I was born and raised in a little town in Vermont, right outside the state capital. As many know, Vermont was a forerunner in the same-sex marriage battle. In 2009, Vermont was the first state to allow same-sex marriage with a statute rather than a court order. That was a proud day for many Vermonters in the State House. I would know; I was there.
As an intern at the capital building in the spring of 2009, I wasn’t allowed to state my opinion about same-sex marriage or take any pamphlets from advocates on either side of the argument. I did sneak a “Support the right to marry” button into my bag to be worn after my internship ended. I clearly remember being in the House of Representatives on a day that the bill was being debated. The aisle down the middle of the room sharply spliced the same-sex marriage advocates from those who were against the entire proposal. Emotions ran high and tempers were hot through all of the discussions and all of the voting, but eventually the state reached a decision. Even though the governor vetoed the bill, his view was overridden by the voice of Vermonters (barely, but it still happened.) It was a proud day for our very small state.
Based on my experience in one of the smallest state capitals in the country, I can only imagine the intensity of the arguments that happened a few weeks ago in Washington D.C. at the Supreme Court. Supporters of both sides camped out in line for days to get seats and watch the action in the courtroom, though they will have to wait until June for any decision. Until then, every opinion writer and expert on the subject will try to predict the outcome of the court even though it’s honestly impossible to know which way the verdict will go.
I understand the argument that traditional marriage should be between a man and woman and that, as some conservatives believe, that the purpose of marriage is procreation. I respect all those that see the marriage in that way, I really do. But as a somewhat-liberal Vermonter, I am proud to be a supporter of same-sex marriage.
I have many wonderful friends who indentify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. It would be wrong for me to tell them they cannot have the same kind ofcompanionship I hope to find someday as a heterosexual. Everyone deserves the right to declare their love to someone else, regardless of the sex of the object of their love. Many same-sex couples that have been allowed to marry have adopted children out of the foster care system. I know of one pair in particular. They have been the best dads a child could have ever wished for. They are a loving couple and together they bring to their child’s life all of the positive characteristics people often only associate with heterosexual marriage. Without their marriage, the child would have probably remained in the foster care system for many more years. Now, he has a family to support him and love him. They have been absolutely wonderful parents and provided a great home for a child that might not have had that otherwise.
This decision by the court will be just as big as Brown vs. Board of Education and Roe vs. Wade in terms of effect and the repercussions it is sure to bring. This will definitely be one for our children’s history textbooks. Our country is slowly moving forward, and this is another crucial step in the path towards those words that our forefathers wrote so many years ago: “All men are created equal.”
Sanguinetti is a member of the class of 2015.