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LedaErlandson

PoliticalScience1100
March15,2015
TheLegalizationofSameSexMarriageNationwide
Samesexmarriagehasbeenoneofthelargestdebatesandcontroversiesof
thiscentury.Ithasbeenadisputeaboutthemoral,constitutional,andhumanrights
forthelegalizationofgaymarriage.Thisdebatehasconcernedmanyindividuals
whethertheyarehomosexualthemselves,conservative,liberals,orpeoplewho
trulybelieveonesideortheother.Thefightforhumanrights,againstneo
Christianpoliticianswhofindtherightofsamesexmarriagetobeinjudicioushas
beenslowlycomingtoadefeatasmorethan37stateshavenowlegalizedsamesex
marriage.Asthefightcontinueswith13statesholdingthebanonsamesex
marriage,manyindividualsarewinningcasesoverinprogressiontowardmarriage
equality.(HistoryandTimeline)Samesexmarriageshouldbelegalizednationwide
becausetheconstitutionsaysnothingaboutmarriage,itismorallycorrectfor
humanrights,anditpresentsnoharm,butratherbenefitsmanypeoplehereinthe
UnitedStates.
ThehistoryofsamesexmarriagehasbeenadifficultonehereintheUnited
Statesalone.Someofthefirstmajorcasesforsamesexmarriagestartedinthe
early1970swhenindividualsstartedtochallengethedenialofsamesexmarriage.
In1972,theU.SSupremeCourtdismissedBakerv.Nelson,whichoneofthethree

casesbroughtbysamesexcouplesinthestateofMinnesota.(Barnes)Theinitial
trialcourtdeniedtheirclaimandaffirmsthattheclerkcouldrefusegaycouplesa
marriagetolicense.OnJanuary1,1973,Marylandbecamethefirststatetopassa
statutebanningmarriagebetweensamesexcouples.(HistoryandTimelineofThe
FreedomtoMarry)ThestateofMarylandwasabletodothiswhentheydecided
thatsamesexmarriagewasharmingthefamilylawcodereadingOnlymarriage
betweenamanandawomanisvalidinthisstate.(HistoryandTimelineofThe
FreedomtoMarry)From1970sto2000ssamesexmarriagewasbeingabolished
leftandrightfrommanystates.ItwasntuntilMay5th,1993thattheHawaii
SupremecourtruledintheBaehrv.Lewincasethatdenyingsamesexmarriage
violatedtheEqualProtectionClauseoftheHawaiiconstitution,andVermont
becamethefirststatetolegalizesamesexcivilunionsthatwaslegallyrecognized
in2000.(HistoryandTimelineofTheFreedomtoMarry)Aswelookfartherinto
thelate1900suntilthepresentday,wewillseehowtheshiftfromantisamesex
marriagehaschangedsodrastically,andwheretheconstitutionlieswiththe
conceptofmarriage,andmorals.
Whenitcomestotheconstitutionandtheconceptofmoralityandmarriage,
thereisnosuchthing.Theconstitutiondoesnotmentionmarriage,letalone
anythingthatdiscussestheconcernofmorality.(AmendmentX)Thisisbecause
theBillofRightswaswrittentoaddresspoliticalfreedomforthepeopleandtoset
limitsofpowerforafederalgovernment.BoththeBillofRightsandthe

Constitutionarepoliticaldocuments,ratherthanmoralones.Withthisbeingsaid,
itchangesthecommonargumenttosaythatsamesexmarriageisunconstitutional,
wheninfact,itpossesnoopiniononthematter.Sowheredoesthecontroversyand
thelegaldebategetdecided?Theanswerisbypeopleofindividualstateswithout
theinterferencefromthefederalcourt.Thisiswhy37statesareabletolegalize
samesexmarriageandtheother13areabletobantheact.Withthesefactsbeing
stated,onecannowunderstandwhymanybillssuchastheProposition8,Defense
ofMarriageAct(DOMA),andothersareseentobeunconstitutional.Proposition8
isavoterreferendumamendingthestateConstitution,declaringthatonly
marriagebetweenamanandawomanisvalidorrecognizedinCaliforniabackin
2008.(Serna)Thebillwaspassedby52percentofvoters,butbecausesamesex
marriage,oranysortofmarriageisnotdiscussedintheconstitution,andthereby
cannotbebannedasabill,itwasruledasunconstitutional.IntherulingofPerryv.
Schwarzenegger,districtChiefJudgeVaughnR.Walkersaidthestatesmarriage
lawbothunconstitutionallyburdenstheexerciseofthefundamentalrighttomarry
andcreatesanirrationalclassificationonthebasisofsexualorientation.(Serna)
Banningsuchabillmakeslogicalsenseandhascontinuedacomparablemindset
insimilarstateswithotherintolerantbansonsamesexmarriage.
Samesexmarriageshouldbelegalizednationwidebecauseitismorally
correct.Asstatedearly,constitutionallyamoraldecisioncannotberuledonthe
statusofsamesexmarriage,butalllegalandconstitutionalassetsaside,itshould

belegalizedformoralreasons.Thecommonargumentbyreligiousfanaticsandthe
opposingsideoftheargument,isthatsamesexmarriageshouldbebannedbecause
itisimmoral,orthathomosexualcouplesshouldnotredefinemarriagefor
heterosexualcouples;theyworriedthatchildrenraisedbysamesexcoupleswould
notfareaswellaschildrenraisedbyafatherandamother;theyfearthatpublic
schoolswouldteachaboutgaymarriageinapositivelight.Tohavesuchan
argumentagainstsamesexmarriageisbothirrational,andcompletelyintolerant.
Childrenraisedbysamesexcouplesshouldnotposeanissueasfarashowthe
childrenareraisedmorally,andtheirhappinesslevels.Theargumentthatpublic
schoolswouldteachaboutgaymarriageinapositivelightisactuallyabenefit.
Toleranceforotherisavirtue,andshouldbepraisedandrespectedbyeveryonein
acommunity.Constitutionally,thereisnolawtorespectanestablishmentof
religionortoprohibittheexercisethereof,thereforthereligiousargumentto
opposegaymarriageshouldnotevenbeconsidered.(FirstAmendment)
Itisacommonphrasethatreligioustoleranceshouldalwaysbeperformed
becauseeveryonehasarighttohisorherownreligion,butthatshouldgofor
everybody.Tobegayorlesbianposesnoharmtoanyone,andisnotachoice,buta
naturaloutcomefromwhentheseindividualswereborn.Todenythehappinessand
freedomtomarrywhomeveraslongasitismutuallyacceptedbybothpartners
possesnothreattoanyone,butratherincreasesthehumanrightstoindividualswho
havebeendeniedthisrightforsolong.Marriageiswantedforseveralreasons,

includinglegal,social,emotional,financial,spiritual,andreligiouspurposes.The
legaloutcomeofgaymarriageisonethatmakesasmuchsenseasaheterosexual
marriagewouldbestow,involvingtaxbreaks,theabilitytoownahometogether,
etc.butoverall,Marriagewillallowforsocietytoknowhomosexualcouplesas
humanbeings,notasinorindividualswhoCHOSEtobeborndifferentfrom
others.
Witheverythingthathasbeenconsidered,onecanpossiblycometoastrong
opinionorformaldecisionabouttheirstandpointonsamesexmarriage.Samesex
marriageshouldbelegalizednationwidebecausetheconstitutionsaysnothing
aboutmarriage,itismorallycorrectforhumanrights,anditpresentsnoharm,but
ratherbenefitsmanypeoplehereintheUnitedStates.Whenitcomestothe
constitutionandtheconceptofmoralityandmarriage,thereisnosuchthing.The
constitutiondoesnotmentionmarriage,letaloneanythingthatdiscussesthe
concernofmorality.Thetoleranceforsamesexmarriageisjustasimportantas
religioustoleranceandfreedom,andshouldbelookedatasanessentialhuman
right,moralobligation,andthewiththerighttoalllegalaspectsofmarriage,itwill
benefitgay/lesbiansbymakingtheirfamilysmoresocialacceptedandfinancial
supported.Inconclusion,samesexmarriageshouldbelegalizednationwidefor
everyreasonstated,thatwouldoverallstrengthen,notweaken,theinstitutionof
marriage.

WorkCited
"AmendmentXRightsReservedtoStatesorPeople."NationalConstitution
CenterConstitutioncenter.org.AnnenbergClassroom.org,n.d.Web.29
Mar.2015.
Barnes,Robert."OnGayMarriage,pastMayBePrologueforHighCourt."
WashingtonPost.TheWashingtonPost,17Aug.2014.Web.29Mar.
2015.
CableNewsNetwork(CNN),"SameSexMarriageintheUnitedStates,"cnn.com,
Oct.14,2014
ErikEckholm,"SameSexMarriageGainsCheerGayRightsAdvocates,"
www.nytimes.com,Nov.7,2012
"FirstAmendment."FirstAmendment.CornellUniversity,n.d.Web.29
Mar.2015.
"HistoryandTimelineoftheFreedomtoMarryintheUnitedStates
FreedomtoMarry."HistoryandTimelineoftheFreedomtoMarryin
theUnitedStates|FreedomtoMarry.FreedomToMarryInc.,16
Jan.2015.Web.29Mar.2015.
Serna,Joseph."Atty.Gen.KamalaHarrisSeeksCourtOrdertoStopAnti
gayInitiative."LosAngelesTimes.LosAngelesTimes,25Mar.2015.
Web.29Mar.2015.
"ShouldGayMarriageBeLegal?GayMarriageProCon.org."ProConorg

Headlines.Gaymarriage.procon,22Mar.2011.Web.29Mar.2015.
"37StateswithLegalGayMarriageand13StateswithSameSexMarriage
BansGayMarriageProCon.org."ProConorgHeadlines.
ProCon.org,4Mar.2015.Web.29Mar.2015.