The problem with the issue of gay marriage is being faced across the country. This issue has grown in popularity as we have progressed through our stages of taboo to acceptance of gays and their lifestyle. The media and remodels have expressed their acceptance of the issue by exploring the lifestyle and publicizing it. Now California has moved to the forefront of modern attempts to eliminate the codified restrictions on their life. With a high gay population and being one of the most populated states California has been the foreground for the step to make gay marriage deemed unconstitutional.
This act was passed to define and protect the institution of marriage which is supposed to be “between a man and a woman”. As a tactic, the state of Vermont promoted same sex marriages by labeling them as “civil unions” (Schowengerdt, 2002). The state of Vermont felt civil unions would provide gays and lesbians with the same financial benefits as heterosexual couples (Stewart, 2004). In 1998, Hawaii’s stated legislation implemented the DOMA amendment that altered the state’s constitution and rejected same sex marriages (Schowengerdt, 2002). Between 1995 and 2000, 28 states passed laws preventing the recognition of same sex marriages (Schowengert, 2002). The purpose of the DOMA was to prevent gays and lesbians from “exporting same sex marriages to other states” (Finnis, 1997). A Florida Federal Judge denied two women recognition of their marriage which took place in Massachusetts. As a result of this denial, attemtps were made to force other states and the federal government to recognize same sex marriages in states where it is legal (Stewart, 2003).
From slaves and immigrants to women and gays, America has struggled with the principle of equality for all people. A principle that is clearly laid out in the 14th amendment of The United States Constitution, “No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” (14th Amendment Section 2) And yet the rights of millions Americans have be infringed upon from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s to even more recent history such as Gay rights. African Americans, Immigrants, women, and homosexuals toil till this day to achieve freedom from discrimination in a country that was built on the idea of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Whether we like it or not, discrimination is a problem that has been occurring for thousands of years and is one that will continue to occur for years to come. American history has seen its share of discrimination, perhaps none more evident than the mid-19th century. Political tensions between northern and southern states concerning states’ rights and slavery sent the country into turmoil. The bloodiest battle in American history soon began and the country would never be the same again. However, after the conclusion of the war at Appomattox Court House, the definition of American citizenship and personal liberties would be changed forever. Unfortunately, discrimination has continued to take place within the nation’s borders against other groups of people. Recently, discrimination against homosexual individuals has been quite an intense topic of debate. Although I do understand the logic behind people’s beliefs, it is astonishing to me that there are people in this world that aggressively disallow others to be who they are and live the life that they so choose to live. Persecution of others for religious or political beliefs, although understandable, is a devastating problem to the entire world. In my eyes, how can America be the land of the free and the home of the brave when citizens are unable to be free in their choices and are forced to be brave to act against these unethical doings? We have seen reforms take place to minimize discrimination throughout
According to DOMA, “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife” (sec 3). Until recently 2013, the US Supreme Court finally delivered the verdict that declared section 3 of the DOMA, which is the rejection of right to gay marriage is unconstitutional (Shapiro 208). In “Gay Marriage Is A Fundamental Right” by Nathan Goetting, “The right to many, and to marry the person of one's choice, is a fundamental right and a necessary aspect of human happiness. This has been an explicitly stated abiding principle since the Court used its power of judicial review to strike down as unconstitutional a legislature's definition of marriage in 1967.” Currently, 17 states in the United States have legalized the right to same sex marriage. The realization of DOMA is unconstitutional has further evidenced that gay marriage is one of the civil right that should not be taken away by the government, and it is an inevitable changes that open doors for equality and equity.
The Defense Marriage Act is also known as DOMA. This act has been around for decades and continues to change over the years to shape individuals rights and needs. Individual’s perception of marriage equality is constantly evolving, and the number of government officials that recognize same-sex marriage is constantly changing (Rodriguez & Blumell, 2014). This act not only affects the LGBTQ community and their families, but also affects the whole nation. Many have different opinions on the topic and what should be in the Defense Marriage Act. Some were elated with the recent decision in the summer of 2013 the LGBT community where included in the Defense Marriage Act. This arose when the language of section (2) in the DOMA, was defined as unconstitutional
According to the Williams Institute, in the United States homosexuals are a minority, making up only three and a half percent (3.5%) of the adult population. Although it sounds like few people, that is over eight million adults who are being denied their basic rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is unjust for American citizens who pay taxes, work, and live like other Americans to not have the same rights because they love someone who is the same gender as they are. A fraction of the United States does allow same-sex marriages, but it is not allowed in all states, and it is unconstitutional to deny homosexuals their basic human rights in any area of the United States. Although America is slowly progressing towards equality, the United States is falling far behind the rest of the world,
The Defense of Marriage Act was a law passed by Congress stating that individual states were not required to recognize same-sex marriage licenses issued by other states. President Bill Clinton signed the bill in 1996 (ABC Clio). The act also defined marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, which had never been clearly defined before. Most importantly, it prevented same-sex couples from recieving federal benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and social security (Sprigg). The overruling of this act in 2013 forced states to recognize same-sex marriage licenses given by other states (Supreme Court). It also acted as a step towards same-sex marriage legalization, which took place in a seperate ruling in 2015. Edith
It’s been a while since same-sex marriage was legalized in California, but before it was legal they had to go thru a lot to make it happen. In 2000, same sex marriage was denied in California; Bay Area was the only area that the majority was supporting gay marriage all the other regions were against it. Republican state Sen. William Knight said that California wasn’t ready for same-sex marriage, he also believed that gay marriage would “violate the natural law”. In 2005, The state Assembly, in a stunning victory for the gay rights movement, approved a landmark bill allowing same-sex marriage Tuesday night and sent to Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008, there was a petition asking the California Supreme to order all 58 county clerks throughout California to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
One reason why LGBT Americans are mostly treated unfairly is because currently, LGBT Americans only have a handful of rights. One of the biggest milestones was when on June 26th, 2015, LGBTQ+ marriage was legalized at a federal level in all 50 of the United States. And the LGBT community is popping up more and more in the media. This article states "The struggle of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) people for equal rights has moved to center stage. LGBT people are battling for their civil rights in Congress, in courtrooms and in the streets. Well-known figures are discussing their sexual orientation in public. Gay and lesbian people are featured in movies and on television - not as novelty characters, but as full participants in society." (“The Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People”). In some states, discrimination of LGBT people is illegal. LGBTQ+ people's lives are improving, and the amount of laws protecting them is growing. Slowly but surely, full protection is drawing nearer.
The right to same sex marriage has been involved within the Constitution as part of Amendments V, VIII, and XV. Marriage is both global and central. All across our country, in every region, every social class, every race and ethnicity, every religion or non-religion, people get married. Same sex marriage was a division of social and political. An example of a court case dealing with same sex marriage is Baehr v. Lewin. In 1993, Hawaii’s high court issues first-of-a-kind ruling that a barrier to marriage is discrimination, launching the freedom to marry movement. Three years later in 1996, a full trial took place and was decided that the same-sex couples are entitled to marriage licenses. Later in 1998, Hawaii amends its constitution with regard to marriage by exempting same-sex couples from protection of equality guarantee, giving legislature the power to define marriage as limited to a man and a woman. However, a year later in 1999, Baehr v. Lewin Hawaii’s high court rules that Hawaii’s constitution no longer protects lesbian and gay individuals with regard to their freedom to marry. As in today, some states in the United States did not approve the right for same sex marriage. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states. According to the Supreme Court Justice page, “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to
The LGBT community has made new laws each day to bring equality to all. “Throughout its, America has symbolized equality of opportunity for people of all races, origins, religions and creeds, serving as a beacon of hope for anyone seeking a better life. However, despite its founding principles of equality and acceptance, the United States also has a long history of denying basic rights to certain people” (LGBT Equality). When the US discriminates against a certain thing people retaliate and rise up and try to make new laws to help their cause. The LGBT community has been striving to bring equality in many ways. The LGBT community has made great strides in gaining equality of same-sex marriage, gay adoption, and transgender equality.
Within this larger controversy of same-sex marriage, the CQR points out four issues dealing with the topic at hand. The first issue questions whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) improperly denies federal benefits to same sex couples. Another issue covered in the report is if California voters violated the Constitution by passing Proposition 8. A further topic at hand is if legalizing same-sex marriage would hurt traditional marriage. The last issue is if the Supreme Court should recognize a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry.
Doma or The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 in efforts to stop same-sex marriages in fear of the debate in Hawaii. Doma this labeled gays as immoral, perverse, depraved, and an attack on God’s principles. Congress passed Doma defining marriage as between a women and a man for the first time in history (Stone, 2012). Congress was clearly influenced by religious beliefs in passing Doma, which makes this unconstitutional. The United states government provides many benefits to married couples such as federal employees are entitled to medical coverage, the spouse of an individual covered by Social Security is eligible for retirement and survivor benefits, and married couples who file joint tax returns usually pay considerably lower federal income taxes than individuals who file separately (Stone, 2012 p.1). However, gay couples are refused these rights under law. Gay couples are denied many rights making them second class in the eyes of the government. If the partner of a gay couple was to be hospitalized the other can be denied rights to see them because they are not considered family. If the partner was to pass away the family can come in and make all the decisions even though it might be against the wishes of the deceased. The family can then take everything away from the surviving partner that dedicated their life and love to. The
In 1996 The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), states that, for the purposes of federal law, the words "marriage" and "spouse" refer to the marriage between one man and one woman. Since that time, some states have passed same-sex marriage. In other cases dealing with the DOMA, federal courts have ruled it unconstitutional doing with the Fifth Amendment, but the courts have disagreed on the law. The federal Government cannot discriminate against married same- sex man and women couples.