Gay Marriage Many Same-Sex Couples Annotated Bibliography

Pages: 12 (4931 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


Many gay-rights activists, however, argue the status of civil unions nonetheless causes the public to perceive their commitments to be less than those of married people. Supporters, on the other hand, defend them as the best deal gay couples are likely to get in states resistant to gay marriage (Mach and Stepney: 2f.). Grant nearly all or some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships): While similar to marriage, a domestic partnership does not necessarily grant the 1,138 rights afforded to married couples in the U.S. By the federal government, as tallied by the United States Government Accountability Office. Furthermore, domestic partnerships are determined by each state or local jurisdiction, so there is no nationwide consistency on the rights, responsibilities and benefits afforded to domestic partners (Mach: 3f.). Have constitutional amendments that define marriage as between a man and a woman: Twenty-eight states have amended their constitutions to make gay marriage illegal, most of them explicitly defining marriage as between one man and one woman, according to "Lambda Legal," an advocacy group for gay rights (Mach: 4). A burst of such constitutional amendments came in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as a backlash to a ruling by Hawaii's Supreme Court that recognized "different-sex-only" marriages. Some of these amendments also specify that the state is not obligated to recognize same-sex unions licensed in other states. For example, Mississippi's constitutional amendment reads: "Marriage may take place and may be valid under the laws of this state only between a man and a woman. A marriage in another state or foreign jurisdiction between persons of the same gender, regardless of when the marriage took place, may not be recognized in this state and is void and unenforceable under the laws of this state" (Mach: 5). Have laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman: Eleven states have opted to go the legislative route in support of traditional marriage, enacting laws rather than amending their constitutions (Mach: 6).

TOPIC: Annotated Bibliography on Gay Marriage Many Same-Sex Couples Assignment

3. Propose the solution and make specific recommendations of the procedures that will lead to the solution while explaining how they will do

The solution I would propose is threefold. First, get all groups get involved in the matter (politicians in support of legal recognition gay marriages, churches, NGOs, human rights organizations, gay and lesbian activists groups)) and make them aware of the problem that gay (and lesbian) couples on the federal and many states' level are denied their constitutional right of equal protection when not allowed to marry. Second, make voters aware of the injustice coming along with denying gay (and lesbian) persons the right to marry. Third, gay and lesbians should bring to court that they are denied their right of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution and many states' constitutions. All this would eventually sensibilize the federal and (many) state legislator(s) of the problem and eventually lead to passing laws legalizing gay (and lesbian) marriage on the federal level and the remaining states' level that do not legally recognize gay (and lesbian) marriage. The most recent example that this strategy would be successful comes from California which has a long and complicated history regarding the issue of gay marriage. California voters rejected gay marriage in 2008 but in February 2012

a dramatic change occurred. "An accelerating shift is under way among California voters on gay marriage, with 59% now in favor of allowing it, a new Field Poll suggests. That's up from 49% in 2009. Registered voters in California approve of same-sex marriage by the biggest margin in 35 years of tracking, with 59% favoring full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, according to a Field Poll released in February 2012. The poll suggests a significant and accelerating shift is under way among the state's voters concerning one of the most divisive social issues in the country. Gay rights activists point to the results as a harbinger of victories to come (Richey: 1). "With 59% of Californians now in favor of marriage equality, including nearly half of those over 60, the writing is on the wall," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the gay rights group Courage Campaign (Richey: 1). The survey asked voters if they approved or disapproved of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex and have regular marriage laws apply to them. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they disapproved, while 59% said they approved. Seven percent expressed no opinion. The California-based Field Research Group has been polling the gay marriage issue since 1977. That year the poll results showed 28% of California voters approving gay marriage and 59% opposed. The 2012 results show the lowest disapproval rating and highest approval rating since the polls began (Richey: 2). "This division of sentiment is nearly a complete reversal of the findings from the first time The Field Poll began measuring Californians' attitudes toward same-sex marriage," the poll report says. The survey of 1,003 registered California voters was conducted between Feb. 2 and 18. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. The polling firm also asked voters to select one of three preferences on same-sex relationships. The options were to allow same-sex couples to marry; to allow civil unions only; and to bar any legal recognition. When the options were first offered in 2006, 36% of respondents expressed a preference to allow same-sex marriage. This year, 51% chose that option. In addition, 29% favored civil unions, and 15% would allow no legal recognition. Five percent of those surveyed expressed no opinion (Richey: 2). The survey showed that even among groups with majorities opposed to gay marriage, the opposition is diminishing. In 2010, 66% of Republicans and 72% of conservatives said they opposed gay marriage. In 2012, 55% of Republicans and 63% of conservatives said they opposed gay marriage. In 2010, Californians 65 and older opposed gay marriage 42% to 51%. In 2012, the same group split 45-45 on the issue" (Richey: 2).

This is truly a big success for gay persons and I think a very well deserved one! Gay and lesbian couples - just as their heterosexual counterparts -- love! Two people of the same sex can certainly share the same deep love with each other than two people of opposite sex. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian couples! It is simply no one else's business if two men or two women want to get married. Why deny the gay and lesbian couples the right to publicly celebrate their commitment and receive the same benefits of marriage as opposite sex couples?

I really very much welcome that in Californian courts there is a strong trend towards recognizing gay marriage. In my opinion, this trend has to be seen against the strong voter support tied to the trial and appeals seeking to overturn Proposition 8. Proposition 8 was a voter-approved initiative which amended the California state constitution to ban gay marriage. This provision was passed in November 2008. About two years later, a federal district judge ruled that Proposition 8 violated the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The decision was appealed, and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on February 7, 2012 that the ban violated the Constitution, but has postponed enforcement pending appeal. California does not currently allow same-sex marriages to be performed, however same-sex marriages performed before Proposition 8 was passed remain valid (Mach: 7).

4. Consider opposing arguments and make sure you answer them

Opposing arguments: There are basically the following five opposing arguments:

Marriage is for having children: The flaw in this reasoning is that -- contrary to popular opinion -- gay people can, and do, raise children. Some gays and lesbians have children born from a prior heterosexual relationship, others adopt children, and many go the route of artificial insemination or surrogate parenting. Indeed, what many refer to as the "gayby boom" is no small phenomenon since figures place the number of lesbian mothers in the United States at 1 to 5 million and the number of gay fathers at 1 to 3 million (Chapter 5: Counter Arguments: 1). The "Slippery Slope Argument: Marriage has traditionally been defined as a union between: (1) two persons; (2) of different sexes; (3) that are over the age of consent; (4) and are not related. If we alter or ignore these restrictions and permit same-sex marriage, do we not risk opening the floodgates to the sanctioning of all types of familial arrangements? If society allows gay marriage, by what rationale could it stop polygamous marriages, pederastic marriages, or incestuous marriages? (Chapter 6: Counter Arguments: 1). The very notion is manifestly ridiculous. Gay marriage is a legal and moral issue distinct from these others, and it as best disingenuous to argue that its legalization will force the government to recognize the sanctity of a human bond with an animal or a dead person. And will the state have to sanction polygamous, incestuous… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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