I Now Pronounce You Woman and Wife

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One of the biggest controversies facing this country today is that which surrounds same-sex marriage. Although there are many arguments for and against this issue, the foundation of our government revolves around certain beliefs, which establish the method of lawmaking in the United States, but also protect the rights of its people. These rights were set forth in the Bill of Rights portion of the United States Constitution in 1789 and ratified in 1791. Despite further additions to the bill of rights overtime. Never has there been an amendment added that would restrict the rights of the people as this issue is proposing. This would alter the core foundations of our country and therefore affect every individual. Based on the rights granted to the people as a whole by the founding fathers and set forth in the Bill of Rights, it is unconstitutional, discriminatory and unreasonable to prohibit same-sex marriage.

The First Amendment states “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means that church and state are separate when it comes to law making. Creating laws based on religion is in clear violation of this amendment, yet religious intonations saturate this issue. For this reason, it is imperative that individuals must address and separate these religious aspects from the situation in order to provide an impartial and thorough view of the issue.

One key point that many people often overlook is that marriage is not strictly a religious sacrament; it is also a civil institution, which evolves over time. “Marriage today remains a civil institution as well as a religious one”. (Schlesinger, 2012) Initially men from hostile tribes would simply abduct women from other tribes with the assistance of the best man; a name referring to the best warrior a groom could find. The groom would then hide her away while her tribe searched for her during the period of time we now refer to as the honeymoon. (A Compilation of Customs and Traditions Regarding Marriage) There was no actual ceremony at this stage. For some tribes, marrying a person’s daughter to a nearby tribe was also a tool used to ensure survival by extending the amount of people in the family in case of emergencies, such as war or famine. It was even a method for ensuring procreation and maintaining wealth or status. Since marriage evolved from a contractual obligation, where men would essentially negotiate for the sale of their daughter to a man from another family, an affair with another woman or even young man was a common expectation of husbands. Today’s religious standards typically prohibit adultery. (Edmonds, 2011) Many sacred texts describe marriage for various religions, though it was not until later that the Catholic Church became more involved. “It wasn't until the 12th century that a priest would participate in a marriage ceremony, and it would take another hundred years before the ceremony was actually performed by a priest.” (Edmonds, 2011) Prior to this period, the ceremony mainly consisted of the families getting together to celebrate the union. Marriage was still widely used as a contractual obligation until the idea of marrying for love took hold in the 18th and 19th centuries, despite the church declaring it as a holy sacrament in the 12th century. (Wills, 2012) Civil marriages and marriages in churches from other religions are still both a matter of preference with modern day couples. The institution of marriage underwent several more changes to become what it currently is today. Furthermore, several religious sects such as; Reconstructionist Judaism, the United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Church to name a few, view same sex-marriage as an integral part of their religion. (Understanding And Presenting The Case ) Due to this separation between the church and state found within the First Amendment, and the duality of marriage itself, the state cannot dictate to the church...
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