Marriage equality is social justice, not politics

In November 2008, California passed Proposition 8, an amendment that officially banned same-sex marriage in the state. Prop. 8 has been viewed by many as unfair and discriminatory, and on Feb. 28, the White House issued a brief to the Supreme Court urging them to overturn the controversial law.

The brief presents the question of “whether Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

President Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage has recently become more pronounced, even more so now that the administration has decided to play an active role in a Prop. 8ß case that the Supreme Court will hear at the end of the month.

In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News in May of 2012, Obama stated his belief that same-sex couples should be able to get married, but that it was ultimately a matter for individual states to decide.

In the past, the president has even stated that his feelings on gay marriage are “constantly evolving.” He stated this at a White House press conference in December 2010.

Now, it is very clear that President Obama supports legalizing same-sex marriage. What is interesting is that the president has admitted to having struggled with the question because we now see that he has made a decision.

Some may argue that the president is just responding to pressures from external groups; however, this is beside the point. What matters is that he is willing to “change” his views in response to the changes going on in the country.

In his most recent inaugural address, the president declared that “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

There is now a need for the federal government to step in on this issue, and I think the Obama administration has finally realized this.

Although the brief does not address states that still don’t have civil unions, there is still some progress being made. If the White House feels the need to make a pronounced stand in a matter that is, in reality, a matter for a single state, there must be a reason.

The bottom line is, Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, or at the very least, a discriminatory and unfounded law with no place in modern society.

As the brief states, “Proposition 8’s withholding of the designation of marriage is not based on an interest in promoting responsible procreation and child-rearing—petitioners’ central claimed justification for the initiative—but instead on impermissible prejudice.”

It is exactly this “impermissible prejudice” that holds the entire country back and will only serve to deepen the growing rift between people of opposing viewpoints.

It is admirable that the administration has decided to step in on behalf of those individuals who are being discriminated against because of laws such as Prop. 8.

Whether or not you choose to believe that the president’s motives are worthy, the principle of these actions have the potential to move the country forward and provide justice to more people.

What needs to happen in order for us to create equality is that more people must take action. Even though this intervention by the current administration may seem overdue, what is important is that it is happening and will allow the country to move forward in terms of social justice.