Further, the American government and political system was built on multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-denominational principles (Marcel, 2004).
American is not a Christian nation, or at least it was not created on this ideology. Rather historically America has often been referred to as the 'melting pot' where people could seek refuge from persecution on the basis of religion or other practices or beliefs that might be considered personal and individual. Religious fundamentalism has not wrought success in other countries such as Saudi Arabia or for people living under the rule of the Taliban (Marcel, 2004), and thus is also likely to fail as the primary basis for government regulation in this country.
The role of government is to make decisions that support the good of the whole rather than the good of individuals; by nature the law should not determine whether or not something is morally correct or fair (Marcel, 2004). Rather the law should be utilized to determine what is just. The law has no place deciding what the definition of marriage should be, nor should religious fundamentalists.
In theory, if one admits that this country was founded on the principles of liberty for all, then American prosperity is "based on the freedom of thought and ideas, of inventing exploring and creating" (Marcel, 2004).
What does the passage of these amendments signify for gay citizens? Does it relegate them to a second class status? The passage of such amendments limits the rights and freedoms of gay citizens and does relegate them to second class status. It signifies an end of political and democratic freedoms and the beginning of religious fundamentalism as a political force dictating that which is right and that which is wrong within this country.
The question to be answered is whether judges or the American people have the right to legally decide what the definition of marriage is and is not. The passage of amendments defining marriage definitely asphyxiates the rights of gay people in the United States. It relegates them to second class citizens, because it prohibits them from enjoying the fundamental freedoms and rights guaranteed to other citizens purely on the basis of their sexuality and personal choices. It suggests that only some American people have the right to decide what the definition of marriage is, and that only some beliefs and morals are valuable elements of this countries foundation.
The passage of such amendments supports the notion that America is led by religious zealots and fundamentalists rather than political leaders dedicated to ensuring liberty and justice for all. It suggests that America is a country willing to uphold Christian fundamentalist principles regardless of how those principles affect the lives of millions of Americans living unique or alternative lifestyles.
These amendments targeting marriage as a basic human institution also re-define the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded, and suggest that church and state are inextricably linked rather than separate. It severely impacts the ability of all Americans particularly homosexual Americans to enjoy the right to basic freedom and expression.
Amendments such as this suggest that the values upon which this country was founded are no longer legitimate. Such laws suggest that American justice is changing, in a manner that is representative of a small class of citizens rather than the broad class of citizens that actually make up this country. They suggest that America should be a country that supports the religious ideals of Christian advocates rather than the ideals of a multi-national, multi-denominational and multi-dimensional society.
Passage of amendments like the one that defines marriage suppress individuals' rights to freedom and expression and send the message that only certain beliefs and morals are upheld in a country that claims to represent all mankind equally. It indicates that religious fundamentalism is not only creeping through the back door of politics, but starting to take over and dominate traditional practices and procedures but, this is what the people want.
Hagelin, R. "Defining Marriage: Who decides?" July, 2004. The Heritage Foundation.