I'm the typical college student. I can name five recipes that use Ramen, I have a separate budget for Starbucks and the ability to function with sleep deprivation, and I still don't have a definite idea of what to do with my life. Like most UCF students my age, I've even had fleeting thoughts of my future, of the career, spouse and children I will one day surely have.
Unlike most of my peers, though, it wasn't until recently that the right to marry within my home-state became granted to me.
It's been more than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law limiting marriage acknowledgement to "one man and one woman." This court decision left the right to marry couples of the same sex to each individual state to decide.
Florida was sticking by its ban on same-sex marriage, though. In March, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging Florida's refusal to recognize marriages performed outside the state and acknowledged by the federal government.
It wasn't until Aug. 21 that U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle deemed Florida's ban unconstitutional. The ACLU of Florida has reported that, "As Judge Hinkle put it: 'Those who enter opposite-sex marriages are harmed not at all when others, including these plaintiffs, are given the liberty to choose their own life partners and are shown the respect that comes with formal marriage.'"
Though Florida won't be issuing marriage licenses to couples of the same sex for a temporary period, Florida is on its way to becoming the 20th U.S. state that now allows them.
Although I have no definite plan to get married, it's nice to know the ability to marry has become available. Now, the plans I have of my future — of graduating and finding a career, getting married and raising children with my spouse — seem to be more within reach.
I understand there are people who disagree with this court decision and I respect their beliefs, but I find it unlikely that love can be viewed as wrong.
Why should a couple not have the freedom to enter a union, and have that union legitimized by the government, regardless of their sex?