Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues - Same-sex Marriage Laws Violate Gay Rights

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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...

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... other may make some people uncomfortable. But their union does not infringe on anyone else's life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, and they have a claim to pursue their human rights and marry each other.

What has Congress to gain by passing this restrictive law? It is only election-year politics to woo the radical right.

The United States government is unfairly discriminating against a portion of the United States population and we should not stand for this public "gay bashing."

Discrimination is still legal because the measure failed 50-49. Senator Pryor (D-Ark.) was attending his son's cancer surgery; otherwise, he would have supported the bill. Vice President Al Gore had promised to break the tie in support of the bill, but the motion failed.

Now it is legally OK to not hire someone based on his or her sexual preference.

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