Marriage Equality for All, Please

gayflag“Marriage – 1) a legally, religiously, or socially, sanctioned union of persons who commit to one another, forming a familial and economic bond. 2) a. The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments religious ceremonies etc. 2) b. A similar institution involving partners of the same gender as in gay marriage; same sex marriage.”  Recently this past June, the U.S Supreme Court made a historic decision by ruling the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA as unconstitutional; entitling same sex couples to the same federal benefits as traditional couples. In addition the U.S Supreme Court also effectively made California the thirteenth state to legalize same sex marriage. Though this is a major feat, there are still some major questions to be answered and hurdles to be overcome in regards to how to overhaul federal programs that involve marriage. To avoid these issues and headaches marriage equality should not just be offered in a handful of states, rather it should be offered nationally.

One of they key issues regarding the Supreme Courts decision is federalism. Charles Krauthammer, a opinion columnist for the Washington Post pointed out that, “Marriage is the province of the state and the state has the power to say who is married and who is not. The federal government is unable to intrude therefore they can only recognize gay marriage where it has been legalized”. This brings up the issue of…if a homosexual couple gets married in a state where same sex marriage is legal and them moves to a state where it is considered “illegal”, will they still be able to retain the same rights and benefits as a legally married couple despite where they live? That was exactly the case for Edith Windsor. Ms.Windsor and her partnered were legally wed in Canada in 2007, in 2009 her partner past away and Ms.Windsor inherited her partners property. However, at the time New York Federal Law did not view Ms.Windsor as a surviving spouse and was taxed around $360.000, a tax that which in a traditional marriage a surviving spouse would not be expected to pay. The organization freedom to marry points out that there are over 1,200 protection and responsibility programs given to heterosexual married couples. Same sex couples should Nationally be offered the same basic rights. Same sex couples that are denied the right to marriage are being of their rights to economic and family protection. Often times same sex coupled are denied family health coverage; If a serious injury or illness occurs same sex partners are unable to make emergency medical decisions for one another and they are unable to take medical leave. Many financial institutions won’t consider both spouses income when it comes to their taxes, credit loans, social security benefits, etc. Same sex couples are also kept from becoming joint parents, forcing them to face some rather abnormal difficulties when it comes to making important school and medical decisions, applying for passports, even passing on their inheritance. Finally, there is the issue of when a partner dies. Most marriage laws help the surviving spouse by allowing them to take care of the deceased spouse or by making arrangements for the surviving spouse to be taken care of, such as, by allowing partners bereavement leave and allowing them to pass on property or to inherit a lease. Unfortunately, for many same sex couples that are not yet allowed to become legally married do not receive this same kind of aide.

Many people who don’t agree with same sex marriage say that homosexuals are changing the definition of traditional marriage and are therefore setting a bad precedent. They also state that same sex couples are demeaning and demoralizing the value of marriage  and family and that they are interfering with church/religious institutions.

Same sex couples understand and respect the decisions of the church they simply want to be able to receive civil marriage and be recognized as one union legally. If a homosexual did wish to be married by a religious institution they would then of course seek permission by the head of that religious institution to marry, but they are not trying to alter religions. Sexual orientation does not result in damnation or demoralization, homosexual couples as stated earlier understand and know the meaning and value of marriage; They too believe that it is a special union, a promise of love and commitment between two people. As far as family values, according to a census in the year 2000 65,000 children lived with same sex parents, now in 2012 it is nearly double that amount with 110,000 children living with same sex parents and there has been no evidence to prove that these children are any more likely to be homosexual due to their parents sexual orientation. Same sex families households have shown to be just as stable as a household with heterosexual parents. It has been shown that in same same sex households parents are more likely to be more sympathetic towards differences and they have shown to set better examples for the child on how to have healthy relationships. Many children raised by same sex parents are typically raised to be more open minded and to think outside of the box and they are nurtured just like any other child raised in a loving home. There have been no real signs or disadvantages for children who have parents of the same sex.

Same sex couples should be offered the same basic rights as heterosexual couples. Anyone who wishes to marry should be free to do so regardless of where they live. It is wrong to demean or demoralize anyone just because it goes against a persons own personal or religious convictions, for it is in violation of our Fifth Amendment. We all want to love and care for someone. Who are we to deny anyone, anywhere that right?

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