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Same Sex Marriages and the U.S.Constitution - Term Paper Example

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Same Sex Marriages and the U.S.Constitution

By turning marriage into something decided on by the law, the civil rights of people stand the risk of being violated. The civil rights of people are perhaps the largest part of the argument on the side of people that approve of same-sex marriages. Civil rights allow all people to be treated equally in their political and social endeavors. By denying them the opportunity to marry whomever they choose, they are being denied their civil rights, based on the definition of civil rights. Equality is not being observed when same-sex couple is denied the chance to marry; therefore, the civil rights of people are not only being violated, but they are not being properly upheld. Furthermore, “the Constitution may already have embedded in its wisdom, equal rights for all people, including gay people who want to get married.” The Constitution does not mention marriage directly, but it does point out that everyone should be treated equally. The Constitution of the United States does not define anything in regard to what marriage is, nor does it discuss the specifics of the people that are allowed to be married or those who are not. The only thing even remotely close to marriage in the U.S. Constitution is the concept of civil rights, which states the equality of all peoples. (Gerstmann, pg. 44). The U.S. Constitution may be mum on the topic of marriage, but the introduction of federalism has given each individual state the ability to make their own constitutions. As such, each state is able to make their own sets of rules or amendments, ones that can go against what is already written in the U.S. Constitution, essentially overriding the original Constitution. This has prompted many state governments to put a ban on same sex marriage or to otherwise have these unions be called by something other than a marriage. These states are going against the civil rights of its people. In only a few cases, states have approved of same sex marriage. In 1996, former President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, which stated that the federal government defines a marriage as being between a man and a woman. While states could decide for themselves if they would recognize same sex unions, this law made it so that a same sex couple married legally in one state would not be recognized in a state that banned same sex marriages or did not recognize them as being lawful unions. This would cause many same sex marriages to be invalid should a married same sex couple decide to move. Again, the decision was still left up to the states, but Clinton made it clear where he and the federal government stood. The equality of people was, once again, shunted aside over someone else’s discomfort. The approval of same sex marriage took a different turn in 2003, during the case of Lawrence versus Texas, when the Supreme Court announced a new Constitution that would “prohibit state legislatures from treating homosexuality any differently than heterosexuality (Taylor).” This allowed marriage to find its way into the Constitution, seeming to favor more those that are for same sex marriages. By forbidding states to distinguish or make any notice of difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality, they were approving same sex marriage, as well as acknowledging the civil rights of Americans, which has always been the main component of rights when it comes to marriage. Also in 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled ...Show more
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Summary

The debates for and against same-sex marriage have long since become protests that are emotionally driven. Though some people may try to use the United States Constitution in their defense, they are oftentimes blinded by their emotions and misconstrue their information. …
Same Sex Marriages and the U.S.Constitution
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