The Debate over Same Sex Marriage Essay

The Debate over Same Sex Marriage Essay

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The Debate over Same Sex Marriage


Legislation is deeply entrenched in language and the continual process of interpretation. Laws are created as a response to cultural and societal needs, wants and norms and are restructured and interpreted as these desires and standards change over time. The importance of the words chosen and the syntax used in order to translate society's standards into legislation are amplified over time because they are continuously deconstructed, examined, and analyzed. As these laws are applied to and challenged by society, policymakers must examine them and then change them through discourse and dialogue. As current sentiments towards marriage are changing and shifting, policymakers must begin to examine our nation's legislation that dictates how marriage works in our country. They must attempt to create a policy that is ethical and constitutional which at the same time accurately represents the majority's opinions.

The issue of same-sex marriage became relevant in the recent election due to the actions of courts and local officials in both California and Massachusetts. President Bush proposed an Amendment that would limit marriage rights to only heterosexual couples in all states. Many government officials felt that this was unnecessary due to the success of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which John Kerry, who would come to run against George W. Bush in 2004, spoke out against. The Act passed through both the House and Senate with resounding majorities. Because of the media attention of the same-sex marriage debate in this election year, constituents of both parties have examined the arguments that both Bush and Kerry have made for and against legislation which limits marriage rights. By examini...


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... human element of the marriage debate, liberals like John Kerry can appeal to the section of the American population which is concerned with the preservation and expansion of a citizen's rights but the conservative approach of playing into the weaknesses and fears of conservative heterosexual faction of American population, they can offer a scapegoat. Many people believe this issue was brought into the spotlight in order to distract people from the deplorable condition of Bush's war in Iraq. It provided the conservative base an enemy against whom it could rally. It provided a cohesion to conservatives everywhere that was lost due to the state of the war. By examining the ways in which each candidate structured there argument considering same-sex marriage legislation, one can gain insight into the interplay between the two parties on a national and a personal level.

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