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Same Sex Marriages

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With the enactment of ClintonЎЇs Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, same sex marriages have become increasingly controversial. This Act allowed states to determine who is eligible for marriage within their jurisdictions. With this, issues of legality, religion, parenthood, and societal stability became concerns, both nationally and locally recognized.

In 2004, President Bush called for a constitutional amendment to require that marriage shall only occur between a man and a woman. He believes that the amendment process should be able to address the preservation of marriage because he feels that it is of great national importance. However, domestic issues such as marriage have always been an issue of state. Thus many states have recently allowed same sex unions or arrangements while others have only recognized heterosexual unions as lawful.

President BushЎЇs proposal will likely be challenged under the 14th Amendments Equal Protection Clause which argues that a state must allow consenting same sex partners the same benefits that it does for heterosexual couples. Under Article 4 of the Constitution, the Full Faith and Credit Clause would have to honor these benefits and same sex marriages throughout all states with the exception of public policy. Under the public policy doctrine, a state need not recognize a marriage entered into another state with different marriage laws if those laws are contrary to strongly held public policy.

As Professor Lea Brilmayer stated, ÐŽothe existing constitutional framework has long accommodated differing marriage laws.ÐŽ± This has historically and traditionally been an issue left to the states. Additionally, BrilmayerЎЇs argues, ÐŽoIn our 200 year constitutional history, there has never been a federal constitutional amendment designed specifically to reverse a states interpretation of its own laws.ÐŽ± This article has provided the necessary evidence needed to criticize the national governmentЎЇs use of an amendment to become involved in matters concerning same sex marriages.

Although other issues arise from same sex relationships, it is still a matter of state and not of national concern. Society believes that same sex house holds are an unfavorable setting for children. However, statistics prove that heterosexual environments are more likely to result in sexual abuse and that parental sexual preferences have little if no effect on the sexual inclination of the children.

Religious issues have become problematic in the process of same sex marriages. Although church and state are understood to be separate, issues that develop from same sex marriages are often that of religious concern and should therefore not be specified within the constitution. As BrilmayerЎЇs states, Ўo...the winner takes



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