To the editor:
The recent state bans on same-sex marriage are as discriminatory and unconstitutional as the Jim Crow laws and segregation, and they must be eliminated.
Before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the country unconstitutionally denied African Americans the basic civil rights that every citizen should have. The same type of injustice is being committed today. The majority of Americans consider gays and lesbians as people undeserving of the same rights as the rest of us and think they should not be allowed to marry, simply because of who they are. Many states, as well as Kansas, have passed legislation that strips gay Americans of this right.
Fifty years ago, our country took a stand to stop this kind of unlawful discrimination. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Brown v. Board of Education decision interpreted the 14th Amendment to truly allow "equal protection" for all Americans and eliminated the idea of "separate but equal." Yet, it seems as though we have all forgotten these important rulings as we continue to deny gay Americans the right to marry.
We have slipped back into another era of intolerance and disregard for constitutional law. Even the unlawful "separate but equal" stance has returned in the granting of supposedly equal civil unions for gay couples. The previous era started its downfall with the Brown decision, which was forced upon many Americans. It is time to make our own forceful decision and to do the right thing: legalize same-sex marriage.