The subject of gay marriage continues to be a contentious and controversial topic that is oftentimes seen as a flagrant attack on religious morals and American traditions. However, significant progress has been made towards achieving marriage equality for all and currently 12 states support gay marriage: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. Even our laws have shifted dramatically with the growing interest of the American people to provide marriage equality for members of the LGBT community and ironically, gay marriage support currently outweighs opposition to marriage equality. President Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage in 2012 added more fuel to the fire by creating a sense of exigency for more states to approve gay marriage. In an interview with ABC News correspondent Robin Roberts, Obama says: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Presently, 53% of Americans support same-sex marriage which is astoundingly different than the 68% of Americans who vehemently opposed same-sex marriage in 1996 according to a Gallup Poll.
The current gay marriage societal shift is not only a political motivator in the United States, but has also infiltrated other parts of the world. The Netherlands became the first country to allow same sex-marriage almost 12 years ago and recently, France’s President Francois Hollande signed gay marriage as well as adoption by same-sex partners into law May 18th.
Despite the legal progress the United States and other countries have made towards achieving marriage equality, adamant protesters of same-sex marriage still voice the belief that gay marriage ruins the sanctity of traditional marriage. The nonprofit organization known as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which was formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, revealed its opposition of gay marriage in a quote found on their website about the current Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hearing of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): “God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman. Unfortunately, some groups are now attempting to replace marriage with “anything goes” arrangements. This disregard for marriage and its true purpose threatens to destroy this institution, to the detriment of future generations.” In contrast, Oprah Winfrey alongside other panelists on her segment entitled “Super Soul Sunday” stated that same sex couples actually strengthen the current institution of marriage. Rev. Bacon, a guest contributor to her segment admitted that [marriage] “[Is] going to be enriched,” and says “I’ve never had a straight couple come to me and say, ‘My marriage is in trouble because of a gay couple living next door.'”
The present political battle that is taking place in the Supreme Court of the United States can be followed on the Supreme Court of the United States’ blog, but more specifically, it appears that the Defense of Marriage Act is failing to uphold its constitutionality. Until the SCOTUS reaches a verdict, the gay marriage debate will continue to create divisiveness among Americans.