As some may know, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law restricting marriage benefits and inter-state marriage recognition to only opposite-sex marriages. Specifically, the hearing was an effort to decide whether DOMA should be considered constitutional, with those in opposition arguing that it keeps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual couples from exercising their full rights as American citizens.
As expected, the court did not come to a conclusive decision after the hearing, but analysts sincerely doubt the law’s continued existence will last for much longer. This is a good thing.
What those individuals arguing against same-sex marriage have to understand is that federally-recognized, fully benefitted same-sex marriage is inevitably going to happen. It is not even a matter of whether it is “right.” Barring consenting adults from performing a legal, non-destructive act is a violation of the civil rights that the government has already established for the public.
Even though DOMA concerns itself primarily with marriage, its presence affects every aspect of how the LGBT community will be perceived going forward. More than a legal issue, DOMA is perceived by many in the LGBT community as one of the remaining symbolic hurdles that has to be cleared.
Its repeal would be seen by many as a sign that people of any sexual orientation would be put on equal footing, and that any LGBT person would not, and should not, have to feel discriminated against.
This is why, for the sake of LGBT students, DOMA should be officially declared unconstitutional.
Schools should ideally be a place free of discrimination, and every aspect should be for the accommodation of education and having new experiences with a diverse range of people. What it should not be is alienating.
How many great students or friends have been denied a chance to reach their full potential because they felt they were not given equal opportunity from their classmates or even teachers?
Though it would not be the end of all LGBT civil rights issues, swift and definitive action should be taken against DOMA as a signal of great progress being made in the pursuit of equality. And as we all know, equality is a building block that all great universities should be built on.