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Should there be a constitutional amendment that allows gays and lesbians to legally marry - Research Paper Example

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Should there be a constitutional amendment that allows gays and lesbians to legally marry

This can be traced back to 1970 when two men applied to be given a marriage license in Minnesota (LaMance, 2015). However, this request was declined because it went against common law. Since then, there have been major developments regarding the legality of same sex marriages. In 1993 for instance, Hawaii Supreme Court overturned the statutes of the state that only allowed marriage to opposite sex couples. In 1996 however, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which required that the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages. Another major development occurred in 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriages. In 2013, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the United States v. Windsor Case in which it was held that the Section 3 of the DOMA Act which only allowed marriage between opposite sexes was unconstitutional. Currently, same-sex marriages are legalized in 37 states (CNN Library, 2015). The legal developments regarding same-sex marriages have elicited a debate on whether or not a constitutional amendment is required to make these marriages legal. It is necessary to have a constitutional amendment to allow gays and lesbians to marry so as to accord equal rights and legal benefits to all citizens.
Same-sex couples need to enjoy the equal protection as enshrined in the constitution. In order to ensure that these rights are protected, it is necessary to have a constitutional amendment that allows for same-sex marriages (Kellard, 2012). Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment stipulates that no state should “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, §1). Under the constitution, the government is not supposed to discriminate when protecting its citizens. It is obvious that gays and lesbians are citizens of the United States and therefore deserve to be protected by the law. When gays and lesbians ...Show more
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Summary

In fact, history shows that the Ancient Roman Empire accepted homosexuals among its citizens (LaMance, 2015). However, for many years, same-sex marriages remained a taboo. For this reason, the issue…
Should there be a constitutional amendment that allows gays and lesbians to legally marry
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