At a turning point: the right to marry

The United States will be forever changed as the U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing two landmark cases this week, with the future of same-sex marriage in the country at stake.

Over the past few days, the justices have heard arguments for and against Proposition 8, which bans same sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], an act passed in 1996 that allows only the marriage of a man and woman to be recognized, prohibiting same sex couples from receiving the countless benefits associated with being wed.

That means that even though nine states and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex couples to wed; they are still unable to receive benefits associated with being married because of DOMA— an issue that is part of the Supreme Court debate.

To me, the ability to love and marry who you want to is a natural right — one that should not have to be won in court. I do not understand why and how people take it so personally what others choose to do.

It does not affect you.

And it should not be cast as a political or religious issue tied to rules and laws. It is a personal issue, and should remain that way.

Below is an image I saw on Facebook. At its core, I think it accurately portrays just how stupid the concept of not allowing gay people to marry is.



Additional reading: NY Times, SCOTUS blog and Washington Post.



About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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