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Transcript of Same-Sex Marriage
Pros and Cons of Same-Sex Marriage:
The Moral Arguments:
What's Happening Today?
1. Same-sex couples should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment in the same way as heterosexual couples.
2. Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or "family values," and society will continue to function successfully.
3. Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments.
4. Gay marriage would make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt, providing stable homes for children who would otherwise be left in foster care.
Section 3 of DOMA was ruled unconstitutional on 26 June 2013. The federal government now recognizes legally performed same-sex marriages and confers most, but not all, federal benefits.
Intro to Sociology
Nov. 6, 2014
Kelly, Taylor, Molly, & Erica
Legal Arguments Against Gay Marriage
The State gives benefits to heterosexual couples united through marriage because the union of a man and a woman is believed to provide a secure and fruitful moral environment for raising children.
Baker v. Nelson (1971)
Many believe that legalizing same-sex marriage nationally, the State would be imposing acceptance on Americans as a whole, and therefore taking away the freedom to disagree with homosexual unions.
This argument seems invalid, because the state isn't forcing anyone to participate in these unions, only to allow them to coexist with the same rights. Banning this privilege seems similar to banning religious practices, for fear that they might clash with a portion of our culture.
1. The institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as between a man and a woman.
2. It always denies a child either a father or a mother (ignores a child's best interest)
3. It offends God (violates natural order established by God)
4. It Violates natural law (meant for procreation of society)
5. It is more about sex than marriage, leading to incest and beastiality.
6. It will take away the pride the gay community by assimilating them into normal culture
32 of 50 states HAVE same-sex marriage (64%)
Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage on May 17, 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008.
Economic Impact of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
It has been estimated that the legalization of gay marriage in New Jersey has brought in $248 million over three years, creating 800 new jobs, and bringing in an additional $19 million in government revenues.
(According to The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School)
In 2009, The Congressional Budget Office estimated that extending employment benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees would cost the federal government $596 million in mandatory spending and $302 million in discretionary spending between 2010 and 2019.
Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution's commitments to liberty and equality. The freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is protected under the Due Process Law ruled by the Supreme Court in 1974.
Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. With a rise in gay marriage, there would be more marriage licenses, or "marriage penalty" taxes. The Comptroller of NY believes that by legalizing gay marriage, it could bring $142 million to the city's economy and $184 million to the state economy over the next three years.
Legal Arguments Against Gay Marriage
Gay marriage would allow gay couples to receive tax exemption for a spouse, receiving social security payments from a deceased spouse, and coverage by a spouse’s health insurance policy.
A common argument against gay marriage states that Americans should not support homosexual couples' needs through tax dollars if they do not support their behavior.
Same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue, it is a sexual orientation issue.
The characteristics of those protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include a history of discrimination, economic disadvantage, and immutable characteristics... 'Sexual orientation' does not meet any of these descriptions."
Matthew D. Staver, JD, Dean of the Liberty University School of Law
October 10, 1972
The U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Baker v. Nelson, one of three cases brought by same-sex couples which were challenging the denial of marriage. When couple Richard Baker and James Michael McConnell were denied a marriage license by the Hennepin County District Court's clerk, it affirmed that the clerk could refuse gay couples a marriage license in general.
January 1, 1973
Maryland becomes the first state to pass a statue banning marriage between same-sex couples when it includes a line about it in its Family Law Code. This causes numerous other states to pass similar statutes.
September 21, 1996
President Bill Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law. This act mandates unequal treatment of legally married same-sex couples, by selectively depriving them of the 1,138 protections and responsibilities that marriage comes with at the federal level.
December 20, 1999
The Vermont Supreme Court rules in Baker v State of Vermont that same-sex couples must be treated equally to different-sex married couples. This causes the Vermont legislature to establish civil union, a separate legal status that allows couples some, but not all of the protections that come with marriage.
November 4, 2008
Anti-gay forces push through Proposition 8, an anti-gay constitutional amendment which strips away same-sex couples' freedom to marry and restricts marriage to different sex-couples.
CNN releases the first poll to show a majority of the country supports same-sex marriage.
February 23, 2011
President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder declare that because it is indefensible under the constitutional command of equal protection, the Administration will no longer defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
March 16, 2011
The Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would eventually overturn DOMA is introduced.
September 4, 2012
The Democratic Party becomes the first major U.S. political party in history to officially endorse the freedom to marry in their national part platform when the platform is ratified at the Democratic National Convention.
On May 9, 2012, President Obama became the first sitting US president to declare his support for gay marriage
On April 4, 2013 a majority of US Senators public supported same-sex marriage for the first time
"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
- President Obama
Famous Figures Wage War Against Anti-Gay Discrimination
History Through Pop Culture
The Advocate begins publication in Los Angeles as a local newsletter by the activist group PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education.
November 1, 1972
That Certain Summer, a made for TV movie, airs as an ABC movie of the week. It is the first TV movie to deal with the subject of homosexuality.
February 7, 1991
The first kiss between a homosexual couple airs on network TV during an episode of L.A Law.
December 24, 1993
Philadelphia, a film starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington is released, and is one of the first major Hollywood films to deal directly with homophobia, homosexuality, and HIV/AIDS. The film goes on to win many awards including an Oscar.
Ikea runs the first ad on television to feature a gay couple.
January 18, 1996
Friends features one of the first lesbian weddings on television, however, the couple was not shown kissing at the end of the ceremony.
Ellen Degeneres appears on the Oprah Winfrey Show and comes out as a lesbian.
September 21, 1998
The NBC sitcom Will and Grace debuts featuring two gay men as main characters.
May 24, 2000
The season finale of Dawson's Creek features the first passionate kiss between two men to ever take place during primetime television.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris confirms to People Magazine that he is gay.
Ellen DeGeneres marries actress Portia de Rossi at their home in California.
July 2, 2012
Anderson Cooper comes out the public as gay.
“I don’t like to badmouth people. But I’m the head of a monarchy that began in the ninth century, and I’m apparently more modern than Chris Christie. Look, I know he has to appeal to the crazy right-wingers in his party, but the fact is, he’s not as forward-thinking as an eighty-seven-year-old lady who wears a crown on her head. It’s pathetic.” – Queen Elizabeth II
"Gay athletes are only to be judged by whether he can play or not. If somebody is gay, that's their own business. But it bothers me how people try to say that jocks are not going to like a gay. ... I think gay people should be allowed to get married, that's their own business. --Charles Barkley