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Gay Marriage

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Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is one of the leading political topics in the United States today. Whether it is in Massachusetts, California, New Mexico, or on the campaigning road, America has shifted its head to focusing on one question: Do you support gay marriage? Personally, I would say "YES." My stance on this issue is not only a personal position based on my intolerance for any form of bigotry or my numerous amounts of friends who are homosexual, but also I base my opinion on one of the most famous American ideals, that all men are created equal.

In the twentieth century, America has undergone vast changes in family styles. Because of the increase in many gays and lesbians speaking out, we see a new emphasis on the word family. Many gays and lesbians have decided to come out of the closet shaking up an issue that has made a ruckus between Americans. We find that the Defense of Marriage Act states that marriage should be between one man and one woman for federal purposes; but is this fair? The United States was founded on the belief of equality, loyalty, and justice for all (Bellamy F., 1892).

Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to do the same. Since 1996, many states have enacted legislation prohibiting same-sex marriages or the recognition of same-sex marriages formed in another jurisdiction. States have traditionally recognized marriages solemnized in other states, even those that go against the marriage laws of that particular state. Under the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, states are generally required to recognize and honor the public laws of other states, unless those laws are contrary to the strong public policy of that state.

Over half of the states have passed language defining marriage between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. Arizona is the only state where a constitutional amendment on the ballot in a general election has failed (2006); however, in 2008 the measure ultimately passed. Typically, constitutional amendments have passed with an overwhelming majority.

There have been several proposals before Congress to amend the federal Constitution, defining marriage as between a man and a woman and ensuring that states would not be required to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. Opponents of the amendment cite federalism concerns in addition to support for same-sex marriages.

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