notes on gay marriage

notes on gay marriage - Civil rights have been on the...

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Civil rights have been on the platform of political debates for decades. Today, we are faced with a new form of civil rights that has yet to be conquered. Gay marriage has become an American political controversy present in our culture and society for the past 40 years. Gay marriage constitutes as a political controversy for the simple reason that nearly all arguments are based on opinion. Being that it is a personal and sensitive issue to discuss, it has been put on the back burner during many presidential campaigns. However, gays and lesbians have been fixing into society on television, in movies and in the news more so than ever. And with a new president in support of gay rights, we hope to come closer to the day where all citizens can enjoy the right to marry. This research paper will discuss the history of the issue and the important pieces of legislation that has brought gay marriage into the light it stands today. In addition, it will examine both sides of the argument, proving why it is in fact a political controversy. In the latter, I will share my opinion of the topic and how my thoughts were conceived. Both sides of the gay marriage argument can be convincing, but based on my evidence I have determined that the legalization of gay marriage is sensible in today’s society and the arguments presented against it are not supported by factual evidence nor are they just reasons for prohibiting a civil right such as marriage. The struggle began in the 1970’s when gays and lesbians began to take a stand. Gay and lesbian couples were applying for marriage licenses, asking courts to adopt and doing other things to legally represent their relationship. Nearly all of these efforts were an immediate failure (Burns, 2005). It didn’t take long for the legislative system to begin fighting this “epidemic” called same-sex marriage. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act
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(DOMA), under the presidency of Bill Clinton. DOMA defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, thereby prohibiting Social Security benefits and federal benefits to be granted to homosexual couples. The act also stated that states did not have to recognized gay marriages given if they were made legal in other states (Cahill, 2004). DOMA, sponsored by 22 Republicans implies that “the desire of gay and lesbian couples to marry constitutes an aggression against the traditional heterosexual institution of marriage” (Cahill, 6). There was hope that DOMA would be noted unconstitutional or in violation of the full faith and credit clause, however during the Bush-Cheney administration no such thing happened. Instead, they promoted the Federal Marriage Act and proposed “new paths” that would grant gays and lesbians equal rights. However, “these arguments are unfounded by fact and disproven by history” (Cahill, 90). The introduction of DOMA has been hazardous for gay couples everywhere.
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2011 for the course POLS-Y 100 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '10 term at Indiana.

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notes on gay marriage - Civil rights have been on the...

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