We Must Legalize Gay Marriage And Same Sex Parenting

2225 words - 9 pages

The legalization of Gay marriage is a very popular issue in the United States. The popularity of the issue alone makes the outcome very important to the American people. The debate is multifaceted. Should gay marriage be legal? Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children? Is it constitutional to withhold federal rights from gay couples? Then, there’s the media, throwing around their opinions and trying to influence the opinions of the public. However, even though gay marriage is, in most cases, portrayed positively by the media it is still a source of major debate. The legalization of gay marriage could positively effect the American public in many ways.
The most recent development in this issue is the Supreme Court ruling on the case of U.S. v. Windsor. It was decided on June 26, 2013 that section 3 of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional under the fifth amendment. It directly violates the clause stating that all American citizens will receive equal protection under the law (Metro). Section 3 of DOMA states that “marriage” will be defined as a union between one man and one woman. DOMA also states that “spouse” will be defined as a person of the opposite sex to whom one is married (Unites States Cong.). When asked, JayChristopher Williams, 21 at the time DOMA was passed, stated that he felt that, “It was, for me as a youngish gay when passed, a codified sign that the government believed I was a second class citizen.” The law was quite a shock for him, being from a higher class southern family in Mobile, Alabama. He had always felt that he was just as good as anyone else. Later in the interview he stated that the law caused him to essentially give up on the institution of marriage. Since it was something he apparently could not have, he obviously was not cut out for it (Williams.)
The case was brought before the Supreme Court because, in 2009, Windsor’s female partner, Thea Spyer, died and left a good portion of her estate to Windsor. Consequently, Windsor was made to pay over $300,000 in federal estate taxes on the inheritance. Windsor then filed for a refund on the basis that under normal circumstances spouses of the deceased are exempt from federal estate taxes. Windsor was denied the refund due to she very clear language in DOMA saying that she was not technically Spyer’s “spouse.” Spyer and Windsor were legally married in Canada and lived in New York. Therefore, the marriage license the couple recieved in Canada should have been valid in the United States(Scribd). In the case of a heterosexual couple, the granting of the refund would not have been an issue. Couples have destination wedding very frequently and their marriage licenses are recognized by the U.S. government, so the fact that they were married in another country is not the issue. It is all in the wording of the situation. This violates the fifth amendment by having a different treatment for a portion of the population in this...

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