Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Wave of Progress Across the US

While the US Supreme Court moved things forward earlier this year, it hasn't yet instituted a nationwide same-gender freedom to marry, let alone full marriage equality. Instead, progress is being made state-by-state, as the US is comprised of 50 states, plus territories/districts, plus some tribal governments. 14 states so far (plus Washington, D.C., the nation's capital) have the state-wide but limited same-gender freedom to marry, and the federal government will recognize those marriages.

Many more states are in play and should be gaining the limited same-gender freedom to marry soon. There have been very few road blocks lately, and the ones we've seen have been temporary. Popular opinion has been making progress, and more politicians have been announcing support.

People are seeing the happy couples and their families and friends enjoying their rights, and there doesn't seem to be any downside that has happened in any place where same-gender couples have been allowed to marry.

While I'd like to see the Supreme Court or Congress implement full marriage equality nationwide, states should continue to keep evolving instead of waiting for national leadership to catch up. It is time to do away with the archaic, bigoted, and harmful laws that remain on the books in so many places that trample on the rights of adults and deny equality. Each and every state should recognize that an adult, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationship orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (or any of those without the others) with any and all consenting adults, without prosecution, harassment, or discrimination.

There are American adults, and in some cases their children, suffering right now because of discriminatory laws preventing them from exercising their fundamental right to marry or even just being together. If we really care about rights, children, equality, stability, security, and valuing family, we will let people decide for themselves what kind of relationships they will have, including marriage,if they want to marry.

Freedom of association for consenting adults is a basic Constitutional right. Just as there is no good reason to ban interracial relationships or marriage, there is no good reason to ban same-gender relationships or marriages, polyamorous relationships or polygamous marriages, or consanguinamorous relationships or consanguineous marriages. There is no good reason to limit marriage to narrowly exogamous heterosexual couples.

Recognizing relationships rights, including full marriage equality, for all adults is good for business, as many businesses have publicly stated. Their employees will no longer be treated as second-class citizens, and as more states recognize the rights of more adults, it is easier for those people to relocate there.

Now is the time to push for the rights of ALL adults. The bigots are in retreat. There's no going back. We need to demand relationship rights for all, and we need to do so with solidarity.

In discussion after discussion, we fail to see a good reason why the freedom to marry should be extended to some, but not all adults. Get on the right side of history and support relationship rights for ALL adults! Here's how.
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