World Leaders Begin to Show Real Strength in the Fight Against Prejudice, from Laura.
For millions of couples around the world, the ultimate way to mark their act of love is to get married. Nothing can be more majestic or magical than declaring their love in front of friends and family, and being legally recognized as a couple is a joy unlike any other. Unfortunately for same sex couples, prejudices exist that prevents them from getting married and having their love recognized. However, in the past few years some of history’s worst injustices have been overturned as human rights groups and world leaders have made great strides towards ensuring gay couples finally get the recognition they deserve. From the White House in Washington, to Number 10 Downing Street in London, the big names in politics have begun to see sense and as such have become more vocal in supporting same sex marriage.
The year of 2012 has been quite a rocky one for President Obama. As a man that has taken on a country in crisis, any bold move was likely to be highly criticized by his followers. Despite facing a tense presidential election, this has been the year that Obama has chosen to speak in favor of gay marriage. Recently he made the controversial decision to begin challenging injustices that have been imposed on gay couples as a result of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. From the year that it was instated, the 1996 act prevented gay couples from accessing the same federal rights as same sex couples, such as sharing health care. It is expected that as of 2013, such injustices will be heard by the supreme court, which is a sure sign that Obama is one step closer to establishing equal rights for gay couples when it comes to marriage.
In addition to this, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of Britain has spoken out in favor of religious marriages for same sex couples. Currently, the British climate is still hostile towards same sex couples getting married, with the majority of citizens remaining divided on the issue. Rather than being too vocal, Clegg has taken a democratic approach that will hopefully pacify both sides. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Clegg chose to declare that churches that want to support same sex marriage should be able to, while those who do not should not be forced.
In years to come, it may be the case that we can look back and wonder why there was any controversy at all. It may even be the case that the infectious nature of men like Clegg and Obama will spread to further shores, thus allowing same sex couples worldwide to achieve the freedom that heterosexuals have access to. While there are parts of our planet where the thought of same sex marriage is unthinkable, countries like Britain and America may be able to lead the way in establishing equality.
Bio: Laura is a second year pre-med student from the UK who stands in favor of same sex marriages. She contributes to Degree Jungle, an online resource for college students.