The argument over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry is raging. Seven states have now approved gay marriage, and the President of the United States has taken a stand in favor the right of same-sex couples to marry. On the other hand, North Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage, and other states are attempting to do the same. In California, voters passed Proposition 8, limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down that law on the basis that depriving Gay people of the right to marry is unconstitutional.
Here is an excerpt of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, explaining it's ruling:
"We emphasize the extraordinary significance of the official designation
of 'marriage.' That designation is important because 'marriage' is the
name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between
two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the
couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a
marriage by the name of 'registered domestic partnership' does not.
. . . All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from
same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus
legally to use the designation of 'marriage,' which symbolizes state
legitimization and societal recognition of their committed
relationships. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other
than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in
California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and
families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution
simply does not allow for 'laws of this sort.'" *
This divisive issue seems destined for the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will be decided once and for all.
* -- (9th
Circuit Court of Appeals 2012 ruling in Perry v. Brown, striking down
California's Prop. 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to