Out With the Mississippi Ban

On June 26th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the ban of same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This monumental decision went to a 5-4 vote, becoming one of the most historic rulings in American history. While same-sex couples now have the right to marry in all 50 states, they still face bigotry and opposition that compel the belief that homosexuals are in some cases second class citizens. One major example is the ban of adoption by same-sex couples in the state of Mississippi. This ban is the next target for the LGBT community as it should be abolished in order to move one step closer to equality.

The state of Mississippi established the ban of same-sex adoption in the year 2000; however many people today think differently on the now 15 year old decision. The ban is so preposterous that former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove, who passed the law, is fully regretting his decision. Republican Senator Rob Portman has also come out recently to support the same-sex civil rights. Though Mississippi wasn’t the only state to ban adoption from homosexuals, it remains the last state to not overturn the ban. It seems as the years progress, more and more politicians change their mindset on the issue, by which supports the LGBT community. With ever-growing support from politicians, now is the time to challenge the Mississippi ban; which is exactly what a few same-sex couples have done.

This past Wednesday, four couples filed suit to the ban at a U.S. District Court in Jackson, Mississippi. Susan Hrostowski and Kathryn Garner are one couple challenging the ban. Garner gave birth to her son six months after the adoption ban was implemented. According to Hrostowski, the law “was a big blow that was devastating to us.” As a couple prior to their son’s birth, the two women have decided to fight the ban due to Hrostowski not being legally considered a family member of her child who she raised. How can same-sex couples be equal and feel free like majority of Americans if they cannot have a family? While it may not seem important to some heterosexuals, homosexuals have the right of establishing a family stripped from them.

Adoption goes beyond having the title of mother or father, which is often overlooked by people of the opposition- but evident in the case of Hannah and Donna Phillips. Like the couple challenging the law, the Phillips have a child who is the biological daughter of one of the mothers. Hannah’s main concern was stated clearly when she said, “We’ve had no problem, but I am in the military, so I could be called or activated at any time, and we are concerned about the legal aspects for Jan[Daughter] if something happened.” In other words, if Hannah were to pass away, Jan would be taken from the home and placed into foster care. A parent’s worst nightmare could become a reality for Donna if the ban is not uplifted.

To think that the ban only affects a few individuals would be blasphemy, as a study reported that at least 29 percent of same-sex-couple households in Mississippi were raising children younger than 18. This number may seem small, but it’s actually the highest percentage of any state. By allowing the ban to remain, would prevent all these families from basic human rights.

Raised in a same-sex household, I know what it’s like from firsthand experience While my father was also in my life, most of my upbringing was from my mother and step mother-due, due to my mother having majority custody. Throughout my youth and still to this day I witnessed a love that was inspiring and admirable. There was no difference in care from both, as they loved my siblings and me as much as they did each other. One argument by those against homosexual households is that a child growing up in a same-sex environment will ultimately become gay. This couldn’t be more wrong, as my siblings and I are all heterosexuals. Even if it made children gay, there’s no wrong in that, as people should be able to love whomever they wish. I haven’t experience any disadvantages to having same-sex parents, which a study has also discusses. Simply, there’s nothing wrong with being raised in a same-sex household. If anything, there are only benefits to a same-sex upbringing. At a very young age, I learned to never be ashamed of who I was and had more compassion towards others. This was mostly due to wanting equality for all. If more people experience same-sex households, the future generations would be more open minded and would fight for equality for all.

Not allowing gay couples to adopt isn’t only civilly unjust, but it’s shutting the doors on many foster children in dire need of a home. The prevention of same-sex couples adopting children is quite a double edged sword as both parties are affected. For the couple, they are being denied a family that they long for, and for children it gives them less odds to finding a home. Children in foster systems or orphanages already have a difficult time as they are less likely to make average progress in school systems. With this in mind, the ban generates an issue that affects the children of the United States as much as the LGBT community.

I believe that the root of the problem is the connection between church and state. Thomas Jefferson was the lead individual who proclaimed there should be a separation between church and state. The establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment states, “Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another.”

It’s evident that the heavy Christian basis of the country has had a major impact on laws and the political thought process. Homosexual relationships have been shunned by majority of churches, due to the belief that homosexual relations is a sin. With laws banning gay marriage and adoption having been implemented in our country’s history, it’s blatantly obvious that religious beliefs have seeped into the legislature of America. I support the notion that everyone has the right and freedom to practice a religion in this country, but they shouldn’t be able to push their beliefs so far, it affects others who oppose it. By implementing religious beliefs into legislature is goes against everything that America stands for thus, unconstitutional.

Similar to racism, the practice of homophobia is an act that should be removed from today’s society. Beyond the fact that it’s unconstitutional, the bigotry against homosexuals only causes more conflict within our borders. So many steps have been taken to eliminate the unfairness in society, but gay individuals are still being opposed. To truly be a country that so often proclaims “land of the free, home of the brave,” the citizens must come together and abolish the ban all together. By removing the law established by Mississippi, the LGBT would be one step closer to equality. The elimination of this ban would not only unite families together, but the nation as well.

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