It is no longer illegal to be gay in America
December 29, 2008 3 Comments
I think that the U.S. Constitution demands that marriages between two consenting adults, regardless of gender, be recognized under the law. Marriage is a legal act, and not necessarily a religious one. It is a legal right that cannot be denied on account of gender unless substantial reasons exist. And as Lawrence v. Texas makes clear, it is no longer illegal to be gay in America.
If it was illegal to be gay, then there would be a substantial reason to deny legal marriage rights. And I realize, it has hardly been five years since the U.S. Supreme Court declared that it is no longer illegal to be gay in America.
In declaring same-sex relationships entitled to respect, Lawrence also has advanced courts’ views of the harms to couples denied the freedom to marry. In Massachusetts, the high court deployed Lawrence to explain that “[w]hether and whom to marry, how to express sexual intimacy, and whether and how to establish a family — these are among the most basic of every individual’s liberty and due process rights.”