The Two Way Street

Politics for a New Generation


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Laws on Love: Why Prohibiting Gay Marriage is Unconstitutional

There are only two reasons to outlaw gay marriage. The first is homophobia. People are irrationally afraid that allowing same sex marriage would somehow force them to get one, or ¬†that they will somehow be forced to tell their kids that their LGTBQ peers are equal, an idea most people over ¬†30 are unwilling to acknowledge. Not only that, but they’re afraid that they will come out on the wrong side of history, but, rather than admit their wrongs, they are covering them further, to end up on the right side of civil rights. Preachers are worried that they will be forced to perform gay marriages, which are “against their religion,” which, even though they have legal rights to disallow anything within their institution. Widespread fear of people who are different is an epidemic in this nation. Homophobia is not a legal reason to block gay marriage.

The only other reason given for interdicting same-sex marriage is the religious belief that being gay is wrong. However, this is not a legal reason either. The first amendment of our constitution says that, “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Passing a ban because of religion is itself “respecting an establishment of religion,” ergo, that reason is unconstitutional.

Did you know that three times as many states allow marriage between first cousins as allow gay marriage? Not only are gay couples not allowed to marry, but in states without same-sex marriage protections, nor are lovers with a transgender in the pair, even those with gender-reassignment surgery. Imagine not being allowed to marry someone, ever. Imagine being turned away at a hospital when the person you love is dying, just because you were not allowed to marry. While civil unions take away some of this pain, the idea is the equivalent of separate but equal, and the concept of re-naming marriage is invalidating and degrading to all those gay couples out there, basically telling them that their love isn’t real. Poets from Shakespeare to Dickinson have proclaimed that love knows no law. So then, how can we excuse attempts to regulate it?