Questioning The Constitutionality Of Bans On Marriage

Submitted By ceezymcgee
Words: 3079
Pages: 13

Claire Taylor
Mr. Wheeler
College Preparatory English
06 November 2012

Questioning the Constitutionality of Bans on Marriage It is every little girl's deepest dream to grow up, find the love of her life, and have the most fantastic wedding of them all. What if that little girl grows up to be attracted to other females? The church and the state will deny her right to her dream wedding. Religion should not be used in the decision of who can or cannot get marriage. The states should not be able to go against the Constitution and ban a certain group of people from marrying. Just because one group of people dislike a minority, their rights should not be ignored and excluded. The human race varies widely in religious beliefs, morals, thought processes, and sexual orientation. The Constitution claims that every American is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By discriminating against and treating the gay community as a different type of people, their right to happiness is taken away. The Fourteenth Amendment states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property (U.S.)". Many landmark court cases have questioned the constitutionality of laws put in place to prevent a certain kind of person from doing something. In Loving v. Virginia, Mildred Jeter, an African/Native American mix, and Richard Loving, a white man, challenged the state of Virginia's law that banned interracial marriage between whites and blacks. At the end of the trial, the Supreme Court ruled that, by refusing to recognise the union of marriage between a black woman and a white male, or vice versa, Virginia was going against the United State's Constitution by breaking the Fourteenth Amendment. Now, the question stands: Can we replace the races of said people, with the sexes of two individuals and challenge the constitutionality of bans on gay marriage? Right now, in the year 2012, same-sex marriage is banned in 39 states; five states allow civil unions between same-sex couples, but not marriage; and is allowed in six states, including the District of Colombia. (Stark 2) Arguments about gay marriage include the belief that same-sex marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage. One cannot ruin something, by merely supporting or adding to it. Same-sex marriage could, possibly, if legalised, benefit a majority, rather than tear it down. After New York passed the law that allowed same-sex marriage in the state, the state "reaped $259 million of economic benefits from same-sex marriages (Goldman 1)". Imagine the economic boom if all of the major cities in the United States allowed equal marriage, then even further if the entire nation allowed gays to marry. The year 1996 was one of the first times the American nation heard the words "gay" and "marriage" in the same sentence. When three couples went to get marriage certificates in Hawaii, the clerk denied them, saying that it was against the attorney general's advising. When the couples took their fight to a lower court, the case was dismissed. Then, on May 5, 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that, by denying the couples, or any other couple, a marriage certificate, the officials in the state were violating the state constitution's guarantee of equal protections. This decision in Hawaii was the first time same-sex couples caught a glimpse of equality. In 2000, after three Vermont couples were denied marriage licenses, the three couples stood before the court, awaiting the court's decision as to whether or not they would be able to marry. After weighing out the evidence of each argument, for and against, the court's justices declared that the state of Vermont would have to extend the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, as well. The justices said that the couples "seek nothing more, or less, than legal protection and security for their