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Marriage for all

6/27/2014

Opponents of same-sex marriage more than likely would like to forget the past 12 months. After years experiencing numerous victories with popular votes around the country attempting to codify the one man-one woman approach their religious views demand, the movement began hitting roadblocks.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled parts of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional just one year ago, not one gay-marriage ban has found favor in a federal court. Judges are unanimously finding gay people have the right to marry and that bans on such unions violate the 14th Amendment.

Add a federal appellate court upholding same-sex marriage to the growing list of disappointments for the opponents. On Wednesday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Denver affirmed a lower Utah court's ruling that struck down that state's ban. With more than 70 lawsuits currently challenging the discriminatory marriage bans in 30 states, the expected trickle of states to eliminate different standards voluntarily quickly is turning into a mandated flood.

Next up? Most likely, the Supreme Court. It has been 45 years since the Stonewall riots, but it appears as if the national mood finally is swinging toward true equality.

It isn't unanimous, of course. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., typifies the still vocal minority with his comments on this week's ruling: "Decades of research on families, combined with centuries of human experience, all agree children do best when they have a married mom and dad in the home. By substituting their personal biases for sound legal reasoning, these two attorneys are harming marriage, families, and most important, our children."

We're unsure how the Big First's representative believes a minority constitutes "all" -- nor do we understand why he believes so passionately that two loving men or women possibly can harm families or children. We do appreciate that he doesn't agree with gay rights. And that is fine; he doesn't have to.

But neither Huelskamp nor anybody else in the "traditional" camp have the right in this country to impose their religious-based viewpoints on others. They have gotten away with it for decades, nay, centuries, but the tide is turning. The Denver decision sets the stage to actualize "all men are created equal."

The fight for equality that extends to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is reaching the final phase. Even a conservative majority on the high court will not be able to allow such blatant discrimination to continue.

We eagerly await the day when all adults, regardless of whom they choose for a partner, can legally marry in Kansas. That day will arrive sooner than even we expected -- even if it is much later than it should have been.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

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