ed States of AmericaLAW (Gay Rights/Legislation)Constitutionality of Same Sex Marriage in the Unit Essayed States of AmericaThe proposed legalization of same-sex marriage is one of the mostsignificant issues in contemporary American family law.
Presently, it isone of the most vigorously advocated reforms discussed in law reviews,one of the most explosive political questions facing lawmakers, and oneof the most provocative issues emerging before American courts. Ifsame-sex marriage is legalized, it could be one of the mostrevolutionary policy decisions in the history of American family law. The potential consequences, positive or negative, for children, parents,same-sex couples, families, social structure public health, and thestatus of women are enormous. Given the importance of the issue, thevalue of comprehensive debate of the reasons for and against legalizingsame-sex marriage should be obvious.Order now
Marriage is much more than merelya commitment to love one another. Aside from societal and religiousconventions, marriage entails legally imposed financial responsibilityand legally authorized financial benefits. Marriage provides automaticlegal protections for the spouse, including medical visitation,succession of a deceased spouse’s property, as well as pension and otherrights. When two adults desire to “contract” in the eyes of the law, aswell a perhaps promise in the eyes of the Lord and their friends andfamily, to be responsible for the obligations of marriage as well as toenjoy its benefits, should the law prohibit their request merely becausethey are of the same gender? I intend to prove that because of ArticleIV of the United States Constitution, there is no reason why the federalgovernment nor any state government should restrict marriage to apredefined heterosexual relationship. Marriage has changed throughout the years.
In Western law, wives arenow equal rather than subordinate partners; interracial marriage is nowwidely accepted, both in statute and in society; and marital failureitself, rather than the fault of one partner, may be grounds for adivorce. Societal change have been felt in marriages over the past 25years as divorce rates have increased and have been integrated into evenupper class families. Proposals to legalize same-sex marriage or to enact broad domesticpartnership laws are currently being promoted by gay and lesbianactivists, especially in Europe and North America. The trend in westernEuropean nations during the past decade has been to increase legal aidto homosexual relations and has included marriage benefits to somesame-sex couples. For example, within the past six years, threeScandinavian countries have enacted domestic partnership laws allowingsame-sex couples in which at least one partner is a citizen of thespecified country therefore allowing many benefits that heterosexualmarriages are given. In the Netherlands, the Parliament is consideringdomestic partnership status for same-sex couples, all major politicalparties favor recognizing same-sex relations, and more than a dozentowns have already done so.
Finland provides governmental socialbenefits to same-sex partners. Belgium allows gay prisoners the right tohave conjugal visits from same-sex partners. An overwhelming majority ofEuropean nations have granted partial legal status to homosexualrelationships. The European Parliament also has passed a resolutioncalling for equal rights for gays and lesbians. In the United States, efforts to legalize same-sex domestic partnershiphave had some, limited success.
The Lambda Legal Defense and EducationFund, Inc. reported that by mid-1995, thirty-six municipalities, eightcounties, three states, five state agencies, and two federal agenciesextended some benefits to, or registered for some official purposes,same-sex domestic partnerships. In 1994, the California legislaturepassed a domestic partnership bill that provided official stateregistration of same-sex couples and provided limited marital rights andprivileges relating to hospital visitation, wills and estates, andpowers of attorney. While California’s Governor Wilson eventuallyvetoed the bill, its passage by the legislature represented a notablepolitical achievement for advocates of same-sex marriage. The most significant prospects for legalizing same-sex marriage inthe near future are in Hawaii, where advocates of same-sex marriage havewon a major judicial victory that could lead to the judiciallegalization of same-sex marriage or to legislation authorizing same-sexdomestic partnership in that state.
In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court,in Baehr v. Lewin, vacated a state circuit court judgment dismissingsame-sex marriage claims and ruled that Hawaii’s marriage law allowingheterosexual, but not homosexual, couples to obtain marriage licensesconstitutes sex discrimination under the state constitution’s EqualProtection Clause and Equal Rights Amendment. The case began in 1991 when three same-sex couples who had beendenied marriage licenses by the Hawaii Department of Health brought suitin state court against the .