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Political Issues of Same-Sex Marriage

Essay by   •  December 12, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  3,029 Words (13 Pages)  •  2,065 Views

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Political Issues of Same-Sex Marriage

The political aspects of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to federal and government recognized marriages are a very complex issue. There are basically two sides to the political argument of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. On one side are the liberals who feel that marriage is a civil right that should be denied based on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. On the other side you have conservatives who feel that marriage is an institution in which should only constitute one man and one woman. In this report we are going to examine how the issue of same-sex marriages are affecting our current political environment, how politics is affecting the movement for same-sex marriages, and how our communities comments on the possible affects it could have on our community.

This report will begin by specifically examining the traditional views that are held by the separate major political parties. We will examine 2004 Election and examine how the issue of same-sex marriage affected the political platforms of the presidential nominees, but also examine how politicians affected the issue of same-sex marriage with the issuance of legislation and amendments to state constitutions. We will then examine how current and proposed legislation is currently affecting the issue of same-sex marriage in the United States. Responses from members of our community will be included in sections of this report to indicate their thoughts and feelings as they relate to the issue.

While interviewing members of our community about what they thought the traditional views of same-sex marriage were for the major political parties (Republicans and Democrats) the answers among all of them were pretty much the same. All interviewees indicated that Republicans have traditionally been opposed to the allowance of same-sex couples to have state recognized marriages and that Democrats have traditionally been for the allowance of same-sex couples to have state recognized marriages. The interviewees did indicate that these are the traditional views and not how all Republicans and Democrats feel. In fact, during the last presidential election, neither the Republicans nominee nor the Democrats nominee supported the allowance of same-sex couples the right to a government-recognized marriage . All of the people that I interviewed felt that the actions of the party members were based less on nominees' moral feelings and more on the fact that they were trying to make themselves more appeal able to the voters.

At the end of August 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney came out and openly admitted that he supported a same-sex couple's right to have a government-recognized marriage and that it is a matter for the states. This was in open opposition to his leader and presidential running mate's, President George Bush, stance of seeking a United State Constitutional amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage. Some politicians viewed that Vice President Dick Cheney's stance was because Mr. Cheney's daughter is an open homosexual. Others argued that Mr. Cheney's comments were a political ploy to try and retain any homosexual republicans who may have been alienated by the Bush administrations position on the issue.

In Ohio, there was a fierce battle over whether an amendment should be passed that would ban same-sexed marriages and marriage like relationships. The movement to pass the amendment was successful, but it did face strong opposition by the states most powerful Republicans like Ohio's Governor, Bob Taft, Attorney General Jim Petro of Ohio, and its U.S. senators, George Voinovich and Mick Dewine who all opposed Ohio's amendment . When asking the people I interviewed about this, they responded that for the most part the politicians tend to side with their constituents when it comes to issues of like that of same-sex marriage bans. Which is the way it is really supposed to be, elected officials should be making decisions based on what their constituents want and not on their own personal feelings on the issue.

In order to get a better hold of how the issue of same-sex marriage would affect politics, we will take a look at the current and proposed legislature that is shaping the political atmosphere of this issue. We will start with current state and federal legislature that is affecting the issue.

The current major state and federal law that is affecting same-sex marriage is the Defense of Marriage Act , or DOMA as it also called. The Defense of Marriage Act is a federal law that allows each state to recognize or deny any marriage-like relationship between persons of the same-sex that has been recognized in another state and it also explicitly recognizes for purposes of federal law that marriage is "a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife" and by stating that spouse "refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife." When asking the people that I interviewed what their feelings were towards the Defense of Marriage Act and how it currently affects the issue of same-sex marriage and the interviewees who were for same-sex marriage felt that the law was inherently wrong and the person I interviewed who was opposed to same-sex marriage thought the law was good except for one obvious flaw with it.

The problem that she was referring to was the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act gives one state the right to not acknowledge a marriage from another state. This could be considered unconstitutional according to Article IV of the United States Constitution, the "Full Faith and Credit" clause requires each state to give full faith and credit to the laws of another state. Some have argued the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it gives the state the right do not acknowledge a marriage from another state and that it would not survive judicial scrutiny under the United States Supreme Court because of this. As of this writing, the "Full Faith and Credit" constitutionality issue has yet to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

One item that the interviewees did not know was that there was a possibility that the Defense of Marriage Act could be held constitutional. This could be done in that the Unites States legal system has also long recognized a "public policy exception" to issues that a laws unconstitutionality or claims of judicial mistreatment. In particular the United States Supreme Court has recognized a "public policy exception" to the Full Faith and Credit clause. So if a law of one state conflicts with the public policy of another state, federal courts in the past have been reluctant to enforce the pronouncements of another state that contravene with the

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