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Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues – Same-sex Marriage Laws Violate Gay Rights

Laws Violate Gay Rights

When I was in third grade, I learned that there are certain “inalienable rights”– the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — all of which the United States government is committed to protecting for every human. Last week, I learned this government feels that these human rights are limited to some people, based on how they choose to practice sex. In two separate legislations last week, the United States Senate sanctioned discrimination against homosexual Americans.

The issue recently surfaced in Hawaii when the state denied marriage privileges to a lesbian couple. In May 1993, the State Supreme Court ruled in a 3-1 decision that the state’s exclusion of same-sex marriage was sexual discrimination and thus unconstitutional unless there was “compelling evidence” for it. In 1995, a governor’s commission recommended the state grant marital rights to homosexuals.

The “full faith and credit” clause of the U.S. Constitution says that states must accord reciprocity to laws (and contracts) of other states. Thus a couple could get married in Hawaii, move to another state and demand that the state recognize their marriage contract unless laws in the new state conflict directly with laws in the former state.

This led the House to pass the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) this July with the Senate concurring on Sept. 10. Social Security, Veter-an’s and other federal benefits such as married tax status will simply be denied to Americans who do not conform to a sexual pattern preferred by others in society. I don’t know where in the Constitution Congress is permitted to legislate the morality that a man must marry a woman. Furthermore, DoMA permits states to…

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… other may make some people uncomfortable. But their union does not infringe on anyone else’s life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, and they have a claim to pursue their human rights and marry each other.

What has Congress to gain by passing this restrictive law? It is only election-year politics to woo the radical right.

The United States government is unfairly discriminating against a portion of the United States population and we should not stand for this public “gay bashing.”

Discrimination is still legal because the measure failed 50-49. Senator Pryor (D-Ark.) was attending his son’s cancer surgery; otherwise, he would have supported the bill. Vice President Al Gore had promised to break the tie in support of the bill, but the motion failed.

Now it is legally OK to not hire someone based on his or her sexual preference.

Same-Sex Marriage is Fun

Free Essays – Same-Sex Marriage

“Marriage is at once the most socially productive and individually fulfilling relationship that one can enjoy in the course of a lifetime.” Elden v. Sheldon, California Supreme Court (1988).19

Although the state places very few restrictions on who can marry, marriage is more than just a personal act signifying a pledge of commitment between two individuals to live together in a shared life. It is a legally regulated institution that carries with it a number of legally prescribed benefits and obligations. The special legal status accorded marriage reflects the judgment that society as a whole has very strong interests in supporting the institution of marriage. At least four types of interests have been articulated by the legislature, courts, and by commentators who have written about marriage as a legal and social institution.20

First, marriage law is intended to encourage people to enter into long-term, stable units if they have children. Children need stable caretaking and generally benefit from having two adults available to care for them. Divorce law is designed to discourage the easy termination of these units.

Second, marriage law is designed to facilitate and support the decision of two people to commit to sharing their economic lives. Backing this commitment by law is desirable for society, as well as for the individuals. On one level this is related to the goal of facilitating child-rearing; two adults can often arrange their work lives in ways that maximize involvement in their children’s lives more easily than a single caregiver could.

But society and individuals reap benefits even when a married couple does not have children. Enabling people to make life decisions in concert with someone else greatly broadens the options of both of the partners; for example, marital partners may agree to support each other through school. With broader options, people can make greater contributions to the entire community, as well as enhance their own economic well-being. The contributions that marital partners, and often their extended family, make to each other also means that the state has to provide less economic support to individuals. This is especially true with respect to the care provided to a spouse who is seriously ill. Marriages provide a critical form of social insurance. For these reasons, marriage law provides economic protections and privileges to people who are married and protections for each of the partners in the case of divorce.

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