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Same Sex Marriage/Marriage Equality - Essay Example

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Same Sex Marriage & Marriage Equality: United States v. Windsor Your Name Due Date The average straight America probably doesn’t think twice about laws that allow or disallow marriage. The average straight person, male or female, has the right to marry whomever of the opposite sex they so choose; without question, interference, criticism, and legal sanctions to prevent it from happening…
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Same Sex Marriage/Marriage Equality
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Download file to see previous pages However, there, are also, many people who are very much against the homosexual lifestyle and certainly do not want the laws to acknowledge gay marriage. In fact one Act was implemented in the late 1990s, the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which was intended to make certain that gay marriages would not be accepted, could not be enforced in states where it remains illegal, and that no members of a homosexual relationship could collect the benefits that heterosexual couples are entitled to as a married couple. The case of Windsor versus the United States, which concluded just this year, acknowledged elements of the DOMA is unconstitutional and changed the laws which legally acknowledge the rights of spouses in same sex couples. The Defense of Marriage Act was signed and put into practice in 1996. It is broken into two parts. The first part, clearly states that no states in the united States can ever be forced to legally acknowledge or grant spousal rights to a same sex couple if it is illegal in that state, even if the same sex couple was legal married in another location, The second half was intended to define marriage, which is no easy feat, as something that can only occur between a male and a female; the term spouse, also, can only be applied to someone of the opposite sex (Manning). This is an astoundingly poignant statement being made. It seeks to apply a universal definition of marriage; but marriage does not always mean exactly the same thing to all people. Some people think of marriage as a burdensome necessity of life, others do it for personal gain, like money, and then others actually marry for love. If no one can define it universally then how can the government hope to do so? Members of the LGBT community have worked for years to see this, as they see it, unconstitutional policy changed. Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer was a lesbian couple living in New York City. They were together in a monogamous relationship for 44 years, but weren’t married until 2007 when they went to Canada where the marriage is legal. Unfortunately Thea Spyer had suffered many years with the continuous debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis, which led to her ultimate paralysis. She passed away in 2009. Thea left everything to her spouse; however the government of New York refused to honor the marriage between them due to the marriage definition established by the DOMA. They taxed Edie’s inheritance extremely high, as if they were strangers; however, straight spouses in the states can receive inherited properties without such taxation. Windsor did not settle for this treatment and took the case all the way to the Supreme Court (American Civil Liberties Union). In June of this year this long court case came to a conclusion. In a 5 to 4 vote that the particulars of DOMA are unconstitutional. This decision reversed part of DOMA and allowed Windsor to be compensated for the false taxation and unconstitutional treatment. This decision means that same-sex couples who are legally married must now be treated the same under federal law as married opposite-sex couples. It is not constitutional to deny legally married couples, gay or straight, the rights they are due because the state has made a moral or ethical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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