Legislation leads to liberation

Senate passes bill to protect same sex marriages

Jaylen Gladney, A&C Copy Editor

The Supreme Court has recently passed a legislative law protecting same-sex marriage. This has granted a sense of relief for same-sex couples. (Lauralai Gilbert)

On Nov. 30, 2022 the Senate passed H.R.8404, an important bill which supports and protect the rights of same-sex marriages. This marks a major milestone for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community as it creates new opportunities. This act does more than defend same sex marriages as it also pushes people to respect them as well. While also pushing for respect and equality H.R.8404 also goes against The Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Federal Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996, preventing the recognition of same sex marriages that had been approved under states laws. The bill also allowed states to refuse of recognition of same-sex married couples which caused a lot of issues for same-sex couples. Such as high stress levels and decreasing mental health.

“Social stress resulting from stigma, prejudice, and discrimination—’minority stress’—negatively impacts sexual minority individuals’ health and relational well-being,”  researchers from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH) found. “Being in a same-sex couple can result in exposure to unique minority stressors not accounted for at the individual level.”

The same-sex marriage protection bill prevents states from refusing to recognize same-sex couples that got married in a different state where same sex marriages are permitted. This is important for same-sex couples because it’s important for them to to feel appreciated and to feel a sense of belonging. 

H.R. 8404 ensures that the government cannot decide what a true and valid relationship should look like. Instead it is up to the people to make their own relationship values. This is imperative because having someone else decide whether or not a relationship is valid can be frustrating especially when couples are questioned for it. 

More so than opposite sex couples, same-sex couples suffer from multiple difficulties working against them such as the stress that society inflicts on them because they are of the same sex.This is called minority stress and it happens to be a very real and harmful condition that many couples have to endure. 

“Couple-level minority stressors may be experienced by individual partners or jointly by couples as a result of the stigmatized status of their relationship, in and of itself,” NIH said. In other words, when their intimate relationships are devalued or diminished by society, individuals may face hardships or adversity as a result.”

H.R. 8404 is important in the journey to destigmatizing same-sex couples in the United States. Not only does it validate same-sex marriages towards society, but it also helps relieve the couple-level minority stressors mentioned by the NIH. Though the LGBTQ+ community still faces many hurdles, this senate decision is an important step towards progress.