Gay Marriage: the Modern Civil Rights Movement

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Gay Marriage: The Modern Civil Rights Movement Imagine a world in which one is denied the right to marry the person that he or she loves, based on the government’s belief that only “traditional marriages” will be recognized. This person that he or she loves is the same as every other normally functioning human being, but because they may be of a certain race or gender, the government rules that the relationship is not qualified for the so-called “sanctity of marriage.” Following the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, interracial marriages were outlawed in the United States by a series of miscegenation laws (Bond.) In the influential Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, a white man named Richard Loving challenged the state of Virginia after he was denied the right to marry an African American woman. Loving argued that it was his constitutional right to marry the partner of his own choosing. The Court ruled in favor of Loving by declaring marriage to be a civil right, outlined by the constitution in the pursuit of happiness (Bond). In the world today, same-sex couples face the same opposition in their quest for legalized marriage. Same-sex couples should be granted the right to wed, as Loving v. Virginia reinforces the belief that denying them this right is unjust and entirely unconstitutional. Those who oppose the legalization of gay marriage believe the foundation of marriage consists of a committed monogamous relationship. Nancy Polikoff, a professor at the law school of American University states “A movement for gay marriage would surely promote marriage as a social good trotting out monogamous couples as spokesmen in a way that would marginalize non-monogamous gays and would fail to challenge the legitimacy of marriage itself” (Kurtz). Given the prevalence of prostitution and casual relationships within society how can one defend the preservation of

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