Debating same-sex marriage: The right to marry anyone

The National Organization for Marriage is one of the only organizations in existence that is still fighting for discrimination in the 21st century. NOM has now opened an office here in D.C., a new effort from an organization that is ultimately on the wrong side of history. NOM seeks to undermine same-sex couples, deny them the 1,138-plus federal rights that come along with marriage, and treat them like second-class citizens. However, the more that NOM pushes for inequality, the stronger the gay community becomes in our fight for equality.

NOM argues that it wants to “protect” marriage. I am simply dumbfounded by this claim in the organization’s mission statement. The GLBT community believes that every citizen ought to have the right to marry anyone – despite his or her race, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.

According to NOM, marriage needs to be between one man and one woman in order to “protect” children, “save” religion and prevent a “redefinition” of marriage. I, along with the rest of the country that supports same-sex marriage, would like to know exactly how same-sex marriage harms children. Same-sex marriage is now legal in five states and has been in Massachusetts since 2004. What exactly has happened to the children of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the past five years that has been so detrimental? Absolutely nothing negative has happened to them. As a matter of fact, the children of same-sex couples can now enjoy being raised in a family with married parents.

We believe in separation of church and state. We believe that the two entities are completely separate. The state has no place telling a religious institution what marriages it ought to perform and vice versa. The GLBT community has not, is not, and never will be fighting to mandate religious institutions to perform same-sex marriages. We are advocating that the federal government legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in order to ensure equality for everyone. Same-sex marriages need to be legally performed by the Justice of the Peace, just as opposite-sex couples currently have that right to get married. We believe that it is up to individual religious institutions to make up their minds about whether or not to perform same-sex marriages.

The GLBT movement does not want to “redefine” marriage. We want to protect marriage between two people of any gender, race, sexual orientation and religious affiliation. NOM is arguing that same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy. A similar argument was used by opponents of interracial marriage. Fifty years ago, interracial marriage was banned in thirty states, just as same-sex marriage is banned in a majority of states today. Interracial marriage has not led to polygamy and neither will same-sex marriage. The GLBT movement is absolutely not advocating for polygamy. Marriage is a commitment between two loving adults who are entrusted with the rights and responsibilities that come along with the legal designation.

NOM is running out of excuses to continue advocating for inequality. The support for same-sex marriage grows on a daily basis in the United States. The GLBT movement may and probably will lose a couple of battles along our journey to equality. However, we will win the war for marriage equality in the end. I was, am, and will always be willing to fight for equal rights for everyone, and look forward to the day that same-sex marriage is legalized nationwide.

The writer, a junior majoring in political science, is the president of Allied in Pride.

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