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Marriage Equality/ Same-sex Marriage in the United States - Essay Example

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Summary
This paper talks that the United States, despite being on of the most democratic countries in the world, is still grappling with the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriages. The next issue is whether to grant the partners in same-sex marriages, the same rights and protections as straight couples. …
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Marriage Equality/ Same-sex Marriage in the United States

Download file to see previous pages... On the brighter side, various states have in the recent past been amending their laws to cater for the rights of same-sex unions, although to a lesser degree as compared to the rights enjoyed by straight couples. At present, there are states that recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships between same-sex couples and accord these couples some state benefits. As Andryszewski (102) states, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, Maine, California, and the District of Columbia are examples of states that recognize same-sex civil unions or allow for domestic partnerships for these couples. In these states, same-sex couples can access family health plans, become parents, and even have protection relating to divorce and separation under state laws. Neubauer & Meinhold (401) state that the state of Massachusetts was the first to legalize same-sex marriages; a law in which the couples can be issued with marriage certificates. According to Andryszewski (102), by the close of 2010, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Vermont were issuing same-sex partners with marriage licenses. Massachusetts allows same-sex couples to access tax, health, and social security survivor benefits just like opposite-sex couples. Same-sex unions have been on the increase in recent years, mainly as a result of better legal protections by state laws. However, these unions are far from receiving the equal and constitutional rights as traditional marriages in America. As Crehan & Rickenbacker state, legal rights such as the benefits that come with being someone’s spouse are not accorded to same-sex couples. For instance, Baker writes that it is impossible for a person who is gay or lesbian to inherit property from their partner after death,...
This paper stresses that the limitation of civil unions, domestic partnerships, and marriages for same-sex couples is that the protections and rights enjoyed by these couples are limited within state governments and do not apply to the federal government. For example, although same-sex couples in a civil union can file for joint state tax returns, the federal law requires that they file federal tax returns individually. The author talks that various states have in the recent past been amending their laws to cater for the rights of same-sex unions, although to a lesser degree as compared to the rights enjoyed by straight couples. At present, there are states that recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships between same-sex couples and accord these couples some state benefits. Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, Maine, California, and the District of Columbia are examples of states that recognize same-sex civil unions or allow for domestic partnerships for these couples. In these states, same-sex couples can access family health plans, become parents, and even have protection relating to divorce and separation under state laws.
This report makes a conclusion that no matter the advances made in the fight for legal recognition of same-sex marriages, the fight is far from over. Ideally, although some states may recognize same-sex unions and grant them state benefits, the federal government does not recognize such unions, and so such partners remain bound to their individual states. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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