Legality of same sex marriages Essay

This essay has a total of 2373 words and 24 pages.

legality of same sex marriages










INTRODUCTION


The proposed legalization of same sex marriage is one of
the most significant issues in contemporary American family

law. Presently, it is one of the most vigorously advocated

reforms discussed in law reviews, one of the most

provocative issues. It could be one of the most

revolutionary policy decisions in the history of American

family law.

The potential consequences, positive or negative, for

children, parents, same-sex couples, families, social,

structure public health, and the status of women are

enormous. Given the importance of the issue, the value of

comprehensive debate may be obvious. Marriage is much more

than a commitment to love one another. Aside from societal

and religious conventions, marriage entails legally imposed

financial responsibility and legally authorized financial

benefits. Marriage instantly provides a automatic legal

succession of a deceased spouse's property, as well as

pension and law, as well as promise in the eyes of the Lord,
and their as well as to enjoy its benefits, should the law

prohibit their request merely because they are of the same
gender? I intend to prove that because of Article IV of the
United States Constitution. there is no reason why the

federal government nor any state government should restrict

marriage to a predefined homosexual relationship?

Marriage laws have changed throughout the years. In

Western law, wives are now equal rather than subordinate

partners; interracial marriage is now widely accepted, both

in the statue and in society; and marital failure itself,

rather than the fault of one partner, may be grounds in some
states for a divorce. Societal changes have been felt in

marriages over the past twenty-five years as divorce rates

have increased. Proposals to legalize same-sex marriages or
to enact broad domestic partnership laws are currently being
promoted by gay and lesbian activists, especially in Europe

and North America. The trend in western European nations

during the past decade has been to some same-sex couples.

For example, with in the past six years, three Scandinavian

countries have enacted domestic partnership laws allowing

same-sex couples in which at least one partner is a citizen

of the specified country. Therefore allowing that

homosexual marriages are given.

In the Netherlands, the Parliament is considered

domestic partnership status for same-sex couples, all the
major political parties favor recognizing same-sex

relations, and more than a dozen towns have already done so.
Finland provides governmental social benefits to same-sex

partners. Belgium allows gay prisoners the right to have a

conjugal visits from same-sex partners. An overwhelming

majority of European nations have granted partial legal

status to homosexual relationships.

In the United States, efforts to legalize same-sex

domestic partnership have had some, limited success. The

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. reported that

by mid- 1995, thirty-six municipalities, eight countries,

three states, five state agencies, and two federal agencies

extended some benefits to, or registered for official

purposes, same-sex partnerships. In 1994, the California

legislature passed a domestic partnership bill that provided
official state registration of same-sex couples and provided
limited marital rights and privileges relating to hospital

visitation, willis and estates, and powers of attorney.

While California's Governor Wilson eventually vetoed the

bill, its passage by the legislature represented a notable

political achievement for advocates of the same-sex marriage
have won a major judicial victory that could lead to the

judicial legalization of the same-sex marriage or to
legislation authorizing same-sex domestic partnership in

that state. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court, in Baehr vs.
Lewin, vacated a state circuit court judgment dismissing

same-sex discrimination under the state constitution's Equal
Protection Clause and Equal Rights Amendment.

The above case began in 1991 when three same-sex

couples who had been denied marriage licenses by the Hawaii

Department of Health brought suit in state court against the
director of the department. Hawaii law required couples

wishing to marry to obtain a marriage license. While the

marriage license law did not explicitly prohibit same-sex

marriage at the time, it used terms of gender that the

Hawaii marriage license law is unconstitutional, as it

prohibits same-sex marriage and allows state officials to

deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in account of the
heterosexuality requirement. Baehr and her attorney sought

their objectives entirely through state law, not only by

filing in state rather than federal court, but also by

alleging exclusively violations of state law--the Hawaii

Constitution. the state moved for judgment on the pleadings
and for dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a

claim; the state's motion was granted in October, 1991.

thus, the circuit court up held the homosexuality marriage
requirement as a matter of law and dismissed the plaintiffs'
challenges to it.

Yet recently the Circuit Court of Hawaii decided that

Hawaii had violated Baehr and her parent's constitutional

rights be the fourteenth amendment and that they could be

recognized as a marriage. The court found that the state if
Hawaii's constitution expressly discriminated against

homosexuals and that because of Hawaii's anti-discrimination
law they must revaluate the situation. After the ruling the
state immediately asked for a stay of judgment, until the

appeal had been convened, therefore putting off any marriage
between Baehr and her partner for at least a year.

By far Baehr is the most positive step toward actual

marriage tights for gay and lesbian

people. Judges do not need the popularity of the people on

the Federal or circuit court level to make new precedent,

there is no clear majority (in the general public) that

homosexuals should have marriage rights. And still the

courts voted for Baehr. The judiciary has its own mind on

how to interpret the constitution, which is obviously very

different than most of American popular beliefs. This is

the principal reason that these judges are not elected by

the people, so they do not have to bow to people pressure.

The constitutional rights argument for same-sex marriage

affirms that there is a fundamental constitutional right to

marry, or a broader right of privacy or of intimate

association of consenting adults who want to share their

lives and commitment with each other and that same-sex

couples have just as much intimacy and need for marital

privacy as heterosexual couples; and that laws allowing

heterosexual, but not same-sex, couples to marry infringe

upon and discriminate against this fundamental right.

The Supreme court compelled states to allow interracial
marriage by recognizing the claimed right as part of the

fundamental constitutional right to marry, of privacy and of
intimate association. So should states be compelled now to

recognize the fundamental right of homosexuals to do the

same? If Baehr ultimately leads to the legalization of

same-sex marriage or broad, marriage like domestic

partnership in Hawaii, the impact of that legalization will

be felt widely. Marriage recognition principals derived

from choice -of -law and full-faith-and-credit rules

probably would be invoked to recognize same-sex Hawaiian

marriages as valid in other states. The impact of Hawaii's

decision will immediately impact marriage laws of the United
States. The full faith and credit clause of the United

States Constitution provides that full faith and credit

shall be given to the "public acts, records, and judicial

proceedings of every other state."



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