Thursday, March 28, 2013

Southern Equality

On March 26, 2013, a group of around 150 gathered on the beach in Gulfport MS for a bonfire and candle light vigil so that all Americans can enjoy equal rights. Currently the US Supreme Court is hearing debating on the issue of gay marriage.

The first person I introduced myself to was Sara Bell. In January, she and her wife tried to apply for a marriage license at the Forrest County Circuit Clerk office. They were denied. It was heartbreaking to her and the other stories at the vigil. All they want is the freedom to spend their lives legally with the person they love. Nine states have legalized same sex marriages.

And yet, because of DOMA, those marriages are not recognized by the federal government or other states in which same sex marriages are not legal.

How can we, as Americans, deny the right to marry to others? It wasn't so long ago that bi-racial marriages were considered immoral and a threat to "traditional" marriages.

Thanks to groups like Campaign for Southern Equality there was hope among those gathered at the vigil. I hope Rose and Lynn and the many other couples there will soon have equality.

It seems as though everyone in the South defends the 2nd Amendment loudly and argue against "Big Government" interfering in their lives. Well the DOMA Act and many state laws do just that. Those other amendments are just as important. The 14th Amendment reads thus:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
It seems states like mine are denying equal protection to gays who wish to marry. It is time for this discrimination to end.

No comments: