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research paper gay marriage

research paper gay marriage - Hsiung Chien Chiu Hsiung...

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Hsiung Chien Chiu Hsiung English 2 Professor Megan Murtha December 9, 2009 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in America The issue of legalizing same-sex marriage in America has risen in the 20 th century and still continues in the present day. Many gay and lesbian couples fought for their rights to be married legally. In the early 1970s, when lesbian and gay couples filed for marriage licenses and asked the court to legally marry them, their efforts were unsuccessful. By 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged marriage to be “of fundamental importance to all individuals” (A Legal History of Same-Sex Marriage 15-16). From 1980s-90s, the battle for equal marriage among same-sex couples intensify and they focused mainly on getting “domestic partnership” rights and benefits from employers and local government. By 1990s, same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in their state and many sued their state when they were denied. These were some of the important events that were needed to occur in order for same-sex partners to be recognized in this country and today many states still denied to recognized gay marriage, but give marriage benefits to homosexuals. These events have led to some successes in some states and a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage. For example take the Baker v. State case in Vermont, if Baker did not fight for gay marriage, the State Supreme Court would not allow state legislature to create a system that give same-sex couples traditional marriage rights and protections. As a result of Baker v. State case, Vermont passed the Vermont Civil Union law which went in effect on July 1, 2000. Although the law does not legalized gay marriage, it gives same-sex couples some marriage rights such as joint state tax filing, use of family laws such as divorce, child custody, alimony, adoption, and family leave benefits. While the issue of legalizing same sex marriage is divided in our government, society and religious groups, many
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Hsiung argue whether these three institutions has the right to regulate personal relationship and whether or not legalizing same sex marriage will benefit society and harms raising children. Today in America, only few states have passed legislation that give same-sex couples with some benefits and protection without legalizing gay marriage. Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey are some of the states that give gay couples marriage benefits and protection (The Legal Context of Same-Sex Marriage). For example in Massachusetts, the court offered civil unions instead of civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples. The law was put in effect on May 2004 and allowed same-sex couples to get marriage licenses and enter into civil marriage. Just few days ago, New York lawmakers voted down on gay marriage bill. The bill needed 32 votes to pass, but came in short by eight votes. Governor David Paterson is one of the many supporters of the bill who thought the bill will be passed (Gormley).
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