The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


States strike a win for gay rights

For those of us who support same-sex marriage, last week was a good one.

First, Iowa’s Supreme Court found that denying gays the right to marry violated the state’s constitution. Only a few days later, Vermont’s legislature overrode the governor’s veto of a bill allowing gays to marry. In recognizing this important right, Iowa and Vermont joined Massachusetts and Connecticut as pioneers in decency.

In the wake of these landmark events, the District of Columbia’s City Council voted to recognize gay marriages that take place in states that allow it. While D.C. still won’t marry gay people outright, this is a step in the right direction, one that other states might consider as a steppingstone to progress.

Already, opponents of same-sex marriage have geared up for a fight. Interest groups in Iowa have already announced their intention to push for a constitutional amendment overturning the decision.

Right now, Iowa citizens can forever celebrate being forward thinkers on this important issue. As someone from a state with an anti-gay marriage amendment, I encourage Iowa voters to consider whether they want that badge of shame forever attached to their state’s history.

 There’s a chance that conservatives might use these developments as fodder for a national amendment banning same-sex marriage. Personally, I don’t think this will work.

For one thing, national sentiment seems to be rapidly shifting towards recognizing that gay people deserve the same happiness as straight people. More importantly, our constitution is a document that’s blazed the path of progress for the world to follow. The amendment process has always been used to expand freedom, not limit it. Only once has the constitution been used to reduce the scope of people’s rights; prohibition was repealed only 14 years after it began.

People throw out all kinds of arguments against letting gay people get married, each flimsier than the one that preceded it.

“Marriage is for procreation,” they say. I agree, which is why I’m sure they’ll join me in pushing for a law outlawing the marriage of sterile couples and anyone over the age of 50.

“Children do best when raised by a father and mother,” they say. Again, I hope they’ll support my newest proposal, the use of federal tax dollars to promote the “Britney Spears Child Rearing Academy.”

“Marriage is a sacred institution. We can’t just trample on tradition,” they say. So was slavery. So was the subjection of women. So were the ’70s. I think we’re all better off without bell-bottom pants and the Bee Gees.

The right of gay people to live life to the fullest will be the defining civil rights issue of our time. This isn’t abstract. We all have gay friends, gay family members, gay teachers, gay classmates, gay mentors, gay role models, gay enemies. Many people reading this right now are gay.

Should anyone be told that they’re a lesser citizen because of who they love? Should anyone be denied one of the most fundamental of rights, that of starting a family, because they happen to like someone of the same sex? Should anyone be told that they are less deserving of happiness because of who they are?

In the coming years, we will be called upon to take a stand on the right of our gay brothers and sisters to get married, to adopt children, to live without fear of discrimination. I hope our generation is remembered for doing the right thing.


Nathaniel French is a sophomore theater studies and math double major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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