Unfortunately, elected officials frequently do succumb to political pressures and fail to do what is right. Those are the times to thank our founding fathers for creating a Republic (rather than a Democracy) with three legs to stand upon - executive, legislative, and judicial. As the one of the three parts that is not directly elected, the judicial branch of government has the luxury to make decisions that protect the rights of all Americans without fear of being ousted by public outcry. All to often, minority rights have been obtained through the courts, and only through the courts. The courts, rather than Congress, did right for all Americans by ending school segregation in 1954, legalizing contraceptives in 1965, legalizing interracial marriage in 1967, and ending gender discrimination in hiring in 1971.
Since the days of the American Revolution there has been a gap between the rhetoric of American Freedom and its practice. The Declaration of Independence states that "All men are created equal," yet the Constitution describes "free Persons" in contrast to "other Persons" (slaves), and both documents address only the rights of males. We have come so far, and yet we still have so far yet to travel until everyone's rights are legally protected, and farther still until acceptance for the equal rights for all becomes commonplace.