Same Sex Marriages in the US
Same sex married is the union between two men or two women otherwise referred to as gay marriage. The question of gay marriages has been a thorny issue in the federal system of government. In the United States gay marriages are forbidden by the defence of marriage act. Gay marriages have only been endorsed in three states through a court declaration, two other states and a district by their respective government. Many features of marriage law touching on everyday lives of the residents of the United States are established by the state and not the federal government.
The defence of marriage act does not prevent individual states from defining marriage. The United States government has been alienated on whether to describe marriage. The majority of Americans contest gay marriages. Out of the fifty states only five have allowed gay marriages, with one federal state and one Indian state agreeing to the same. The north eastern part of America is the strong hold for gay marriages.
In states like Vermont, Lowa, Connecticut, Washington DC, New Hampshire and Massachusetts gay marriages are permissible and take place (Vestal, 2009). The Indian tribe of Coquille in Oregon has also accepted same sex marriages.Subsequently same sex marriages have been granted in various states, on the 4th November 2008, the Californian Supreme Court held statutes restricting marriage to differing sex couples desecrated the state constitution. The Supreme Court sustained the voter accepted constitution ban.
Same sex unifications have been granted the benefits of marriage, but only those that took place before 5th November the same year have been designated as marriages. Several states identify gay marriages even though they don’t allow them. These include New York, Rhode Island and Maryland (Porter, 2008).A lobby group to obtain rights for gay marriages began in the 1970’s in the United States. This issue was high flying in the US politics come mid 1990’s.
There was a civic counterattack towards this issue by the congress passage of 1996 defence of marriage act. In the late 2000’s England became hub of pushing to decriminalize same sex marriage in the United States. Four out of the six states approved of same sex marriages. Conventionally any marriage accepted by the state was acknowledged by the federal government, even if the marriage was usual among one or more states. In accordance to the federal government’s government accountability office (GAO), over 1138 civil liberties and protections are granted to U.
S. citizens after marriage by the federal government, in areas like family leave, estate taxes, immigration law, veterans’ benefits, Social Security benefits, health insurance, hospital visitation and pensions. Same sex marriages are only recognized at state level as the federal government’s defence of marriage act doesn’t acknowledge such marriages. Challengers of same sex marriages have attempted to amend the constitution which barred the states from acknowledging same sex unifications. In 2006 a republican controlled senate committee passed an amendment which barred the United States from acknowledging gay marriages.
However this amendment was defeated by house of congress. On the 18th November 2003, a state’s supreme judicial court in Massachusetts ruled that same sex couples had a right to marry (Wells, 2010). On 15th may 2008, the California’s Supreme Court endorsed gay marriages arguing that the existing opposite sex description of marriage sullied the constitutional rights for same sex couples. Proposition 8 was placed on the November ballot to try and reinstate the opposite sex explanation of marriage. This was approved on Election Day 2008.
This amendment was contested in a court proceeding was sustained on a 6-1 poll by the state supreme court. The court declared that the roughly1800 gay marriages that took place in 2008 would continue being legitimate. On 12th October 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 54 which permitted all out of state marriages to offered benefits of marriage under Californian law, even though only those prior to 5th November were conceded ‘Marriage’. On the 3rd April 2009 Lowa officially recognized gay marriages after the undisputed poll of the Lowa Supreme Court. This was to take effect on 24th of April but came to pass on 27th of April.
On 7th of April the Vermont state sanctioned gay marriages, and New Hampshire on the 3rd of June same year. On 1st June 2009 New Jersey formed legal unions that accorded them rights of marriage under the state law. Other state which have accorded the gay marriage civil liberties are Washington, California , Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, Rhode Island, Oregon, Hawaii, Maine and Mary Land (Vestal, 2009).Since 1st January 30 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting gay marriages and describing common marriage as official unification involving a man and a woman. More than 40 states openly limit same sex marriages. Some identify in a name other than marriage.
Professionals have pointed that the increasing cases of gay marriages will generate political and social pressure, which will compel the federal government to liberating the state laws of marriage. Number of gay couples has amplified with over18000 couples in California and about 12000 in Massachusetts. President Obama says that he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, however he voted against an amendment to outlaw gay marriages claiming that the decision should be left to the state (Timberlake, 2010).Supporters of gay marriage say that the foundation of marriage is the only one of its kind manifestation of love and devotion, and that calling these unifications of gay marriage as a form of second class citizenship. They also indicate that many official rights are associated with marriage.
Those against gay marriages say that marriage is an elementary attachment with prehistoric roots. They draw the conclusion that permitting gay marriages would destabilize the organization of marriage.