Same Sex Marriage

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Same-sex Marriage
Homosexual relationships have occurred since the beginning of civilization. During the Zhou dynasty, Pan Zhang & Wang Zhongxian were famously homosexual. Nero, the Roman Emperor married 2 men. Today, same-sex marriage has been legalized in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden. It has also been legalized in 9 states. New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island recognize same-sex marriages but do not perform them. A few other states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships as an alternative. The remaining 31 states define marriage as between a man and a woman. In the United States the road towards same-sex marriage has been a difficult one and is still highly controversial. Issues arose when, in 1996, congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This act defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In 2006, Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, a case that held that the failure to recognize same sex marriages was unconstitutional, was overturned on appeal. The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, who heard the case ruled that "laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples ... do not violate the Constitution of the United States.". Since this case, 8 federal courts have found DOMA unconstitutional on a wide variety of issues from bankruptcy to immigration. On May 9th, 2012, President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage and the full repeal of DOMA. As a result, Eric Cantor, Republican majority leader of the House announced that the House would defend DOMA. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will rule on the lawsuit that aims to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. The acceptance of same-sex marriage in society is not going to come without a struggle. The main argument against same-sex marriage is that it violates freedom of religion. A few religious organizations refuse

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