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Same Sex Marriage

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George Orwell once said, “We have to sink to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” This quote can be applied to the current debate over the definition of marriage. On one side are those that seek to redefine marriage, those in favor of same-sex marriage, and those that believe in traditional marriage, one man and one woman. For those that seek same-sex marriage, it is any group of people who love each 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 gay marriages is an insult to the sanctity of traditional marriage.
In a policy such as same-sex marriage, which is driven by salience and a lack of complexity, the public has a strong influence over governmental decisions. When the public does not support gay marriage, the politicians of those states follow suit. The impact of public support on same-sex marriage reaches the federal level as well, with the introduction of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1996. This bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to do the same. Since 1996, many states have enacted legislation prohibiting same-sex marriages and or the recognition of same-sex marriages formed in other states. Traditionally, states have recognized marriages observed in other states, even those that go against the marriage laws of that particular state. “Thirty seven stat...

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