To millions of Americans, the right to equality is being violated because of their sexual orientation. Federal and state Constitutional amendments that define marriage as between a man and a woman deny gay Americans these rights. These rights were/are violated when certain states ban gay marriage by law, when opposing gay marriage is based on religious views, and when pursuit of happiness is taken away from a gay american. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both give Americans the rights of Equal Protection Under Law, Freedom of Religion, and the Pursuit of Happiness. People who are LGBT are not getting treated equally and are even being discriminated in some cases. The fourteenth amendments states that there should be Equal Protection under the law. It protects individuals from arbitrary discrimination by government officials. In the map of the U.S. which showed which states allow gay marriage, only twenty one states allow some form of domestic partnership (“Current Status”) and the rest of the states ban gay equality.
As a country, equality is banned by law. The democratic ideal of equality was violated in this case. In the first amendment, it states that there should be freedom of religion, which includes freedom from religion. This is the separation of church and state. In an interview with president Obama, it said in 2004, Obama cited his own views saying that christian marriage was between a man and a woman (“President”). This shows that sometimes opposition to gay marriage is based on religious groups’ agendas. In the first amendment, the establishment clause says that government cannot favor one religion over another. They should not make laws that ban gay marriage just because of one religion. In the declaration of independence, it says that pursuit of happiness an unalienable right that the people have.
The pursuit of happiness means “The right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give them their highest enjoyment.” In some cases, if some one was found to be gay, they would often lose their job or lose friends, and they might not be treated the same way as they used to (The Associated Press).
In 2001, Dennis and Judy Shepherd were denied the right to the pursuit of happiness because their son, Matthew was stolen in an act of violence because he was gay (“Obama”). It was pretty hard for Matthew’s parents after such a big loss. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both gives Americans the rights of Equal Protection Under Law, Freedom of Religion, and the Pursuit of Happiness. In these three cases people who are LGBT are not getting treated equally and are being discriminated. All people should be treated equally and should be able to get married.