April 9th, 2012 was a day for history books. That was the day when our American president finally chose that upholding the constitution should be raised against all personal biases people my hold. At 3:30 PM, Obama stated in a press conference that he supports gay marriage, a statement that has the ability to change the course of society. Obama told ABC News today that he backs gay marriage and believes that anyone who is willing to fight in the army should be allowed to marry who they love.
For a long time now, gay marriage has been condemned by many groups, making them a minority that is hated by people from rednecks to religious Christians. This hatred, however, can slowly evolve to become a power in court ruling. In 1986, the Boy Scouts of America created a huge controversy over gay rights. This battle has continued and as of last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the Boy Scouts to continue discrimination against gay men.
The woman above was recently asked to leave as a Boy Scout troop leader due to her being gay. This controversy is absurd and unconstitutional. During a previous ruling by the Supreme Court during the Loving v. Virginia case, it was stated by the court:
“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”
While this may have been specific to racism in this case, the truth is that the fourteenth amendment protects all men as equal, no matter their gender, race, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Obama’s new ruling will undoubtedly become a major factor in future court cases involving the rights of gay men and women. This is why Obama’s words will make a difference.
There has always been one problem brought forth for presidential candidates: how to target the youth. Last year had one of the biggest turnouts for youth votes. Every year there is an increase in votes by citizens between 18 and 29, those who are considered the youth. A majority of the time, these voters are the ones who vote more than the other voters for that year.
(PEW Research Center)
Youth voters have become more and more of a deciding factor in presidential elections. When the candidates spend more time targeting the youth, they tend to win for that year. According to PEW Research Center, in the most recent election in 2008, Obama spent more time than McCain on targeting the youth. TIME Magazine named 2008 as The Year of Youth Vote. Although the youth vote itself did not win the vote, the youth’s conversation with their families as well as their work towards spreading their views through technology lead to Obama’s victory. Youth have a stronger voice than most people believe. An example is the recent Kony 2012 campaign, when the youth made a stand to have the government send troops to Uganda. With even a little bit of passion, the youth can change the course of American government.
According to US News, Obama is already ahead in the youth polls. Mitt Romney is also attempting to target the youth, however Obama’s college visits have put him ahead with those under 30. According to Real Clear Politics, Obama is also ahead in the polls overall, partly due to the youth vote.
(PEW Research Center)
Youth vote will be a major factor this year also because of the topics that are relevant in this election. Between birth control, abortions, sexual orientation, and other social topics, the youth are the key targets for this year’s campaigns. Today’s youth are more in touch with these issues that past generations and due to this they will be major contributers to te election. Through every election, the youth are necessary to win the vote.