For many parents, the marriage of their child is a very happy and proud time. Most parents expect their children to get married and have children. But what if their child is gay or lesbian? Their child may have met the perfect person to spend their life with, but their child cannot get legally married. Same-sex couples can hold wedding ceremonies, but the law does not recognize these unions. Many heterosexuals take for granted the benefits that are extended to their spouse by way of legal marriage. These benefits do not extend to homosexual couples, because there is not a law that recognizes same-sex marriage. Gay marriage is not legal because of state and federal laws, as well as the traditional views of the American public.
There are many state laws that prevent gay marriage. An interesting background to the gay marriage issue is the issue of interracial marriage. In 1967, the state of Virginia had the case, Loving v. Virginia, go to the US Supreme Court that dealt with interracial marriage. The ruling in this case entailed that Virginia's prohibition of different-race marriage was a violation of both the equal protection and due process clauses. Why not the same for gay marriage? Furthermore, many states have sodomy statutes. While most sodomy laws apply to both heterosexuals and gay people, they are primarily used to deny lesbians and gay men a range of other rights. Sodomy laws were once on the books in all fifty states, but they have been repealed or struck down by courts in over half the states. In Texas, heterosexual sodomy laws have been repealed in recent years, but same-sex sodomy laws remain. (Bull 39,44) Sodomy is defined in most places as oral and anal intercours...
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... looks back at the ridiculousness of sex and race-based discrimination.
Bull, Chris. Scene of the Crime. The Advocate. October 27, 1998.
Cloud, John. For Better or Worse. Time Magazine. October 26, 1998. page 43.
Eskridge, William N., Jr. The Case for Same-Sex Marriage. New York: The Free Press, 1996.
Foley, Daniel R. The State of Gay Marriage. Family Advocate v20 n1 p39. Summer 1997
Kramer, Larry.Same-sex marriage, conflict of laws, and the unconstitutional public policy exception. Yale Law Journal. May 1997, v.106, n7, 1965-2008
Strasser, Mark. Legally Wed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1997. pp. 50-52
United States. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Defense of Marriage Act : report together with dissenting views (to accompany H.R. 3396).U.S. DOCS. NO. Y 1.1/8:104-664
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