By Gregory Allen
The U.N. Declaration of human rights, states, in article 16:
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
It is disappointing to note that the United States still discriminates on the basis of religious claims, so long as religious groups are the persecutors, and not those being oppressed.
But a ruling made this week in California could move the nationwide debate of marriage equality closer to the Supreme Court, and a ruling that might favorably affect the lives of many Americans currently denied basic human rights.
A federal appeals court announced this week that the California, voter-approved law, Proposition 8, serves no purpose other than to discriminate and makes the lives of same-sex couples lesser than opposite-sex relationships.
Proposition 8 barely passed, securing only 52% of the vote.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt delivered the majority opinion, stating, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”
While the United States still lags behind most other industrialized nations in terms of equality, it is promising to consider that a new step forward toward equality may be made in the near future, one that could negatively affect the lives of no one, and positively grant equality to many who have been denied basic, unalienable rights.