by Jennifer Mandelblatt & Izzy Smelkinson
France is now the fourteenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt, after le Sénat voted on April 11. While this country made history, the United States’ Supreme Court was (and still is) debating whether or not it should uphold California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.
The action of le Sénat mirrored President Francois Hollande’s 2012 Presidential Campaign promises.
That same year, with the words, “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to openly support gay marriage. This historical statement set a tone for current debate and legislation in this country. However, equality for all Americans—regardless of sexuality—is still in a far too distant future.
There was a time when this nation understood what it meant to be the leader of liberty and opportunity. Today we have forfeited that title to the power of religion, which, though it must be respected for its role in the lives of individuals, has no place in the governance of our people.
If the heavily Roman Catholic country of France can legalize same-sex marriage, why can’t the United States, a country founded on the principle of separation of church and state, begin making progress on this issue?
If America chooses progress both in legislation and in court ruling, we may not be the first to legalize same-sex marriage, but we can be the land of opportunity and protectors of “the Blessings of Liberty” as the Constitution promises.