Lecturer

GayMarriage: More than Marriage

Outline

  1. Introduction: Equality refers to both social and legal acceptance of a habit. Gay marriage has been a contentious issue over the years.

  2. Legalizing Same Sex Marriages: The debate on the legalization of same-sex marriages has been debated since 1990 in the United States.

  3. Current Developments in same-sex marriages: Same sex marriages have been debated in the modern times. Most of these debates have been witnessed in the United States and Canada where gay marriages occurred first.

  4. Facts on Sam-Sex Marriages in the US Today: There are more than 750, 000 same sex couples in the United States.

  5. Why Same-Sex Couples want to marry: Majority of same-sex couples want to get married because they are in love in fact, most of them have spent over ten years with people of the same sex with whom they are in love.

  6. Gay Marriages Promoting Social Stability: Same sex marriages can enhance social stability in the United States and other parts of the world.

  7. Conclusion: Marriage equality is more than just getting married it is about equal rights.

Theterm equality is used in the representation of equal acceptance thisis particularly legal acceptance and social acceptance. Looking athistory, the fight for marriage equality for same-sex couples hasquite possibly been the most conventional, family-friendly equalrights struggle ever. The debate has majorly been about day todaylife, whereby to people with a connection at the soul push to protectone another with basic legal rights and safeguard like socialsecurity, their health insurance, and to have a right of visitationin hospitals. Nevertheless, many people still pose complicatedquestions regarding equality of marriage, as such why two people whospend majority of their time committed to each other not beguaranteed the same human rights as others are offered. After all,history speaks for itself, that the marriage strengthens couples andfamilies, who in their part go ahead to strengthen their communitiesone at a time resulting to a stronger nation. Therefore, this essayfocuses on gay marriage, and marriage equality being more than justmarriage it is about equal rights.

LegalizingSame-Sex Marriages

Inthe United States, the issues of same-sex marriages date back the1990s when the issue seized the nation’s interest. The issue wasbrought to light a group of couples in Hawaii went to court for beingdenied license in marriage. Alike arguments against same-sex marriageprohibitions had been field before in other states, however, none hadattained any success. The Hawaii case won on an appeal in 1996, andthis was the first court in the US to declarer banning same-sexcouples from marriages was unconstitutional. However, before thisdecision would be effected, huge resistance resulted leading to anamendment of the state’s constitution to a restriction of onlyheterosexual couples in 1998 (Cherlin1).

TheHawaii case did not only spark antagonism with the state of Hawaiibut rather generated opposition to same sex-marriages at a nationallevel. This saw the signing into law the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) defining marriage for all federal purposes, such as federallaws, taxes, as lawful amalgamation a man and a woman. In addition,the law signed by President Bill Clinton allowed any state the rightto refuse to recognize same-sex marriages formalized in other states.Opponents not satisfied with the acts went ahead to file sanctionspreventing same-sex couples from receiving state and local marriagebenefits ensuring they did not file joint tax returns (Olson,Wendy, and James 2).

Currentdevelopments in Same-Sex Marriages

Recently,advocates and opponents of gay marriages have continued to debateover the issue of same-sex marriages. Unprecedented moves have beenwitnessed in Canada were the justice panel in the country declaredthat the exclusion of same-sex marriages from partaking marriages isa discrimination. Thus, the Canadian court mandated that the federalgovernment align its marriage laws with the Canada’s Charter ofRights and Freedoms, which legalized same-sex marriages from July2004 (Olson,Wendy, and James 2).

Similarincidents have played in the US whereby, different supreme courtshave changed course towards the legalization of same-sex marriages.For instance, in 1999 Vermont justice ruled that same-sex couples areentitled to all protections and benefits that the marriedheterosexuals’ couples enjoy. In addition, the MassachusettsSupreme Court came to a similar ruling in 2003, whereby, the courtallowed for same-sex couples are allowed to marry. The Massachusettsstate has a full civil marriage and hundreds of legal benefits andobligations accruing to same-sex couples in the state with the rulingbeing brought to the effect in May 2004. San Francisco’s mayorGavin Newsom joined the movement of legalizing gay marriages havingthe city clerk give marriage license to gay couples from February2004. This move so over 1600 same-sex couples seek licenses in justthree days (Olson,Wendy, and James 2).

Factson Sam-Sex Marriages in the US Today

Currently,there are more than 750, 000 same-sex couples in the US as per therecent figures presented from the US Census. Same-sex couples live inover 99.3% of all countries in the world. Estimation shows there areover 3.1 million people living together in the same-sex relationshipsin the US alone, with 15% of the same-sex couples living in the rulessettings. Of the total fraction of the same-sex couples, in a ratioof one to three lesbians are raising children and one out of everyfive gay male couples are raising children. As such between 1 millionand 9 million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, or bisexualparents in the US in the modern day. On a global basis at least onesame-sex couples in 96% of countries with same-sex couples is raisingchildren (Meezanand Jonathan 1).

WhySame-Sex Couples want to Marry

Majorityof same-sexcoupleswant to get married because they are in love, in fact most of themhave spent over 10, 20, and some 50 years with a particular personthey are in love with. By marrying they want to honor theirrelationship in the greatest way the society can offer, that is intaking a vow of union in good and bad times through challengespresented to them by life. In addition, parents wants a safety netfor their children that comes with marriage and guaranteeingprotections that unmarried parents cannot offer. In addition, otherpeople both straight and gay want allowance to same-sex marriagesince they recognize it is just not right to refute a few familiesthe protection other families enjoy (Cherlin2).

Marriageequality is more than just marriage it should be based on equalrights (Kim1).Currently in the US same-sex couples engaged in long-term committedrelationships are subjected to paying higher taxes and denied basicsprotections and rights that are granted to the married straightcouples. Some of the rights denied to the same-sex couples includehospital visitations, where by married couples has a right to visiteach other in hospitals and take medical decisions for theirpartners, however, same-sex couples can be denied the right to visitsick or injured loved one in hospitals.

Onmatters social security benefits, married people receive socialsecurity payments upon the death of their spouse. However, on theother hand despite payments of payroll taxes, same-sex partners donot receive any social security survivor benefits, this result intoan annual average loss in income of about $5,528 upon the death of apartner. On matters immigrations, Americans in same-sex marriage arenot allowed have their partners given a rights to immigrate and jointhem, as such they are forced to move to other countries alltogether, which is a clearly a denial of rights to the same-sexcouples as the straights are allowed to petition for their spousesand have immigrate to the states to join them (Cherlin3).

Inequalityin marriage is also experienced in the field of health insurance. Inhealth insurance many of the public and personal companies will offercover to the worker and their spouse, however, most employers willnot provide coverage to the life partners of the same-sex couples.The lucky few gay or lesbian couples to have their partners coveredin health insurance by their employers, they are subjected to payestate taxes on possessions hereditary from a departed spouse. Thus,on the issue of estate taxes, there is inequality in marriage asmarried straight couples inherit property from deceased familymembers without paying any taxes, however, in the case of same-sexcouples they are forced to pay an estate tax on property they inheritfrom a deceased partner (Cherlin3).

Inequalityin marriage is experienced all the way to acquiring family leaves atwork. All married workers are legally entitled to unpaid leaves fromtheir jobs to care for an ill spouse. However, the same-sex workersare not entitled to family leave to care for their partners.Matrimonial straight partners have a lawful right to live together innursing homes, however, this not the case for elderly gay or lesbiancouples. In addition, the law protects elderly couples from beingforced to sale their homes to cover expensive nursing home billsnevertheless this is not the same for same-sex seniors. Furtherinequality is experienced in pensions, whereby, after the death of aworker survivor benefits are billed to the legal partner of theparticipant. Same-sex survivor partners are excluded from thispensions benefits as they are not recognized adding up theinequalities in marriage (Kim 2).

GayMarriages Promoting Social Stability

Despiteconservatives arguing otherwise, legalizing same-sex would actuallyenhance the social stability of the US. This is in the sense thatmarriage an inherently conservative institution that calls for deepercommitment to civic and family responsibilities than the unmarriedpeople undertake (Feldblum2).Thus, it would benefit a country to facilitate the level ofcommitment for more couples, which should include same-sex couples.Allowing same-sex marriages in no way impose to the rights ofspiritual or morally opposed parties. Separating the church from thestate allows Americana to maintain independence and chances for alleven where individuals share different values than those of theirneighbors.

Itis difficult to answer whether same sex marriages should enforce anddefine marriages. However, on the other hand the government has theauthority to offer rights and stipulate the couples to fulfillcertain responsibilities such as fostering family responsibility.Societies on their part claim marriages are institutions that aremeant to assist families survive through tradition and socialpressure. Since marriage is not a single institution holding a singledefinition, it would be unfair to deny couples the right to marry oreven deny them privileges that come with marriage. Thus, the stateshould legalize same-sex unions in order to honor existing socialrelationships that are already functional in marriages (Feldblum2).

Conclusion

Denyingsame-sex couples a right to be joined in marriage is cruel and absurdas it is in denying straight people though from different races theright to marry. Thus, marriage equality is more than just gettingmarried it is about equal rights. The constitution of the USguarantees everyone the right to life, liberty, and a pursuit forhappiness, this in it alone is enough to give way for same-sexmarriages, and have the same benefits as those enjoyed byheterosexuals.

WorksCited

Cherlin,Andrew J. &quotThe deinstitutionalization of American marriage.&quotJournalof Marriage and Family66.4 (2004): 848-861. Print.

Feldblum,Chai R. &quotGay Is Good: The Moral Case for Marriage Equality andMore.&quot YaleJL &amp Feminism17 (2005): 139. Print.

Kim,Suznane A. &quotSkeptical marriage equality.&quot Harv.JL &amp Gender34.2 (2011): 37. Prin.

Meezan,William, and Jonathan Rauch. &quotGay marriage, same-sex parenting,and America`s children.&quot TheFuture of Children15.2 (2005): 97-113. Print.

Olson,Laura R., Wendy Cadge, and James T. Harrison. &quotReligion andPublic Opinion about Same‐SexMarriage.&quot SocialScience Quarterly87.2 (2006): 340-360. Print.