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Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

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Gay Marriage

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  1. GayMarriage By: Valerie Wirtschafter Raquel Rosenberg

  2. The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 • it provides that no State shall be required to give effect to a law of any other State with respect to a same-sex “marriage." • it defines the words “marriage” and “spouse” for the purpose of Federal law. • Marriage= the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, • Spouse= a husband or wife of the opposite sex.

  3. Blame it on Hawaii… • Ever since the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in favor of three gay couples who want to get married, 26 states have rushed to consider laws banning same-sex marriage. The legislatures in those states fear that if Hawaii eventually approves, other states my have to honor gay marriages performed in Hawaii.

  4. Who should determine marriage laws? • If congress begins to make legislation affecting gay marriage, they will be imposing on the powers granted to the state by the concept known as DUAL FEDERALISM. Not only is the national government not fit to make decisions based on religious dogma, as it would be dangerously mixing the institutions of church and state by prohibiting gay marriage, but also it would be undermining the purpose of the state as a vehicle for social change.

  5. Conflicting Governmental Legislation

  6. San Francisco vs. Massachusetts • Both San Francisco and Massachusetts are supporters of equal rights for homosexuals. • Massachusetts voters have chosen to support same sex marriage as voted upon in an election. • "God loves all of God's children -- gays, straight, transgender and bisexual -- and everyone has equal rights," the Rev. Anne Rousseau said. • San Francisco couples have chosen to ignore a state law restricting marriage to heterosexuals, and get married regardless. • Massachusetts homosexual couples made the decision to work within the law, by filing suits after being denied the opportunity to obtain marriage licenses.

  7. Vermontbecame the first state in the union not only to recognize same-sex partnerships, but to make sure that every single right outlined in the Vermont Constitution and Vermont laws applied equally to heterosexual and homosexual Vermonters. Every right but one. Gay and lesbian Vermonters do not have the right to call their unions marriage. Massachusetts is the first state to, not only give same-sex partners all the constitutional rights of the constitution, but also call these “unions” marriage. Vermont vs. Massachusetts Massachusetts has the better solution to the question of same-sex union. Vermont goes ¾ of the way, but refuses to take the full leap forward in recognizing legal marriages.

  8. Why do same sex partners argue for the right to legal marriage? • Marriage protects children, giving greater access to health care, family and medical leave, and the right to a legal relationship with both parents. • Marriage can also have significant economic impacts, due to parenting related federal tax benefits, Social Security and pension benefits, veterans benefits, employer based health insurance and other benefits available to employee family members. • higher cost of purchasing private insurance for partner and children if company is not one of 18% that offer domestic partner benefits • higher taxes: unlike a company's contribution to an employee's spouse's health insurance, domestic partner benefits are taxed as additional compensation • higher health costs associated with lack of insurance and preventative care: 20% of same-sex couples have a member who is uninsured compared to 10% of married opposite-sex couples • current tax law allows a spouse to inherit an unlimited amount from the deceased without incurring an estate tax but an unmarried partner would have to pay the estate tax on the inheritance from her/his partner • same-sex couples are not eligible to file jointly or separately as a married couple and thus cannot take the advantages of lower taxes via the marriage bonus Gay and lesbian Americans are far more concerned about family matters such as jobs, education, and health care than they are about sexual matters.

  9. A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, backed by President Bush and conservative groups, was defeated in the Senate on June 7, 2006 after proponents failed to persuade a majority of all senators to support the measure. seven Senate Republicans were wary of wading into the politically risky issue and voted against bringing the proposed amendment to a final vote. Supporters went in knowing they could not get the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment, much less the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and bring the measure to a final vote. GEORGE BUSH’S VIEW Protect “the values that carry a moral society, and ... defend the family and the sacred institution of marriage.” “even if the Defense of Marriage Act is upheld [by the Supreme Court], the law does not protect marriage within any state or city.” "The Constitution says nothing about marriage.” • BOB BARR, politician and creator of DOMA’s VIEW • Very strong belief in federalism, and that is that the federal government should not be stepping in and dictating social policy to the states.

  10. ALREADY BANNED: Arkansas Georgia Kentucky Michigan Mississippi Montana North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Utah ATTEMPTING TO BAN: New York New Jersey New Mexico States Trying to Pass Anti-Gay Marriage Legislation

  11. Loving v. Virginia (1967) • THE CASE: • Mildred Jeter (a woman of African and Rappahannock Indian descent) and Richard Perry Loving (a white man), were married in June of 1958 in the District of Columbia. Together they left their home state of Virginia to evade the Racial Integrity Act, a law banning marriages between inter-racial couples. When they returned to Virginia, they were charged with violation of this ban. • Comparison to Massachusetts: • Similar because both called into question the definition of marriage and challenged the “normal” standards. • Massachusetts involved a case about sexual marriages, whereas Loving was a case involving racial restrictions on marriage. • THE VERDICT: • “Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. “

  12. A Cuckoo Conundrum! If a person is a supporter of both gay marriage and states’ rights it will be difficult to pass governmental initiatives in support of same-sex marriage. As seen before with Civil Rights and abortion laws, when certain controversial decisions are left to the people, unanimous decisions are rare. If we keep gay marriage a state issue, it is likely that the debate will not end. As evident with abortion and Civil Rights, when the federal government took control, the constitutional law was passed, regardless of religious belief or personal prejudices. While some issues are important to be left to the state, when constant bickering prevents decisions from being effective, it becomes necessary for the federal government to step in and make a concrete choice. Regardless, our federal system needs revisions. If the federal government assume the responsibilities of the state governments on a whim, the so called “balance of powers” between the state and the national government is rendered obsolete.

  13. Bibliography • • • • • •