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The 14th Amendment

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Essay title: The 14th Amendment

Is it true that there are certain groups of citizens within the United States that are not fully protected by the 14th amendment? According to the14th amendment, section one, “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.” There are to this day instances in which the Constitution is questioned. More often than not, these cases do not make it past the U.S. District Courts. A few groups of people in the United States believe that they are not fully protected by the 14th amendment. These groups of people are to include but not limited to, gays and lesbians, juveniles, and the disabled. In all cases there have been lawsuits regarding their rights to equal treatment and equal protection. Some may say that with the outcome of these past cases, the problems have been remedied, but there seems to always be room for a case to arise, as history shows.

Throughout many years, gays and lesbians have been discriminated against and have been the object of many hates crimes. There are many cases in court to this day, on whether or not gay marriages should be allowed. There are a variety of questions to be asked when looking at what rights do gays and lesbians have, since they do not share the same traditional family structure. Laws had to be put into effect and laws had to be changed. Some questions to be asked are as follows. Are gays allowed to have custody of a child? Adopt a child? Should they be allowed to serve in the United States military? Are they legally allowed to be married and have the same rights as a man and woman family? For the answers to most of these questions, it depends on what state your in. As for the military, the U.S. Department of Defense viewed homosexuality as incompatible with the armed forces to include the Coast Guard. In 1993 President Bill Clinton modified this policy to, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” That meant enlistees would not be asked about their sexual orientation upon entering or while serving their country. The questions to which gays and lesbians bring about have not been remedied but will only with time.

Juveniles and the disabled are somewhat discriminated against but not in the same way that gays and lesbians are. There are no hate crimes that can be made against these two groups. The 26th amendment to the Constitution, ratified on July 1, 1971, reads as follows: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. The reason why the age was moved from twenty-one to eighteen was because if you could fight your countries’ war, in other words enlist into the military, than you should have a stake in public policy. Eighteen is the age that you officially

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