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Audrey Misner

Mr. Thompson
English 1301.15
October 14, 2016
Service for All
In this country, everyone seems to have an opinion on same-sex couples and marriage. A
large amount of the population that disagrees with it, does so based on religious beliefs and
teachings. Refusing to serve same-sex couples because of religious reasons should not be
permitted because it contradicts their first amendment right, denies them due process, and
prolongs the oppression same-sex couples have been battling for years.
In the first amendment, it clearly states that there should be a separation of church and
state. This is taken to mean that the government is prohibited from passing any type of law that
would establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another (Wex, First).
Because of this, citizens have the right to practice any religion they choose, without fear of
discrimination. While it does give religious freedom, it also gives the right to not practice
religion. Someone that is Catholic or Presbyterian would not be refused service because their
choice of religion. There are same-sex couples that attend church and praise god. It is biased and
judgmental of someone to look at a same-sex couple and decide they are against a religion. If
you cannot turn someone away because they are an atheist, you cannot turn them away because
of who they are partnered with.
Due process in the fourteenth amendment is defined simply as equal protection of the
law(s) (Wex, Fourteenth). This amendment has been a staple defense in cases involving racial
discrimination, gender discrimination, and many more. When the fourteenth amendment was
drafted, it was meant to protect the citizens rights of life, liberty, and property (Wex,
Fourteenth). Therefore, if a same-sex couple is denied service, they may be able to sue on the
grounds that they are being denied their basic right of life. People that are against this view may
claim that this amendment also classifies as equal protection for their religious beliefs, but

because of the first amendment, they are not allowed to shove their religious beliefs onto others.
The Supreme Court ruled that the state marriage bans against same-sex couples be lifted,
therefore making it legal for same-sex couples to be married in any state. In a 2015, a court clerk,
Kim Davis, denied a same-sex couple a marriage license after the Supreme Court ruling. Kim
also denied her employees from issuing them either, even if they were not against it. Although
she claimed she was working under gods authority, (Blinder and Pena) she was put in jail for
not abiding by the law. She was later released, and after appealing to the Supreme Court, they
ruled that Kim had no legal grounds to refuse to grant licenses to same-sex couples (Blinder
and Pena). Similar events have happened in many states, where people deny same-sex couples
service because of their own religious beliefs, and are sued for it. Activist supporting samecouples have stated that there is a difference between protections for clergy and houses of
worship that do not want to participate in same-sex marriage and the obligations of business
owners that serve the general public (Paulson and Santos). Businesses that refuse service to gay
couples are discriminating them for their sexual orientation, which should not be tolerated.
Same-sex couples have been oppressed for hundreds of years. Oppression is defined as a
sense of being weighed down in body or mind (Merriam-Webster). Making same-sex couples
worry about whether or not they will be offered a service because of their sexual orientation is
unacceptable. By denying them service, people are pushing back their movement for equality.
These couples have been forced to hide relationships from fear of rejection and discrimination.
Dont ask, Dont tell, the 17-year-old law that banned openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals
from military service (Bumiller), was finally repealed in 2011. These people were forced to hide
their true identity while fighting for our country. They have been forced to conceal their sexual
orientation due to jobs not wanting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community
members in high level positions. Same-sex couples have to fight on a daily basis for the right to

be who they are, whether it be with family, at work, or in public. Gay teens and young adults
have been kicked out of their homes by their parents, because of the sexual orientation they were
born with. Many LGBT teens are bullied in school, by teachers as well as students. After all of
this fighting, they should not be forced to fight for the right to have the same services provided to
them that the rest of the public is offered.
Religion should not have anything to do with providing services, unless it involves a
church or church event. A same-sex couple should be granted the same services offered to the
general public and not be turned away due to the religious beliefs of others. Denying them the
rights that are given to all in the constitutional amendments, should not be abided. An LGBT
member would not refuse service to someone because they were heterosexual. Same-sex couples
just want the same respect everyone else receives.

Works Cited
Blinder, Alan, and Richard Perez-Pena. "Kentucky Clerk Denies Same-Sex Marriage Licenses,
Defying Court." The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 Sept. 2015. Web. 05 Oct.
Bumiller, Elisabeth. "Obama Ends Dont Ask, Dont Tell Policy." The New York Times. The
New York Times, 22 July 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
Miller, April D. "Kim Davis Denied Me a Marriage License." Time. Time, 10 Sept. 2015. Web.
05 Oct. 2016.
Oppression." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
Paulson, Michael, and Fernanda Santos. "Religious Right in Arizona Cheers Bill Allowing
Businesses to Refuse to Serve Gays." The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Feb.
2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

Wex Legal Dictionary. Cornell University Law School. LII/ Legal Information Institute, n.d.
Web. 05 Oct. 2016.