Why “gay marriage” is important

June 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

Since President Barack Obama announced his support for marriage equality, political pundits have argued over the motivation behind his decision.

Regardless of the motivations behind the announcement, the lack of federal recognition of same-sex marriages is seriously impacting the lives of LGBT Americans. As the president pointed out, nowhere are the problems of marriage inequality more apparent than with those who bravely serve this country in the armed forces.

Due in part to the Defense of Marriage Act as well as a failure of the Department of Defense to update its regulations, the military treats heterosexual military families completely differently from gay and lesbian military families.

Simply put, gay service members and their families are treated as “second-class.” The Defense Department does a tremendous job of taking care of its heterosexual families; however, it completely fails to take care of its gay and lesbian military families.

Spouses and domestic partners of gay and lesbian service members are simply denied access to the support systems and benefits in place to help deal with the military lifestyle.

Because of this lack of support, these military families are sacrificing even more for their country than their heterosexual counterparts.

…All of our service members and their families should receive the support they deserve, not just the heterosexual ones.

To continue to deny equal benefits to gay and lesbian service members is a horrible disgrace to our great nation. Considering they put their lives on the line for us, the least we can do is give them the dignity, respect, and support they deserve.

Denying them the ability to marry the one they love is not the answer for a nation committed to liberty and justice for all. This is why marriage equality is important.

Stephen L. Peters II, a Marine veteran and husband of an active duty Marine currently deployed to Afghanistan, is the president of the American Military Partner Association, www.militarypartners.org. He lives in Carlsbad, Calif.

Read the full article from kansascity.com.
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