America was founded for the equal opportunities of its citizens. This country has overcome dark times in our history such as slavery, and women’s rights. It is now time for our country and its citizens to recognize the rights of the homosexual community and not force their religious views to affect the lives and validity of their love to one another. There is always a halfway ground, a meeting place that two opposing parties can come to. This change can derive from the respect of the separation of church and state, how states define marriage and civil unions, and finally changing the perception of what marriage is.
In the United States Constitution, the First Amendment guarantees a separation of Church and State which speaks to the citizens of the country that they will have some protections against discrimination in their justice system; It states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (United States Bill of Rights). The Amendment offers that any law that is created will not interfere with the basic rights of any citizen and that the law will not favor a side with any religion. This seems like a very valid rule to make yet why is it that the United States Congress still does not allow same sex marriage? There are many ways that people can all relate to church unclear in state. A few examples would be the “In God We Trust” that is embellished on all of the nation’s currency. When students are required to stand in class and salute the flag, they also say a phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, “… and to the Republic, for which it stands, One Nation Under God…” (The Pledge of Allegiance). After looking at the ways that religion conflicts into our government, it was astonishing how the government has not really practiced what is in their own law system.
When people are asked what they consider marriage to be, most people will say a union between two people who love each other, a commitment of life together. Why is it that according to the United States Congress, marriage is between a Man and Woman? An article in USA TODAY pointed out many disturbing facts about Congress, one that Jonathan Turley stated below “Since 2004, almost two dozen states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, and additional proposed amendments are planning for this year in Congress and various states” (Turley 1). Marriage is the foundation of unity that gives rights to couples that they would not have if they were not married. If a person was in a relationship with someone for twenty-five years and the person they loved is in bed, sick and ready to die, they would probably want the rights to choose what would happen after they passed away. These are the kind of decisions that normal couples in marriage are granted since they have built their life together, but a same-sex couple in a domestic partnership or civil union do not have these basic rights.
The term marriage for years has been burned into the minds of Americans that it is between a man and woman. This image is portrayed in our social media, books and education. It is understandable that churches do not wish to recognize a marriage between a man and man, or woman and woman, but does this make it okay for their influence to persuade the United States Congress? According to Lisa Miller from The Washington Post, “Many people have suggested that the United States adopt a system like that of some European countries in which legal marriage and marriage before God are separate evens overseen by two separate authorities” (Miller 1). This argument should be taken into consideration when understanding and revising what the perception of marriage is. From the many homosexual people that have voiced their opinions, there are many gay and lesbians that are not religious people to begin with. Most homosexuals are not religious for many reasons, one usually including that the Bible condemns their homosexuality and damns them to the fiery pits of Hell for eternity. One would assume that the gay and lesbian community would not really care if the church recognized their marriage but that it was valid with state. If a same-sex couple happened to be religious, they could seek out a church that would support them and recognize their marriage.
There are many different laws in the United States of America that we as citizens follow throughout our daily lives. For example, stopping at a stop sign, paying for the dinner that was eaten, and working for paychecks. All these are shown as simple gestures as a way of doing a part to society. When the nation was founded, certain laws were written meant to protect its citizens and to be fail-proof from injustice. If that is the case, there is an obvious problem separating church and state in the marriage system and other apparent ways as well. There are many flaws in the civil systems that aren’t recognized. There will always be a conflict of church and state in the government system, but it’s the responsibility of the United States Congress to acknowledge this and to do their part in making a solution to this problem and start practicing what is preached. There is always a meeting place or mutual understanding that two opposing parties can reach, marriage is one important issue that needs to first be looked at in considering this solution, and many Americans will be waiting for the day that Congress takes action.