What are some issues surrounding marriage equality in America?

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Answered by: Nicole, An Expert in the Matters and Causes Category
There are some issues surrounding marriage equality in America. Gay marriage is not legal in the United States because the Defense of Marriage Act is in effect. This bill was signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, and states that no state has to treat any marriage as a same-sex one. It had also originally stated that marriage is defined as between a man and woman but later was declared unconstitutional in the federal court system. One issue concerning marriage equality has to do with religious beliefs. Many people have firm, long standing beliefs in the teachings of the Bible, which states in the Old Testament, Leviticus 18:22: “Man shall not lie with man as with woman. It is an abomination.” This tends to be the main defense of most right-winged religious groups and anti-gay marriage groups such as The Manhattan Declaration. This group was formed in 2009 and serves as a way for anti-gay marriage activists to declare their commitment to fighting against this right. This organization recently had an iphone application revoked by the Apple Corporation because they found it too offensive.

Another issue is the belief that homosexuals are promiscuous and are not able to have long lasting relationships. Many view the lifestyle as being a choice, not something that isn’t controlled. There are those that also believe that same-sex marriage is just about sex. There are some arguments that marriage is about procreation, and therefore it is impossible to establish this right due to two of the same sex not being able to procreate. Also, some believe that having marriage equality would force Churches to perform these marriage ceremonies. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Bill, (DADT) was also a contributing issue to marriage equality in America. This bill was signed in 1993 by President Clinton. The bill stated that no homosexual could be openly gay while serving in the United States military. There were many arguments on why this bill should not be repealed, such as openly gays serving in the military would disrupt unit cohesion.

Recently, in December of 2010, this bill was officially put out of effect by President Obama. Among the issues surrounding marriage equality in America, is the fact that current President Obama does not fully support the idea. He has stated more than once that he supports civil unions by same-sex couples but not marriage as it is something pertaining specifically to a man and woman. One big issue pertaining to this topic, is the installment of Prop 8 in California. Prop 8 was passed in November 2008 which overturned same-sex marriages being recognized in the state.

This bill was later overruled in court by a California judge as being unconstitutional. Marriage Equality in America has also become a civil rights issue. Not allowing same-sex marriage means that couples can not make certain decisions such as hospital and treatment emergencies. Also, couples can not fully share finances, taxes, and be recognized the same way as opposite sex marriages are.

Many feel that these things go against our constitutional rights and should be changed. Same-sex marriages continue to not be legal in the United States; however there are some states that do recognize marriage equality, which include Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

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