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Overturned laws good step towards gay rights

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling and stated that laws that regulate the sexual conduct between consenting adults are unconstitutional. This clarification has been long overdue and is a big step toward ensuring gay rights, as well as civil rights in general.

By declaring such laws unconstitutional, laws in states like Texas that made specific sexual unions between partners of the same sex illegal have been overturned. The same applies to states like Florida that condemned certain sexual practices, no matter if the partners were of the same sex or not.

While officials in Florida have stated that the law punishing “any unnatural and lascivious act” between two consenting adults with up to 90 days in jail, have not been enacted in years, it still meant there was a legally-backed stigma attached to gay couples.

The suicide rate among homosexual teenagers is twice as high as among heterosexuals of the same age group. That fact alone demonstrates how much stress is imposed on homosexuals by society.

There is no reason to make life for people trying to come to terms with their identity even harder than it already is. The last thing young people, struggling to understand and accept their sexuality and explain it to others, need is a law condemning their lifestyle and the possibility of a law official arresting them for it.

Now that these laws have been overturned, further steps to ensure the rights of gay couples, as well as individuals, can and should be taken.

There is no reason to condemn an entire group of our society based on their sexual preferences any more than there is a reason to condemn them for religious or racial reasons.

Neither should there be a limitation to their rights as couples. Currently, only Vermont allows civil unions between members of the same sex, which poses many problems. Other than tax reasons, being married to somebody also entitles the partner to visit them in the hospital in case of an emergency. It also allows partners to make decisions if the other is in a life-threatening position, for example authorizing the usage of life support..

It is long overdue that the stigma attached to same sex couples is abolished. It also should be of no ones concern what goes on between two consenting adults, be it of the opposite sex or not.