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Beary: Let there be love

BY HANNA BEARY | NOVEMBER 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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Two people lock gazes, not knowing the impact the other is about to make on their lives. As they decide if they want to spend the rest of their lives together, who is to say that the two can or cannot be married? In 15 states, the government does.

In 2003, the status quo began to change; on Nov. 18, Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay marriage: via a court decision. As many other states did the same, the gay-marriage movement began to take off.

Now, additional states have also lifted their bans on gay marriage, or had it lifted for them. The number of states with bans is dwindling.

In 2004, Montana passed an amendment stating that marriage was only for a man and a woman. This amendment was overturned by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, who on Wednesday ruled Montana’s ban on gay marriage was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Unlike the rest of the nation, states in the South are generally not moving as fast on the movement. On Thursday, South Carolina became the 35th U.S. state where gay marriage is legal, but it didn’t come from the people. The Supreme Court denied a request to block same-sex marriages from proceeding. Although the South Carolian General Attorney Alan Wilson requested for an extension on his appeal, the Charleston County Probate Court office issued six licenses in the first 90 minutes of being open.

After the Western states of the United States have conformed to allow gay rights, it is the 5th U.S. Circuit Court that will need to do the work. The 5th Circuit oversees the conservative Southern states, including Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Although cases have been brought up, there is no real insight on when or if this circuit will enforce change.

Change is inevitable, regardless of whether you’re ready for it or not. Some find it hard to let go of their old ways or habits, but for in order for society to continue to grow, it’s a must.

Christian political groups along with the National Association of Evangelicals have spent a lot of time and resources trying to protest gay marriage around the United States. But as times have changed, so have their perspectives. The groups have decided to back down from their head-on approach in protesting gay marriage. They are shifting their time and resources to shield religious business owners from having to cater any gay weddings or events.

The United States has come a long way but not far enough. Out of 50 states, there are still 15 that ban gay marriage, ultimately violating the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution that states, “no one person or persons shall be denied the same protection of the of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons …”

As a nation, we abide by the rules set in the Constitution, and in 35 states, we have declared the ban on gay marriage to be against the Constitution. Only with time will those other states come to see what is at hand, and that love was not only developed for a man and a woman but for anyone.


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