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Same-Sex Equality

By benjr6 Jun 20, 2013 772 Words
Same-Sex Equality
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COMM/215
June 13, 2013
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Same-Sex Equality

Think of a feature or a characteristic that more than one person has, imagine that those individuals with those features and characteristic are not given the same laws and rights as everyone else because there different there kind is denied certain constitutional rights and benefits that the rest of the population gets and often takes for granted. The definition of equality is the state of being equal, which is simple but people still seem to misinterpret what it means. Things like the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 take away peoples constitutional rights. Same-sex marriage is more about equality and having the same rights as opposite-sex marriages.

Many people who disapprove same-sex marriage are disapproving the idea not the constitutional fortitude. People are ignorant of what the big fuss is about and only see what the media covers, which is relationship based information. Although many may not approve of same-sex relationships everyone should approve equal constitutional rights for all. The 14th Amendment states “All persons born or naturalized in the United States shall not be denied life, liberty, or property, nor deny any person equal protection of the laws.”

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which is a federal law believes that restricting same-sex marriages is not unconstitutional. The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on the 21st of September in 1996, and it clearly defines what a constitutional marriage consist of, according to the Defense of Marriage Act the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. The act also reads that no State, territory, or possession of the United States or Indian tribe is required to certify a same-sex marriage. Because the act is a federal law same-sex marriages are not recognition for federal purposes to include insurance benefits for government employees, military members, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and filling joint tax returns.

In November 2008 the State of California passed the ballot proposition and constitutional amendment called Proposition 8. Proposition 8, which was originally called the “California Marriage Protection Act” which is an addition to the California Constitution. The addition reads “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, no US citizen will be denied life, liberty, or the equal protection of all state and local laws. Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it alters the state law to define what the states definition of marriage is. Proposition 8 did not affect same-sex marriages performed before the 5th of November 2008.

In 2008 President Barack Obama endorsed the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. On February 23, 2011 Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement in regard to section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which reads no State, territory, or possession of the United States or Indian tribe is required to certify a same-sex marriage. In the statement Attorney General Eric Holder said that the President looked a number of factors to including a history of discrimination. The President concluded that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act when applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet its intent and is therefore unconstitutional. On February 24th 2011 the Department of Justice notified the First Circuit Court of Appeals that it would no longer defend two same-sex cases. On July 1, 2011 the Department of Justice intervened for the first time on behalf of the plaintiff seeking to have the Defense of Marriage Act section 3 ruled unconstitutional.

The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 are more about same-sex rather than equality. The definitions of marriage specifically stated between members of the opposite sex and between a husband and a wife taint the US Constitution. Emphases on sex versus constitutional rights is one of the biggest problems faced by same-sex partners. One of the major reasons same-sex partners what equality is to received their constitutional entitlements. These entitlements include insurance benefits for government employees, military members, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and filling joint tax returns. If society would take out personal opinions out of the equation the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution gives us a direct answer “Any US citizen shall not be denied life, liberty, or property, nor deny any person equal protection of the laws.”

References
(Cornell University Law School, 2013)
(Defense of Marriage Act, 1996)
(Voter Guide California Government, 2008)

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