Gay marriage has over recent years become a widely controversial issue in the United States. Many people have increasingly accepted and embraced same-sex marriage across the United States. Despite this increasingly acceptability of gay marriage in the American citizenry, there has been a moral politick posed against the topic to water down efforts to create amicable laws that would legalize gay marriage in the United States. The paper argues that that failure to legalize gay marriage is a violation of the First Amendment, and also has economic and socio-economic impacts on the stability and cohesiveness of the state.
Gay marriage has been a controversial topic in the United States. Different states have different legislation regarding to the issue. This indicates the rifts that exist between the proponents and opponents of the legalization of gay marriage in the United States. Gay marriage in the United States has been a controversy in the United States due to the different interpretations that exists regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by different parties and people in the United States. Those in support of this Act are of the view that Marriage should be confined to one man and one woman. On the other hand, the proponents of gay marriage are of the view that gay marriage is constitution because government does not have a right to dictate who a person should marry or not. Proponents of gay marriage are of the view that the American Citizenry is protected by the First Amendment of the US constitutions, which grantees the American citizenry their civil rights and liberties. In the light of this controversy regarding the legality of gay marriage in the United States, this paper seeks to argue for the legalization of gay marriage in the United States.
First of all, it is important to understand that societal norms and values are dynamic and change over time. This means that some of the things that society might have considered as being uncouth in the past have over the years gained acceptability. For example, the United States before 1863 viewed the institution of slavery as being legal arguing that black people should not be considered as being American citizens, but be considered as property of their white masters. In the same way that the institution of slavery was eliminated, some of the conservative values that continue to characterize the American society are over the years becoming radicalized and gaining acceptability. In the light of the dynamism of society, it is important to note that the society is governed by a constitution. The American constitution is a document that does not change with the dynamism of society (Vanita, 2005, p.41). This means that as societal values change over time, the constitution has remained the same. A constitution that is not flexible to the dynamic needs of the people cannot be used to solve the problems that are facing the people today. This is a reason why an Act such DOMA has come under sharp criticism with regards to its stance on gay marriage. At the time when DOMA was formulated in 1996, the issue of gay marriage had not earned publicity in the same manner that it has done today (Sullivan, 1997, p.57). This means that the drafters of this Act were acting in line with the interests of society at the time. However, the socio-political climate that existed at the drafting of DOMA is not the same as that which exists today. It is therefore necessary to amend this Act that bars people from the same sex to get married.
Secondly, the rise of controversy over the legalization of gay marriage is not something that has surfaced just because people want to discuss about it. The debate regarding the legalization of gay marriage has arisen because many people within the American society are already practicing gay marriage relationships. This means that the controversy that arises from this topic is because there are a section of Americans that feel that their interests are being curtailed by government policy regarding the issue. Government is appointed by the people through a social contract (Koppelman, 2006, p.29). This means that government should work towards addressing the welfare of its people. Gay marriage and the legalization of civil unions protecting gay marriage should be a priority for government because a reasonable portion of the electorate is in support of gay marriage (Mello, 2004, p.51). Therefore, the lack of government action with regards to passing legislation that is in favor of gay marriage illustrates that the government is not working towards addressing the needs of its people. Therefore, there is a need for government to offer more focus and attention on the issue of gay marriage so as to make sure that the needs of the people are addressed. The magnitude of the issue of gay marriage is huge and may impact the county in negative ways if it’s not addressed. For example, members of the military were required not to be gay. However, the government has over the years legalized gay men and women to join the military. This means that the failure of the US government to address the issue of the legality of gay marriage can put US security at stake for the mere reason that members of the military should not be gay. In addition, the presence of many states in the Union who have found it prudent for them to legalize gay marriage is a positive move towards the realization of a freer and more just America.
The infelicity of the federal government and some states to legalize gay marriage has also had detrimental effects to the economic welfare of various members of the citizenry. For example, states that do not recognize gay marriage do not allow their people to file taxes jointly. This means that people are forced to report their taxes different even though these people live together and generate family incomes and assets jointly. This means that the failure of states to create an amicable legislation that grants people the freedom to marry the people of their choice despite their sex might have economic implications of both the state and the federal government. Tax generation by the government and the economic stability of the citizenry is important for the state. Concepts such as the definition of the institution of marriage should not be used to deny the citizenry their economic rights and freedoms because they already protected by the constitution as per the First Amendment of the US constitution.
Therefore, gay marriage should be legalized in the United States because the American citizenry are protected the constitution under the First Amendment to marry whoever they want. The Defense of Marriage Act that grantees states the right to deny same-sex marriages of its citizenry is not genuine because it is based on a rigid constitution that is used to govern a dynamic society. Finally, the denial of same sex unions prevents people to serve their country in various portfolios such as in the military, which unless amicably addressed might be the United States’ security welfare at stake.
Koppelman, A. (2006). Same sex, different states when same-sex marriages cross state lines. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Mello, M. (2004). Legalizing gay marriage. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Sullivan, A. (1997). Same-sex marriage, pro and con. New York: Vintage Books.
Vanita, R. (2005). Love's rite: same sex marriage in India and the West. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.