By: Spenser Garber
On February 8, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government is in the process of expanding marriage privileges to same-sex couples in the United States. These privileges include filing for bankruptcy, testifying in court, and visiting family members in prison.
Many different departments in the President’s Cabinet announced last year that they will be extending privileges that are normally held for heterosexual couples to same-sex couples in the United States.
In August, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that they will recognize same-sex couples for federal tax purposes.
In September, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that same-sex couples will be granted veteran benefits. The Department of Labor stated in the same month that same-sex spouses may participate in benefits overseen by the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
In December, the U.S. Department of Education said that same-sex couples will be able to file for and receive financial aid.
While all of this is nice, it seems like the federal government is dodging the real issue at hand. The real issue is that same-sex marriage should be legalized. It is very socially and economically beneficial.
In our states, only 16 of them allow same-sex marriage, while another 3 are pending. Same-sex couples are still seen as taboo in nearly half the states, the ones who have no recognition for them.
When we look at the world scale, only 15 countries have federally legalized same-sex marriage. Eastern Europe has mostly legalized it. The Middle East and North African countries have imprisonment and/or death penalties when it comes to same-sex relationships, which is completely unacceptable.
What we can do right now is try to change our nation to a more accepting society. Relationships are all over the place, no matter what your sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage is a civil right that deserves to be recognized federally, and will be. It will just take time for America to realize that love can happen in many different varieties.