Same Sex marriage

January 19, 2012
By , Manhasset, NY
Traditionally in this country, marriage has been defined as a religious & legal commitment between a man and woman, as well as the ultimate expression of love. Homosexual relationships are increasingly gaining acceptance in this country; however, these couples have not been permitted to marry. Some states have considered a new form of commitment called a "civil union", which essentially is marriage without using the word "marriage". Many politicians have said they are against gay marriage but think it should be left up to the states to decide. However, the Constitution says that if one state makes a law, other states must recognize it. Thus, if one state allows a gay marriage and that couple moves to another state, the other state must recognize that marriage. This in effect allows one state to make same-sex marriage legal in the entire country. Many politicians are calling for amendments to their state constitution or the U.S. Constitution. Lost in all the legal battles and political maneuvering is the basic question "Should we allow gay couples to legally marry under federal law or state law?"

There are many questions in our Society over the acceptance of gay marriage, advocates of legalization of it, claim that their rights to marriage is constitutionally guaranteed due to the Right to Equality under the Law, which claims that since government recognizes marriages for heterosexuals, government is legally obligated to equally recognize marriages for homosexuals. And constitutionally speaking, there correct.

The question is whether or not government should mandate that all states legalize gay marriage, or should the issue be left up to the legislatures of each individual state. Since government is legally obligated to treat laws with equality, they can’t forcible mandate everyone to accept legalized gay marriage in their states, unless each individual state votes to allow legalize it. So basically states can support legalized gay marriage, while others can ban it. In this way, everyone is capable of choosing to live in areas that either support or don’t support gay marriage. So that if anyone takes up issue with the legalization/banning of gay marriage in their state, they simply have to exercise their right to move to a more suitable location.

Marriage is kind of like a social issue. Social issues belong at the state level, where the people vote and decide. If someone doesn't like a law in their state, they can move to one that has a law they like. This is the only way people won't be oppressed either way. The Founding Fathers would tell you to leave it the states, because for over 230 years, that is where family law has been decided. That's the way things work in this country. Ron Paul, stated in support of state regulation that "While marriage is licensed and otherwise regulated by the states, government did not create the institution of marriage. In fact, the institution of marriage most likely pre-dates the institution of government! Government regulation of marriage is based on state recognition of the practices and customs formulated by private individuals interacting in civil society. Many people associate their wedding day with completing the rituals and other requirements of their faith, thus being joined in the eyes of their church and their creator, not with receiving their marriage license, thus being joined in the eyes of the state.”

To add support, DOMA, which stands for Defense of Marriage Act, was passed in 1996, letting almost every state take advantage of the opportunity it offers by either enacting legislation or amending its state constitution to declare same-sex marriages invalid, even for couples married in a state where such marriages are licensed. In addition to preventing marriage licenses from being issued to opposite-sex couples, state legislation may be used in efforts to overrule existing state or local rights and protections for same-sex couples and their children.

I strongly feel that states should not have to recognize same-sex marriage, because the Tenth Amendment reserves the states all powers that are not expressly given to the federal government in the Constitution. States have the authority to recognize marriages. Because marriage is not specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the power to oversee and regulate it resides with the state governments. If individual state governments wish to legalize same sex marriage, that is perfectly legal. However, no state should be compelled to do so by another state, or by the federal government. States have a long history regulating marriage. Utah had to abolish plural marriage to join the union. Most states have age requirements and prohibitions against marrying cousins or siblings, and they all have different licensing procedures. Clearly, regulating marriage, especially who can legally enter into it, is solidly within the purview of the individual, sovereign states. Each state should decide on its own, through the voices of their people, whether or not to accept same-sex marriage, rather than a federal law where all states must be equal. There is no reason why same-sex marriage should be legally mandated in all states. Our nation was founded as a nation of states together to form a whole, with the states still given the authority to make their own laws. If same-sex marriage is simply mandated for all the states, then one of the fundamental purposes of our democratic government will be simply overridden by the will of a minority of people. This is the beginning of the end for a democratic government.

Marriage is a state issues not a federal issue. I strongly support gay marriage rights, but the issue should remain in the hands of the state. I think the best approach is for states to only consider valid those marriages performed in states that respect all marriages performed in the first state. So, for instance, Massachusetts should only consider someone married if they were married in Massachusetts or a state that respects all MA marriages. If you happen to have been married in a state that does not respect a same-sex Massachusetts’s marriage, the state of Massachusetts wouldn't recognize your marriage. Seems like this would the fairest way to do things.





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