Since 1971 when the first same sex couple Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell applied for a marriage license and were denied in the Baker vs. Nelson ruling, America has been forced to debate whether homosexuals should be allowed to be married even though they are not the classical definition of a couple. There are many opinions about this subject from government officials, religious leaders and even the president of the United States. Homosexuals should be allowed to be married because they need to be treated fairly and equally.
Homosexuals have been denied the right to be married because many people feel, "The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith" (George W. Bush). Since marriage wasn't clearly defined in our Bill of Rights, The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was started. This clearly defined that marriage is "the legal union between one man and one woman" (The Defense of Marriage Act). At present 37 states have DOMA and Super DOMA laws. Now many republicans are pushing for The Marriage Protection Amendment to be added to our constitution. Human right activists say that "this amendment is simply too extreme. It would single out a group of Americans for discrimination, something that the vast majority of Americans are against." (HRC.com). Many states now provide civil unions as an alternative to marriage for homosexuals. While many people are satisfied with these laws because they are protecting the traditional idea of marriage, other people, both homosexuals and heterosexuals are saying that these laws are not only unjust, but unconstitutional.
Many people can not understand why homosexuals are not satisfied with civil unions. Being married lets same sex couples be committed to each other and to form an institution. Additionally, being married is not only a social commitment to each other, but it also comes with 1,138 benefits that a civil union does not offer. Benefits such as: Social Security programs, employment benefits, federal, military, civilian benefits, medical health and illness benefits, estate and taxation benefits, trade, commerce and intellectual rights, and various other legal benefits. As these rights and benefits are denied to homosexual couples, many people insist that a constitutional violation exists. The Bill of Rights states "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Clearly, our first documents were written to leave room for changes in society, so that everyone remained equal and were granted basic human rights. Gay activists have The Bill Of Rights to back up their argument, while anti-gay activists have the DOMA to support their argument. DOMA was only initiated after...