For thousands of years, human beings have been trying to understand love. It is the great unknown, unpredictable and unquantifiable, and there seems to be no way to define this enduring enigma. To try and control something as inexplicable as love seems ridiculous, even laughable, yet this is what laws against gay marriage have attempted to do since their inception.
In modern day society, gay marriage is still considered somewhat of a taboo subject. It defies the culturally accepted idea of the “perfect American family” and challenges generations of prejudice, rooted in the fear of that which is different.
While it may be opposed by some religious doctrines, homosexual marriage is incredibly similar to heterosexual marriage. In a fundamental sense, both involve the recognition of the union of two individuals in the eyes of the law.
In the United States, the purpose of government is to protect the basic human freedoms, which include the principles of life, liberty, and happiness. By infringing upon an individual’s ability to love who they choose and refusing to acknowledge them within the legal system, we are denying them their presumably unalienable rights.
After years of passionate movements and protests, state governments have begun to address the issue of homosexual marriage rather than turn the other cheek. Recently, Florida and Arkansas have joined 34 other states and officially legalized gay marriage
While not all government officials support the practice itself, many admit that there is validity to the legal claims. Also, the Supreme Court chose not to hear additional same sex marriage cases so effectively the marriages are valid.
Gay marriage has even gained recognition within the religious community through one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Catholic church. In recent years, the attitude towards homosexuals within the Vatican has changed dramatically. While the church will not revise the doctrines concerning gay marriage, this positive shift in perspective offers hope for the development of a more liberal mindset.
Pope Francis, the current head of the Catholic church has made several statements on the gay marriage controversy that reflect a more open-minded viewpoint. Rather than alter the church doctrines, the Pope has just expressed a more tolerant opinion, which is a vast improvement from previous approaches.
Although the struggle for universal legalization continues, there are promising signs as to the eventual toleration and acceptance of gay marriage throughout the majority of the population. As the next generation of children grow, they bear witness to a time of change and thereby develop an increased openness towards new and seemingly foreign ideas.
Although not everyone may agree, gay marriage is quickly becoming a 21st century norm. A recent government poll indicated that 48% of people supported gay marriage and 39% opposed the unions, only 13% of people remained undecided.
Whether or not individuals choose to embrace these inevitable changes will make all the difference as to whether or not we will grow as a country with a mindset grounded in tolerance and striving for progression.