New York takes a stand for justice

MarchaŠ Grair

A recent court case may be the precedent gay and lesbian couples need to marry legally in the United States.

Earlier this month, a New York appellate court ruled a lesbian couple’s marriage had to be acknowledged in the state, even though New York does not legally marry gay and lesbian couples.

The couple wed in Canada in 2004 and appeared in court to demand heath care benefits from an employer despite their sexual orientation, according to The New York Times.

Most groups who would typically rant or rave about this case are occupied by the presidential primary race, and this historic moment is flying under the radar.

With gay marriage being such an important issue, it baffles me that the presidential candidates and the media are not showing more interest in this matter.

New York is making a statement this nation, despite its social progression, cannot seem to grasp.

The right to marry who one chooses should not just be a heterosexual privilege.

It tires me to hear Americans speak of all the freedoms we have when so many gay and lesbian couples lack those freedoms.

Those who oppose gay marriage argue marriage’s sanctity must be protected. I am puzzled how the ultimate commitment between two people can lack sacredness, no matter what gender those people happen to be.

The opposition to gay marriage in this country is usually masked by prejudice – even ignorance.

It is still a common misconception that gay couples could never love and respect each other as straight couples can. People still associate homosexuality with uninhibited sex and perverseness.

In a Daily Kent Stater column by Matthew White titled “Don’t base votes on celebrity endorsements,” White criticized Barack Obama for saying it was all right to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples.

White said: “Obama has said it’s OK to interject sex into children’s lives when he said it’s all right to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples because they know about them already. But in reality, no 6-year-old should be worrying about sex, gay or straight.”

Obama was not advocating sex when he made this comment but was advocating acceptance. Although White’s interpretation of Obama’s words is more than troubling, the attitudes behind it are all too common.

Other gay marriage opponents argue civil unions and domestic partnerships suffice for gay couples.

The “separate but equal argument” died during the civil rights movement, and it shouldn’t resurface to appease a new kind of hatred.

New York City provided domestic partnership rights to couples before this court case but could not force private companies to recognize gay relationships by giving benefits.

If Americans would be honest with themselves, they would realize the fight for gay marriage has more to do with money than morals.

Congratulations to Ms. Martinez and Ms. Golden.

Thank you for fighting for the rights you deserve. I applaud New York for making a decision that could give many Americans a real pursuit at happiness.

MarchaŠ Grair is a sophomore electronic media production major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].