In Favor of Marriage Equality

By:  Rep. Mark Takano
American Legion Magazine

At the end of April the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case about families. Though much of the discussion will involve lofty issues including civil rights, liberty, and individual freedom, in truth what the Court will be deciding is if ours will be a nation that values some families more than others. I am hopeful that the Justices will stand on the side of all of America’s families — all of America’s children — and ensure that loving, committed couples will have their relationships honored no matter what state they live in.

As I write this, American children of same-sex couples are waking up, eating breakfast, and heading to school. Like their peers, they represent the hope for our country’s future. They will be our police officers, our firefighters, our teachers, our doctors, and our soldiers, in the decades to come. Families are as diverse as we are as a nation and come in all shapes and sizes. When two parents have made the decision to raise a family, we have a responsibility to ensure that their family has every opportunity to succeed. For children of same-sex couples, that means giving them the stability of the legal and social benefits of marriage.

Today, millions of same-sex couples are denied the fundamental right to marry, and their children live in uncertainty. Even if their parents are married in one state, that marriage may cease to be recognized if a job or military reassignment requires the family to cross state lines. No parents should have to choose between moving to improve their family’s financial security or staying in a state where their family is recognized. Unfortunately, in today’s America, many families have to make that decision.

America’s LGBT citizens contribute to our prosperity, serve in our military, and are an essential part of the fabric of our nation. We, and our children, deserve the stability and freedom that comes with marriage. No matter where we live.