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Article published January 1, 2013
Amesh A. Adalja, M.D. Penn Township
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 — two barriers to same-sex marriage — give the court the opportunity to recognize that civil rights are not subject to limitation because of religious tenets. The entire opposition to same-sex marriage stems from religious intolerance of homosexuality and the unfortunate monopoly religion holds on the concept of “marriage,” neither of which should be given any credence with respect to governmental decisions. Consenting individuals are free to enter into any contract they wish, including marriage. The government’s role is only to recognize and enforce the terms of the contract, not stipulate the gender of the contracting parties. As former Vice President Dick Cheney rightly stated, “People ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish” because “freedom means freedom for everyone.”