by Deona Hooper, MSW
Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear opening arguments on the constitutionality of California’s Prop 8 which denies marriage equality to same sex couples. Before I go any further, I want to state that my Faith and Belief in God does not prohibit me from supporting Marriage Equality as a constitutional right under the Law. Let me explain! First, my religious beliefs are a guide for my behavior, and I don’t expect someone to impose their religious beliefs on me no more than I would impose my will on them. Secondly, using religion as basis to legislate against same-sex marriage as moral wrong would require the same litigant to argue that legalized prostitution in Nevada is an accepted religious practice. It is not my place to demand others navigate their lives based on my moral compass especially when their lives have no affect on how I live mine.
I was looking at the news the other day when I saw this video of a 12 year old little boy who wrote Justice Roberts a letter asking that his two Dads be allowed to marry. This little boy along with his sister and another brother were placed in foster care. His brother was adopted, but he wasn’t because of his health care needs. I have seen first hand same-sex couples who have been discriminated against by social services agencies/social workers who would rather leave a child in foster care than place them in the home of a loving same-sex couple. Most importantly, as a social worker, I should not have the right or the ability to deny a child from a viable adoptive or foster care same-sex couple placement because it conflicts with my personal/religious beliefs. In my opinion, the decision would be cruel, inhumane, and unconstitutional because it fails to consider the needs of unwanted or abused child who could benefit from inheriting a loving family who desperately want children.
Here is the Youtube video of this young man, Daniel Martinez-Leffew, reading his letter to Chief Justice Roberts. If this does not convince you that marriage inequality is wrong, you are too self-absorbed to see beyond yourself.
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