By: Web Editor Nithya Rajeev
Voices compiled by 2015-2016 Staff Writers
Disclaimer: Staff writers used convenience sampling when gathering these voices via social media. Due to the overwhelming number of responses received, only a small portion were chosen to be published. The responses below are representative of the group of responses initially received.
On June 26, the United States Supreme Court deemed it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to, and not recognize, couples of the same gender. In this 5 to 4 ruling, the United States became the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage. Here’s what 2015-16 MSJ students had to say about the ruling itself, and the reaction in the days that followed.
“A fitting word concerning the ruling would be ‘inevitable.’ The backlash may not be short-term but ultimately, what’s done has been done. America is moving forward.” -Lydia Chew, 11
“I honestly don’t know too much about the whole same sex marriage issue, but I feel that while people should be granted freedom to do what they please (as long as they aren’t doing anything like hurting others), for me it’s socially awkward and hard to grasp one’s head around that idea. The ruling itself didn’t really surprise me, but I do find it interesting that so many people are pro same sex marriage despite the social norm. In my opinion, the social norm, in terms of marriage, is obviously something my parents are an example of: simply just opposite genders marrying each other since, of course, that is mostly what has been happening until now. In a way, it’s pretty much like that is what most people have accepted as society’s standards.” Jessica Cao, 12
“It was just a matter of time before it happened. It’s definitely something that should have happened a while ago, if it even needed to be brought before a court. I’m a little surprised that the ruling was a 5-4 ruling, meaning that 4 of the Supreme Court Justices still believe that gays should not be allowed to marry. Considering the fact that these are representatives of the national government of a major nation, it was shocking that they would continue to be so closed minded. I was pleasantly surprised that there were no violent incidents following the ruling, though many people expressed their distaste in brutal manners online, but they are entitled to free speech just as gays are now entitled to marriage.” -Shivam Parikh, 12
“I am incredibly full of plentiful delight knowing that gay marriage is now legal in the U.S. It shows how love, in the end, will indeed win. However, it also shows the humble progress that we can achieve in 2015. To think it would take SO long, for people to open up their minds. This just proves that even though many people can be stubborn, we can make a change and settle for what’s right. I don’t know if I was ‘surprised’ about that ruling myself. I knew in my heart that people would make the right decision and pass the law. I believe the surprise is how long it took. For the aftermath, I was shocked how some people protested AGAINST it, even after it was passed. This historic act can be an example to show who we really are as a species of humans.” -Albert DangVu, 11
“Well, I believe that what the supreme court [sic] did was beyond noble. America is moving ahead as a country and I think rather than to sit here in awe we should embrace it . But one issue truly upset me, is that it was a 5-4 ruling. The closeness depicts that Americans are still unsure about this cause. What I do not understand is what there is to be conflicted about. Love is love, whether is [sic] with a woman/man is not what matters. Even though many people fail to comprehend this message, they will soon realize how extremely joyful everyone was on pride day and how the ruling caused tremendous happiness for many same sex couples, and learn to understand. That aside, love prevailed, and I am truly happy for the United States of America. Make this a milestone for us, and I am finally proud to call myself an American.” -Shreya Hegde, 10
“Honestly, I’m not affected by the ruling in any way so I don’t mind which way the ruling went. However, I believe that everybody should be given the right to be with whoever they want, and that all this hate against gay marriage is uncalled for. I mean, those who are against gay marriage aren’t even going to be affected by it. There are so many heterosexual couples around the world and nothing changed about them after this ruling. So I believe this ruling could have been made long ago. I mean straight couples are allowed to be with whoever they want. Why was there so much debate on giving gay people the same rights too? Also, I was surprised by the huge reaction to it. Of course it’s an amazing ruling, but honestly, I feel like it’s really only for gay people or anybody related to them. Other people can be happy, of course, but there were so many rainbows all over social media. Then again, we just did give a portion of mankind back their natural rights, so I guess it could be justified.” -Kousheyo Kundu, 11
“I think it’s great that the same sex couples finally got the rights they deserve. I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to determine who someone can and cannot love. I’m happy that America is taking such a progressive step and setting precedent for other countries to follow. After the ruling was announced that day, I expected to see such celebration. The movement has been going on for a long time and reaching such a milestone is a huge accomplishment. The celebration is truly deserved” -Rushali Kothari, 12
“Well… this might get judgement, but I personally am against gay marriage, so I felt a little conflicted hearing the news. That doesn’t mean I hate gays, by any means. One of the coolest people I know is gay, and I love him! I don’t think that being gay is the right thing, but I do think that gay marriage rights being an individual choice is the right thing, and if your choice was to be gay, then I’d definitely still support and love you. After that whole thinking process, my conflictions became an overall content feeling. I guess. My personality keeps me from having strong opinions about almost everything, but I’ve concentrated all of my sparse, intermittent feelings into this paragraph. With all the hype about LGBT rights in the past years, at least to me, it seemed rather obvious that the ruling went the way it did. Pride parades were expected! Who wouldn’t want to celebrate couples who’ve been waiting years and years to marry the one they love. I guess I was kinda surprised there were more haters than I thought.” -Emily Jean, 10
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