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Gay, Lesbian And Bisexual Issues Same Sex Marriage Laws Violate Gay Rights

835 words - 3 pages

Laws Violate Gay Rights

 

When I was in third grade, I learned that there are certain "inalienable rights"-- the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- all of which the United States government is committed to protecting for every human. Last week, I learned this government feels that these human rights are limited to some people, based on how they choose to practice sex. In two separate legislations last week, the United States Senate sanctioned discrimination against homosexual Americans.

 

The issue recently surfaced in Hawaii when the state denied marriage privileges to a lesbian couple. In May 1993, the State Supreme Court ruled in a 3-1 decision that the state's exclusion of same-sex marriage was sexual discrimination and thus unconstitutional unless there was "compelling evidence" for it. In 1995, a governor's commission recommended the state grant marital rights to homosexuals.

 

The "full faith and credit" clause of the U.S. Constitution says that states must accord reciprocity to laws (and contracts) of other states. Thus a couple could get married in Hawaii, move to another state and demand that the state recognize their marriage contract unless laws in the new state conflict directly with laws in the former state.

 

This led the House to pass the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) this July with the Senate concurring on Sept. 10. Social Security, Veter-an's and other federal benefits such as married tax status will simply be denied to Americans who do not conform to a sexual pattern preferred by others in society. I don't know where in the Constitution Congress is permitted to legislate the morality that a man must marry a woman. Furthermore, DoMA permits states to ignore contracts of marriage made in other states. This is clearly unconstitutional, directly challenging the "full faith and credit" clause.

 

Texas Senator Phil Gramm said he was upholding an institution that has been unchallenged, until now, for the last few thousand years. Barring the great Greek and Roman civilizations that cherished homosexuality, the institution of marriage has not always had the same connotations it holds to some today.

For most of history, there was no love in marriage; it was a merely an economic union that simplified the problem of inheritance of property. Such marriages were usually pre-arranged and out of convenience.

 

Even now, marriage is a political contract recognized by the state for certain benefits....

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