Homosexuals have been excluded from our society since our country’s beginning, giving them no equal protection underneath the large branch of the law. The Emancipation Proclamation gave freedom to blacks from slavery in the 1800’s and women were given the freedoms reserved for males in the early 1900’s with the women’s suffrage movement. But everyone still knows the underlying feeling of nation in dealing with minorities and women, one of contempt and utter disgust. Hate crimes are still perpetrated to this day in this country, and most are unpublicized and “swept underneath the rug.” The general public is just now dealing with the struggle of Homosexuals to gain rights in America, although this persecution is subtle, quiet and rarely ever seen to the naked eye or the general public.
The big question today in Homosexuals rights struggles are dealing with the right to be a part of our country’s Military Forces. At the forefront of the struggle to gain access to the military has been Female’s who have tried to gain access to “All Men” facilities and have been pressured out by other cadets. This small group of women have fought hard, and pressured the Government to change regulations dealing with the inclusion of all people, whether female or male, and giving them all the same opportunities they deserve. The Homosexual struggle with our Nation’s Armed Forces has been acquiring damage and swift blows for over 60 years now, and now they too are beginning to fight back.
In 1991 three gay couples filed a lawsuit, in Hawaii, for denying them marriage licenses. They claim that the refusal amounts to gender discrimination, which violates the Equal Rights Amendment. Judge Kevin Chang ruled, in 1996, that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry. This ruling makes Hawaii the first state to recognize that gay and lesbian couples are entitled, by law, to the same privileges as heterosexual married couples (CNN). Under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution, this also forces all states to recognize these marriages as far as federal benefits are concerned. Congress has approved a bill, the Defense of Marriage Act, that will allow states to decide whether to recognize homosexual marriages. The second part of the bill would define “for federal purposes” as the union of a man and a woman. Under such a definition gay and lesbians, even if they win the right to marry in Hawaii or elsewhere, would not be able to file joint federal tax returns, claim federal pension, or survivor’s benefits, or be allowed to file for green card status (Gallagher 21). I don’t feel that marriages between gays or lesbians should be given the same status as heterosexual marriages. Since when do gay people think they can broaden the institution of marriage to include themselves? They shouldn’t be able to. The institution of marriage is recognized by the church, homosexuality isn’t. I don’t feel that gay people have given a reason that carries enough weight for the government to legalize same-sex marriage.