Published May 28, 2008, Fox News informed us about the new and upcoming legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of California. This would become effective on June 17th of the same year. Amongst the guidelines for said marriage provided by Janet McKee – chief of California’s office of vital records, – to the state’s 58 county clerks were copies of new marriage forms that replace lines for “bride” and “groom” with “Party A” and “Party B.”
According to the letter, these gender-neutral terms were developed in consultation with county clerks…“Effective June 17, 2008, only the enclosed new forms may be issued for the issuance of marriage licenses in California,” the directive reads. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of gay marriage until a poll was sent out. The poll’s results revealed that for the first time ever, about one-half of Californians supported same-sex marriage; 51% to be exact. Back in 2006, a poll found that 44% of voters supported same-sex marriage and 50% did. In 1977, only 28% were in favor of gay marriage. (Fox News, 2015).Order now
Something that surprised me after reading this article was the fact that only 28% of voters supported gay marriage in 1977. I didn’t expect there to be so many people that were opposed to such an idea. I also noticed that same-sex marriage was legalized on June 17th, which is now the month in which is celebrated for “gay pride.” Perhaps that is the reason for this? Another thing I found intriguing was that the marriage forms had been changed from bride and groom to “Party A,” and “Party B.” I didn’t even know that they were gender specific before this movement. I’m glad I now know all of this information.
In 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized nationally, by the Supreme Court. This meant that even for the 14 total states that had a ban on gay marriage could no longer enforce said bans. These states included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. According to BBC, Justice A. Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked “for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” In the end, this ruling brought an end to a decade of legal tension brought on by the issue of gay marriage.
Same-sex couples rushed to become newlyweds just minutes after the official ruling. At the time, the president was Barack Obama, who said the ruling was a “victory for America,” and “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
However, the Christian conservatives came into play. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called this ruling “an out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.” Kellie Fiedorek, a lawyer for an anti-gay marriage advocacy group, stated that the decision “ignored the voices of thousands of Americans.’ Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas said the justices “have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the states.” BBC reported that just after the ruling became official, one man phoned his mother and said, “Your son can have a husband now.” (BBC).
This entire concept must have been so emotionally astounding for the LGBT+ community. Though I don’t personally remember this happening, after reading this article, I almost feel as if I was actually there. I could only imagine the craziness that came out of this decision; it definitely sounds like the conservatives had a difficult time with accepting it. I can’t believe that 14 states still had a ban on gay marriage in 2015. It seems insane that it took our country to abide by the laws of our constitution, to grant everyone equal dignity in the eyes of the law.
As many of us have witnessed, our President, Donald Trump, has said some pretty inappropriate things about the LBGT+ community. For example, just weeks after taking office, President Trump’s administration “…withdrew guidance that said Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans anti-transgender discrimination in federally funded schools.” This basically means that Trump just took away the transgender community’s rights for equal treatment in school settings, and for some, school is home to a child’s only “safe place.”
Another inappropriate action he’s taken was when in July of 2017, he decided to and transgendered individuals from the military, therefore reversing a policy made while under the Obama administration. Four courts stopped this ban, but the Justice Department is still fighting to enact it and the Pentagon has issued recommendations on how to fully implement the policy. (Holden).