The Struggle Between State And Federal Responsibilities: Same Sex Marriage

1676 words - 7 pages

Federalism refers to the system of government in which power is split between a national government and a state government as is defined by a constitution. The overarching purpose of such a government is to grant each level their own equal sovereign and independent powers in an overall effort to eliminate too large of a control by one level. One of the major requirements of this style of government is that each level has the independent authority to pass laws - this gives states the ability to maintain a sense of identification and independence from the federal government and allows laws to differ across state borders. The United States upholds a, generally, successful form of federalism ...view middle of the document...

This issue of whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal is a very controversial one and is still presently under deliberation. As was previously stated, the Tenth Amendment declares that any situation that is not clearly stated in the constitution is to be left to the states. Considering that the issue of same-sex marriage is nowhere discussed in the constitution, it is therefore under the discretion of each individual state. According to this belief, the states have the right to deal with this issue however they see fit. In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines the parameters of marriage and what shall and shall not be federally recognized (Nelson). Specifically, section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act declares that a marriage is a union only between a man and a woman (Supreme Court of the United States). This declaration defies the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which addresses providing protection from unequal laws to citizens. For example, laws cannot be discriminatory by race or gender. In order to respect this aspect of the constitution, the Defense of Marriage Act therefore should not and could not exist. The Equal Protection Clause is directly violated when a law provides one group with the rights to do something and denies another group the same right, which is precisely what DOMA does (Cornell University Legal Information Institute “Equal Protection”).
Continuing to consider the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage, it is important to review actual situations that have occurred regarding this issue. In the recent case of US v. Windsor (2013), on the event of her wife’s death Edith Windsor was not granted the tax exemption and social security benefits typical for a surviving spouse. This occurred due to the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman as was created by the Defense of Marriage Act. After taking the case to the Supreme Court it was ruled that based upon the Due Processes Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Defense of Marriage Act - particularly section 3 - is unconstitutional. In conjunction, the Due Process Clause states that no American citizen shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without “due process of the law,” and section 3 of DOMA victimizes a specific group of citizens who would normally be promised these rights without any realistic, legal reason of doing so (Cornell University Legal Information Institute “Due Process”). The final decision of this case - ruling that the aforementioned aspects of DOMA are unconstitutional - further ruled that the federal government had to abide by and recognize any marriages that were recognized by any individual state. While this is in fact true and a fair ruling based on the constitution, the counterargument to this situation is relatively strong as well. Although the federal government should respect marriages accepted by the states, it is not the states that provide most of the...

Find Another Essay On The Struggle Between State and Federal Responsibilities: Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage and Politics in the U.S

816 words - 3 pages legal or illegal. The people who oppose same sex marriage or also known as gay marriage are mostly conservatives. The republicans for the most part oppose gay marriage and want to make it unconstitutional. Their major point to declaring gay marriage unconstitutional is that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. The conservatives believe gay marriage will change the foundation of society and that people would not be able to adapt to

Bill-C250 and The Issue on Same Sex Marriage

1377 words - 6 pages ? Bill-C250 is a new law that would redefine the term marriage, which means the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife. It would make it a crime to incite hatred of a group of people based on their sexual 'orientation'. In this way, it would also legalize same-sex marriage and redefine the term of marriage to a legal union of two people. Ever since M.P. Svend Robinson proposed this bill, it has caused much controversy in Canada, and has

The Issues of Gay and Same-Sex Marriage

1187 words - 5 pages socially conservative commentator, regarding the same sex marriage, Gallagher states, "Same sex marriage is founded in a lie about human nature:' there is no difference between same sex and opposite sex unions and you are a bigot if you disagree (Corvino 7).'" Gallagher uses the word “bigot” to describe her counterparts with conflicting opinions right away without any clarification of acts of intolerance by the opposing sides. The appropriate and

Same sex marriage

600 words - 2 pages Kendrick AndersonANTHRO 202Cultural Anthropology30-April-2013Same Sex MarriageMarriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Same-sex relations wouldpresent many changes in the meaning of marriage. Marriage is a historic, culturalinstitution, and same-sex will confuse society generation. The amendment protect marriagefrom over-ruling by either state legislatures or the courts orders. Same-sex marriage can affectchildren in a way of

Same Sex Marriage

1023 words - 5 pages be banned, because The Bible states Marriage should be between a man and a woman, which will start an argument towards same sex marriage, but some people may not believe in The Bible, because of freedom of religion. In this case some believe in other things than the average person.Afterwards, same sex marriage benefit society, because it shows that everone should be happy, which can really be beneficial. Lastly, same sex marriage has a huge

Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

1293 words - 5 pages marriage to one man and one woman (U.S. vs. Windsor, 2013). As of December 19, 2013, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states along with the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage (2013, n.p.). The legal debate continues in the remaining 33 states. This writer believes that barriers preventing legalization of same-sex marriage in these states are fear based and discriminatory in nature. Fear based

Same Sex Marriage

949 words - 4 pages Marriage should be about the love two individuals share, not what gender they are. Most people believe marriage should be between a man and a woman; however society has changed over the years. For a variety of reasons, same sex marriage should be legal in the United States, because every individual should be treated equally and be able to share a life together with the rights and responsibilities of a married couple. “Opponents of same-sex

Same Sex Marriage

1246 words - 5 pages . Homosexual marriages has progressed overtime to represent something much more than the typical fight between two political forces but into a struggle of hope and freedom for an accepting future among the state of our nation. Works Cited Devine, Donald. "Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t About Freedom." The American Conservative. 27 June 2013. Web. 01 Oct. 2013 Messereli, Joe. "" Same Sex Marriages .Balanced Politcs, 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 01

Same Sex Marriage

1260 words - 6 pages other. Proponents argue that legal marriage between gay partners would legitimize homosexuality as a socially acceptable lifestyle and grant partners legal advantages given to heterosexual spouses (Gray and Hanson 402). “Opponents maintain that legalizing gay marriages would only strengthen the gay civil rights agenda, which is immoral and dangerous” (Lewis and Edelson 2000, 200). Furthermore, opponents of same-sex marriage state that legalizing

Same-sex Marriage

1738 words - 7 pages and political communities, all over the world. On 1 April 2001, Netherlands became the first country in the world to sanction marriage between couples of the same sex (Wight Int). On 17 May 2014, Massachusetts became the first United States state to supply marriage licenses to homosexual couples (Int). As of now, 14 states recognize same-sex marriage. Many religious leaders speak relentlessly in unwavering antipathy to grant marriage rights to

Same-Sex Marriage Inequality

1517 words - 7 pages continued on to Court of Appeals. Soon after this- the case moved to the Supreme Court. The ultimate goal of the case was to determine the answer of this question- “Does the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines the term “marriage” under federal law as a “legal union between one man and one woman” deprive same-sex couples who are legally married under state laws of their Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection under federal law?” After almost a

Similar Essays

Same Sex Marriage: Church Vs. State Essay

2238 words - 9 pages Same-sex marriage is a debated subject throughout the Church, as well as the state. There are two different sides surrounding this debate; one side dealing with a religious view and the other with the state (Constitution). In the United States, laws dealing with marriage are ratified by each state, not by the federal government as a whole. Yet, marriage is viewed differently through the eyes of religion. Each religion has its own views

The Same Sex Marriage Debate Essay

1684 words - 7 pages to compromise by passing Civil Union Law instead of marriage licenses and still did not appear to make the gay community happy. I vaguely discussed the pros and cons of the social and economic issues associated with same sex marriages. I also looked at how the state regulates and influences these issues, how the behavior of Vermont affected Georgia's actions, and lastly the relationship between the legislature and the courts, as mentioned in

Same Sex Marriage And The Law In Canada

1687 words - 7 pages Marriage is a fundamental institution in Canadian society today, and has been the topic of much controversy in recent years. The issue of same-sex marriage has caused debates between many groups in society. Not just in Canada, but around the world, individuals and governments have debated whether marriage has a continuing value to society, and if so whether and how the state should recognize married relationships in law. Many groups are opposed

Same Sex Marriage And Immigration: The Role Of Federalism

1936 words - 8 pages Throughout recent years, two major issues have become prevalent in the United States, followed by increasing debate of whether they should be regulated by the federal government or state governments: same-sex marriage and immigration. Although the federal government has attempted to deal with same-sex marriage in the past, it has become evident that the public is not in agreement over this issue, rendering the efforts of the federal government