States that have the right to define marriage

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states that have the right to define marriage according to the interests of their citizens, where federal trumping powers using the Supremacy Clause do not hold a substantial argument for the purpose of making marriage between a man and a woman as a ‘law of the land’; marriage has always been a state’s right, and will continue to be as long as federalism is in the blood of our governing doctrine. Originally, the fourteenth amendment was used to ensure civil rights for African Americans. Later however, the fourteenth amendment was used to protect civil rights of other minorities, such as woman. Today the fourteenth amendment should be used to protect homosexuals as well. The Supreme Court has held that the fourteenth amendment will be used to protect any groups who are being discriminated against and treated unfairly by the government where in fact, cases such as DOMA discriminate against homosexuals and their marriages. The Supreme Court has already used the fourteenth amendment in justification for their ruling in
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McDonald Lawrence v. Texas making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory. Seeing as the Supreme Court has recognized that homosexuals are indeed protected by the fourteenth amendment, there is no valid argument as to why it should not be applied again; proving that section three of DOMA, which classifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, violates the fourteenth amendment de facto making DOMA unconstitutional. The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization, has stated that DOMA “protects the law-making capacity of the various states in the field of family law… making it possible for the states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman without fear that the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause will be used by the courts to trump their marital policies” (Gacek 2012). This would hold true if the equal protection clause didn’t exist simply because as it states, “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges…of the citizens nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Denying gay couples’ marriage rights in states that don’t recognize gay marriage correlates with the exact reason why the founders installed Full Faith and Credit among states which “shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state” (Article IV, Section I). If one has a driver’s license, its creditability is not simply nullified because the driver crosses borders of states; this should hold true with marriage licenses, as well, to maintain a united country through strength of its states and give citizens their rights as individuals through full faith and credit. Not only does it take away rights on the state levels, but because marriage is defined federally, it suppresses the ability for gay couples to get federal benefits of marriage rights in states that permit the marriage of same sex couples, denying them equal protection, regardless of whether or not the Full Faith and Credit Clause pertains to separate states.
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Christopher Reinemann
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