Same-sex Marriage Essay

Submitted By Carbonneau05
Words: 1021
Pages: 5

Gay Marriage Among the United States

Marriage is a commitment between two people to become a family, the formal act recognized by law. When it applies to people of the same gender, however things can get complicated. Civil rights and the Constitution give American citizens many liberties. One of those civil liberties is the “pursuit of happiness,” which homosexual people are not allowed to chase at least not where marriage is concerned. They cannot be married to the people they love and this violates their freedoms. Gay marriage should be legalized in all 50 states. The constitution guarantees all citizens the right to equal protection under law. Banning same sex marriage could also be viewed as violating Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution, the 14th Amendment says: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"(Same-Sex Marriage). The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 is a clear violation of this clause and was found unconstitutional in June 2013 (Does Banning Gay…). Courts in some states (Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan) have come to realize that prohibiting gay marriage is unconstitutional and are now beginning to overturn those laws. Therefore, gay couples should have access to the same benefits as traditional couples. In addition, it is unjust to not allow same-sex couples the same benefits as hetereosexual couples based on the sexual orientation. A married spouse in a heterosexual relationship is given certain legal protections, however a same sex partner is denied in certain states. If a couple is in a same-sex marriage, they will qualify for immigration status and federal employee benefits (if either works for the federal government), even if they live in a non-recognition state. The same goes for the IRS and eligibility for federal tax benefits. In August 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury ruled that all same-sex couples that are legally married in any U.S. state or a foreign country will be recognized as married under all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor (Price). After paying a lifetime of taxes into a system that is supposed to provide retirement benefits for married couples, same-sex couples who marry may still be denied thousands of dollars in retirement benefits, survivor benefits, and lump-sum death benefits, simply because they are married to a person of the same sex in state that does not recognize the validity of their marriage (Wolfson). There shouldn’t be a change in benefits once the couple are married. If people are paying thousands of dollars for benefits then the government should realize this and allow the validity of their marriage.
Furthermore, there are documented economic benefits to allowing same-sex couples to marry. In addition to being morally and legally legitimate, gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Revenue from gay marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes (the so-called "marriage penalty"), and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. The Controller for New York City found that legalizing gay marriage would bring $142 million to the city’s economy and $184 million to the state’s economy over three years (ProCong.org). Weddings create revenue of all sorts and states and local governments benefit from marriage licenses. Venues get booked and paid for, while hotels, restaurants and retail outlets also see sales rise. Even vacation spots get a nice dose of business from the honeymooning couple. Five states now allow same-sex marriage. Even if a gay marriage doesn't work out that helps the economy too. Divorces cost money, and lawyers as well as state and local government reap fees (Kostigen). However, now when people get married they have to think of the what the future will bring. The decision stretches further than the words “I do.” Once…