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It’s frustrating that this article is about “same-sex marriage,” why not just “marriage?” It shouldn’t have to be labeled. When a man and a woman get married, it is not called “heterosexual marriage” or “straight marriage.”

The Constitution protects the rights of all couples:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Because a person is gay, he or she is going to be denied the rights of a U.S. citizen? They pay taxes, obey the law and want to marry the person they love. In that sentence, can you tell whether they are straight or gay? No, because sexuality doesn’t make a person any less of a citizen.

It is clear same-sex marriage makes some people uncomfortable because it’s different than what they grew up knowing as the American dream. The only thing is, how do we know that they aren’t uncomfortable with heterosexual marriage? Turn around the circumstances: Heterosexual marriage becomes illegal. Now what? Would you be offended? Would you think, “That’s absurd?” Would you ask, “Why can they marry and I can’t?”

Walk in someone else’s shoes and feel what they feel. Americans are lacking empathy. The United States is known for freedom and justice. Unfortunately, not everyone is receiving it.

Alexandra Zurbrick is a sophomore at Orchard Park High School.