Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues - Same-sex Marriage is Inevitable

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Same-sex Marriage is Inevitable

For many parents, the marriage of their child is a very happy and proud time. Most parents expect their children to get married and have children. But what if their child is gay or lesbian? Their child may have met the perfect person to spend their life with, but their child cannot get legally married. Same-sex couples can hold wedding ceremonies, but the law does not recognize these unions. Many heterosexuals take for granted the benefits that are extended to their spouse by way of legal marriage. These benefits do not extend to homosexual couples, because there is not a law that recognizes same-sex marriage. Gay marriage is not legal because of state and federal laws, as well as the traditional
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In order for a gay marriage law to be passed, the state would first have to repeal its sodomy law, or have it ruled unconstitutional. Hawaii's sodomy law was repealed through legislation action in 1973 (Bull 44), which helped open a window for a landmark case. In 1993, the case Baehr v. Lewin came before Hawaii's court system. It consisted of three couples, two lesbian couples, and one gay couple that sued the state of Hawaii to get the right to marry. The outcome of the case decreed that the practice of denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples was tantamount to sex discrimination under the Hawaii Constitution. (Foley 39) Furthermore, in December of 1996, a Hawaii circuit court judge found no compelling state interest in denying same-sex marriages. However, there is still no legal right to marry there, because Baehr v. Lewin is on appeal. (Kramer 1)

There are also many federal laws that have been passed that prevent legal gay marriage. Most of these laws stem from the bill (H R 3396), the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), passed by the US House of Representatives in 1996. DoMA was drafted largely in response to the Baehr v. Lewin ruling. It contains two main points. The first item of significance in DoMA is that it sets forth official definitions of the words "marriage" and "spouse". Marriage is officially now defined as a union between a man and a woman,
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