Monday , 21 May 2018

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Gay Marriage

New York City Prop 8 protest.

New York City Prop 8 protest.

The issue of same-sex marriage has become one of the most highly debated current social issues.  Aside from being morally wrong, a ban on gay marriage is absolutely unconstitutional.  Denying others their rights, whether it’s for a religious reason or not, should not be allowed.

Currently, members of the LGBT community, their supporters, and their opponents, await the Supreme Court’s decision on two separate same-sex marriage cases: the Proposition 8 Case, and the DOMA Case.  Prop 8 is a law passed in California banning same-sex marriage in 2008, while DOMA is a federal law stating that same-sex marriage will not be recognized on a federal level passed in 1996.  Decisions for both of these cases are due to be announced in June.

However, a total of 14 Supreme Court cases since the year 1888 have ruled that marriage is a fundamental right of individuals, including Meyer v. Nebraska (1923), Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur (1974), Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), and M.L.B. v. S.L.J. (1996), all four of which have ruled that the right to marry is protected by the 14th Amendment. To deny gays of the right to marry is to deny citizens of their natural rights.

Many who argue in favor of banning gay marriage do so for religious purposes.  Nevertheless, this is also not allowed by the Constitution.  The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses included in the First Amendment establish the idea of separation of church and state (a term coined by Thomas Jefferson).  Though the phrase is never explicitly used in the Constitution, the idea has been used in countless Supreme Court rulings to ensure that no one religion is preferred by the government.  This should also apply here and prevent the denial of rights to citizens for solely religious purposes.  Furthermore, marriage is never defined in the Bible as being between a man and a woman.  I repeat:

Marriage is never defined in the Bible as being between a man and a woman.

Courtesy of Fibonacci Blue.

Courtesy of Fibonacci Blue.

Many opposed to same-sex marriage argue that civil unions and domestic partnerships are equal to marriage but do not have the same social connotation that they fear will destroy the sanctity of marriage itself.  This is absolutely false.

Although on a state level (depending on the state), many civil unions and domestic partnerships have similar rights as married couples, federal law prevents them from being equal.  The most significant of these differences are tax and insurance issues.  Unless a couple is married and recognized as such by the federal government, they must file taxes as individuals, and health insurance granted by employers cannot be used to cover their spouses–I mean, domestic partners.  This is all due to DOMA and may change with a Supreme Court ruling in liberty’s favor.

Many people believe that the legalization of gay marriage blurs the line of morality and may lead to further, more lenient laws being passed.  What will be next? some ask, Will people be able to marry children? Animals?

To those searching for an answer to the question, “Where do we draw the line?” I say this:

The line will remain between two consenting adults, with no regard for gender, where it always has been.

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