1999 Same Sex Marriage, Acceptance in the United States Marriage is much more than merely a commitment to love one another. Marriage entitles financial responsibility, as well as authorized financial benefits. It is the institution that provides automatic legal protection for the spouse, including medical visitation, inheritance of a deceased spouse's property, as well as pension and other rights. Society has become accustom to what they believe is "normal" by their traditions and religious beliefs. Many people believe that same-sex marriage is not "normal." The simple fact is that banning same-sex marriage is discrimination. Marriage is the basic human right that should not be denied to anyone. Marriage among minorities has come a long way in becoming accepted as "normal" in the eyes of society. Interracial marriage was prohibited, and unacceptable in the United States, until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in 1967. There is no reason that the federal government, or anyone for that matter, should restrict marriage to a predefined heterosexual relationship. Because it is the right of the homosexual legally, socially, and economically, matrimony between lesbian and gay couples should be accepted in the United States. Because our country has been founded on the Constitution, in which all men are created equal; we cannot deny the basic human and legal right of marriage to a class of individuals due to their sexual preference. Banning same-sex marriage has already been declared a violation of the constitution in the state of Hawaii. The case began in 1991 when three same-sex couples who had been denied marriage licenses, by the Hawaii Department of Health, brought a lawsuit to the state court against the director of the department. Hawaii law required couples wishing to marry Ramirez 2 to obtain a marriage license. New York Times reporter David Dunlap notes that while the marriage license did not explicitly prohibit same sex marriage at that time, it used terms of gender that clearly indicated that only heterosexual couples could marry.