Same-sex marriage expands around the nation


Natalie Larimer

The GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club poses by their stadium painting. The group has been celebrating since the Supreme Court ruling went into effect.

Casey Metcalf, Staff Writer

The marriage debate has been a heated one in the US, and all over the world. The fight for equal rights for LGBT people has been going on for a long time, but the first major step was on May 17, 2004. This was the day that the fight for marriage equality ended in Massachusetts, but began in the rest of the country.

The fight for marriage equality was a long one and remained stagnant, stuck at 11 states, then 19 states for extended amounts of time. But now, beginning on Monday, Oct. 6, the marriage equality issue is speeding up with an insane rate. Prior to Oct. 6, there were 19 states in the U.S. that had legalized gay marriage, the rest of them still had both same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions (all the legality of marriage without the actual word marriage) banned. But on Oct. 6, the supreme court decided the fate of 11 states, simply by not deciding. The Supreme Court denied petitions to hear same-sex marriage cases in these states; making this decision allows the lower courts rulings that legalized same-sex marriage to take effect, making marriage equality a reality for 11 more states. With this addition, the total comes out to 30 states in America that has struck down the ban.

This ruling is a huge deal in the fight for marriage equality and just equality all around, not only because it is such a high number of states being added at once, but because now, legal same-sex marriage accounts for more than half of the states in America. Marriage equality now holds the majority in our nation, making this the biggest step the fight for equality has made, ever.

Not only this, but for the first time, marriage equality has made it’s way to it’s first Conservative state, while it was previously all Liberal. Utah, Oklahoma and Indiana all voted for Romney in 2012 and are regularly classified previous to that as red states, and with the court rulings from Oct. 6 through 8, they became the first red states to allow same-sex marriage.

With only 20 states left in America that still hold their same-sex marriage bans, it s hard to imagine that this fight will last much longer. It has been a long road for marriage equality because in order for the law to change, society must change as well. Society, as we all know, is not very good at changing. We collectively stick to things until we physically can not anymore. We have a tendency to not want to let go of anything, ever. We form ideas, we form judgements, and these judgements – no matter how big or how small – go all around our society.

 The trouble with this is, when stigmas like the one surrounding LGBT issues are ingrained so deeply in our society, they pass down from generation to generation. Until you consequently have people saying no to same-sex marriage for the simple reason that their parents raised them that way.

We are in the midst of a cultural revolution. Society is changing. Young people are changing, parents are teaching their children love and acceptance. Love will no longer be banned. Eradication of hateful, bigoted laws is completely necessary. People do not necessarily need to change their beliefs, religion is not the problem. The problem is one person’s religion becoming another person’s law. What needs to change is our view on acceptance and love for one another. So religious or not, love thy neighbor, and get excited for the changes that are happening. We are part of history, right now, in this moment. Get excited.