There should be no ‘debate’ on same-sex marriage

On Thursday, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a bill (258-169) that would protect same-sex marriage and interracial marriage by codifying it into law. The bill now moves to President Joseph R. Biden’s desk, where he will have the final say on whether it passes. This would not allow the Supreme Court to revisit past landmark cases and attempt to overturn them, which would thus make same-sex and interracial marriage illegal.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, it seemed like Obergefell v. Hodges could be next. This was the fundamental case in marriage rights for same-sex couples which was decided in 2015, finding that the right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses in the 14th Amendment.

If Obergefell were to get overturned, same-sex marriage would be banned in at least 25 states and likely to be banned in another seven. Citizens in these states would be ostracized and targeted, not allowed to pursue the very liberties that people in free nations should never need to worry about.

With a Supreme Court that has been pushed to the right with recent appointees, many have feared that such liberties will be overturned. Why is this even a possibility? How can the United States even have such a conversation in 2022?

While we like to consider our country developed and at the pinnacle of society, we still have dated conversations that should not be a debate. Even entertaining a debate about whether people of differing sexual orientations deserve the same rights as anyone else proves that we as a society have not fully moved past the regular discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Same-sex and interracial marriages are natural and they should be respected as such regardless of what any person says.

It is the innate human right within this country’s borders for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, yet it continually gets challenged by those who claim to be in favor of personal rights.

But still, people within the LGBTQ+ community are nearly four times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime according to UCLA’s Williams Institute. Not to mention the recent mass shooting at a Colorado gay nightclub, Club Q, on Nov. 20 which took the lives of five people. Or the June 12, 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. which killed 49. This isn’t just a coincidence, it is the result of generations of vilifying the LGBTQ+ community.

As an editorial staff, made up of people from different backgrounds and sexual orientations, we recognize the importance of codifying the historic Respect for Marriage Act. No matter who you are or how you identify, you have the right to happiness and comfort in this country. This starts with ending the obscenely dated debate of whether same-sex and interracial marriage should be allowed and progressing our society to one that is more tolerant and accepting.