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University of the District of Columbia Law Review

Abstract

Traditionally, Blacks and women have been denied their constitutional rights based strictly on race and sex. This brand of disenfranchisement has in many instances made these groups feel like "second class" citizens. Although recently, these groups have been able to share in some rights previously withheld, the "playing field of equality of rights" is still not level. For example, women still earn less pay for comparable work performed by their male counterparts. Blacks continue to be shut out of the system based strictly on race. Just as women and Blacks have been denied their rights, other groups have suffered similar indignities. In recent years a new disenfranchised group has emerged demanding their equal rights also. This groups' disenfranchisement is not based on race, gender, national origin or any other immutable characteristic that has been deemed worthy of protection by the courts. This new group-has been stigmatized and discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. Although this group has made gains in recent years, they contend that they not only want to be treated as "normal" people, but they too demand equal rights. Chief among these rights, they demand the right to marry.

First Page

269

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