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Same-sex Marriage, What's the Issue?

Same-sex Marriage, What's the Issue?

As arguments continue at the Supreme Court, gay marriage is still seen as a problem.

“Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?”, “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”

These are two questions formulated by the court, being defended by representatives, Mary Bonauto and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier at the Supreme Court. Bonauto is an advocate for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders of Boston. Hallward-Driemeier is a lawyer from the firm of Ropes & Gray also located in Boston. These two individuals are working to defend gay and lesbian couples from Michigan and Kentucky in an oral argument in front of the Supreme Court.

Although the fight for same-sex marriage and equal rights for the LGBTQ community is nothing new, there is an uproar against the current case occurring in Washington, including protesters lining the streets outside of the courthouse.

The citizens of Cambridge are lucky to live in one of the most liberal cities in the country. Cambridge was a pioneer of the gay rights movement, being the first to proceed with legal same-sex marriage.

Aren Stone, Co-chair of Cambridge Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Commission, an organization focused on the equality and protection of LGBTQ community members, gave a quote saying, “Marriage equality isn’t about marriage—it’s about equality.  It’s about being seen as fully human.”

This is the type of mindset that should be spread throughout the country, especially in a time like this. Human rights issues will always be a part of living in the world, but how the surrounding environment, how ones community, chooses to deal with those issues can always be improved and can always be helped.

The argument for basic human rights, for those in same-sex relationships, began in 1924 when The Society for Human Rights in Chicago was formed, one of the first known gay rights organizations in the country.

Here is a timeline of (Some of the most modern) gay and lesbian marriage laws and events:

November 18, 2003 – Massachusetts determines law against same-sex marriage unconstitutional

May 17, 2004 – Same-sex marriage is legalized in Massachusetts. Cambridge City Hall performs the first legalized same-sex marriage ceremony in the United States for Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey.

2005-2006 – Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Vermont and Maine recognize same sex civil unions

2009 – Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, District of Columbia legalize gay marriage

December 18, 2010 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy is revoked

February 13, 2012 – Washington becomes the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage

Although same-sex marriage is legalized in 37 states the fight continues on. The oral argument going to the Supreme Court currently expects a ruling by June.

For more information on the case and the Gay Rights Movement check out the Freedom to Marry website

The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders website

and the GLBT Commission website:


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