Multimedia Reporting by Erin Valentine
Illinois will be the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States, effective as of June 2014. As of today, the 14 states that do allow same-sex marriage cover one-third of the US population.
In a poll done by Elon University in April of this year, 44% of North Carolina respondents supported same-sex marriage and 45% of respondents opposed same-sex marriage.
According to some Elon University students, same-sex marriage legalization is a necessity.
“I have definitely in the last few months seen a lot of progress,” said Elon junior Emily DeVito. “I think that maybe in the next five to six years we’ll see more than half of the states.”
DeVito also stated that equality between men and women is just as important as equality in marriage, and should be seen as similar issues.
“I think it definitely should be. I think it will definitely happen,” said Elon junior Tim Gillman. “When we say they can’t get married, it’s like we’re saying there’s something wrong with them.”
Elon junior Kelly Finneran stated that the right to decide the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to those who want to get married, not government officials.
“I don’t think people have the right to decide that marriage is only between people of different genders,” said Elon junior Kelly Finneran. “I think we should leave it up to the people who want to get married, not government officials. No one person can say ‘That’s right’ or ‘That’s wrong’ to have a sacred marital bond.”
Elon senior Teri Monroe believes that there needs to be more legislation to move the legalization of same-sex marriage forward.
“I’m also kind of a little disappointed in how slow it’s moving forward,” Monroe said. “It’s progress, but it’s been a long time coming.”
Elon University offers support systems and conversation venues for those interested in some of the issues surrounding same-sex marriage. In the Moseley Center, SPARKS Peer Educators have an office. SPARKS promotes healthy relationships, mental health and issues about sex and sexuality.
Elon University has programs such as Spectrum, Elon’s LGBT awareness organization, that welcome discussion with all sexual orientations.