Quarter 3 Project
Legalizing Gay Marriage O.O.
As of November 7, 2012 nine states have legalized gay marriage. These states are: Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington. Also the District of Columbia legalized gay marriage. Eleven states allow Civil Unions. Civil Unions are legally recognized union of a same-sex couple, with rights similar to those of marriage. These states are Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Delaware. And thirty states have currently banned Gay Marriage. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage. As of September 12, 2012, 11 out of 194 countries allow gay marriage: the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), and Portugal (2010). Some of you may think that this is actually a good amount of states and countries that have completely legalized Gay Marriage. But I think this is unacceptable. Why is it fair in some places but not others? Shouldn’t people have equal rights everywhere, not just in certain places? And quite frankly it’s nobody else’s business whether two men or two women want to get married. If we start talking about only the U.S. now, if nine states can legalize it the U.S. as a whole should be willing or able to legalize it. Denying same sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian families as inferior and sends a message that it is ok to discriminate against them. Allowing gay marriage will give them access to basic rights such as: hospital visitation during illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending. Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or “family values”. A study published on April 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found that “laws permitting same sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse affects on marriage, divorce, and abortion rates.” The 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia confirmed that marriage is "one of the basic civil rights of man," and same-sex marriages should receive the same protections by that ruling. A solution would be to add an amendment to the U.S. so it defines marriage as a union between two people, not a man and a woman. Legal scholars would have to debate over the wording but it would be similar to this: A "marriage", as recognized by federal, state, and local governments, is defined as a union between two adults. The two adults must both be over the age of 18 and must not be immediate relatives (sibling, parent, first cousin, aunt, uncle, and grandparent). Any further restrictions of the marriage are left up to the states, with any state decision applying only to the state that passes the law and any other state that recognizes a similar marriage. The amendment would need bipartisan support