By Kid Reporter ROSE MARSH, age 11
Six states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, which means that people of the same sex can get married. In most states it is not legal for same-sex couples to get married, even though the U.S. Constitution says everyone deserves equal protection of the law. In California, gay marriage was made legal by its highest court, but after that ruling, a majority of people decided to make same-sex marriage illegal in a statewide vote, or referendum. In February, a federal court ruled that the referendum violated the basic rights of gay people to equality under the U.S. Constitution. But it doesn’t stop there; the case will most likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the final decision will be up in the air.
The struggle to make gay marriage legal is also underway in New Jersey and Maryland. And, starting this June, same-sex couples in Washington state will be allowed to marry, as it becomes the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
What does “gay marriage” mean?
“Gay” refers to a man who is attracted to other men or a woman who is attracted to other women. In six states, couples of the same sex who love each other are now allowed to be legally married. These states are: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and also the District of Columbia.