aren’t exactly the stereotypical anti gay marriage activists, they feel that unless the people are given equal status and rights, there is no point striving for equal marriage acts.
It remains to see how the US emerges from this rift between the two sides of it population and how much time it actually takes for the gay people to actually feel equal. Meanwhile, after the first gay marriage in France, and England and Wales being the next two places where gay marriages might become legal, the US same sex marriage ruling is believed to hasten the advance across the Atlantic.
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AUTHOR: TANNU JAIN