Defense of Marriage Act

2253 Words10 Pages
Within the last month a highly anticipated law suit toward DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act has come to a close. A federal judge has named portions of DOMA as unconstitutional. The verdict is a large win for those supporters of gay rights, as well as giant loss for those that oppose this type of union (Trotter). To clarify, if this verdict is upheld, federal government would have no say in whether or not to legalize gay marriage. Each individual states government would be held responsible to do so (Trotter). Thusly, the issue at hand then becomes should gay marriage be legal? Marriage in the United States, up until the early 1800’s, was a soley private matter. Two individuals were considered “wed” by their peers and religious institutions with an exchange of vows and the couples public declaration (Cott). At present, all states in America require a license to be able to define a marriage as a legal union. In the United States, there were 2,162,000 of these licenses handed out to couples in 2009 (CDC) In states such as Hawaii and Massachusetts, around some 819 civil unions were performed for homosexual couples (CDC) These unions however, are only valid in the state where they were gained and does not grant any federal privileges similar to those that heterosexual marriage licenses do, such as tax breaks (Belge). Other states that are not tolerant of gay marriage have no legal avenue for validating a gay marriage and have laws completely banning it. The moderate states have a type of combination of the later two. They offer registries that document the couples status, however do not grant rights or privileges that licenses and civil unions do. Those interested in this issue vary widely in position and class, however it s... ... middle of paper ... ...ortunity to show they are no different than any other type of couple. After all, where in the constitution does it states liberty and justice for all, except if you’re a homosexual? How did our plight as Americans somehow lose translation depending on who your partner in life turns out to be? Perhaps now is the time to truly practice the law from which this country was based on and remember why the first new Americans set foot on this land. They were running from religious and personal persecution. They wanted to live their lives the way they saw fit without the need to do things unofficially and in secret for fear of retaliation . Gay citizens want the same basic liberties we are all privy to, inherit as born citizens to this nation and paid for by the taxes therein. The same liberties and ideals our fore fathers fought and died for. To be free.
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