As citizens of the greatest country in the world, The United States of America, we acquire many rights. A few of the many rights that we acquire are the right to freedom of speech, the right to choose our religion, the right to vote for whomever we feel will run our country to his or her greatest potential, and most important of all, the right to equality. Equality is the one thing that many Americans before us have fought and lost their lives over for centuries. Whether it be for race, religion, or the right to marry whichever gender we please, equality is the most profound rights that we have not only as American citizens, but as human beings. In this paper I will ...view middle of the document...
Since then many states such as California, Oregon and New Jersey have passed similar laws.
On February 12, 2004 San Francisco Mayor Newsom decided that to deny marriage licenses to same sex couples was discriminatory and against the state’s constitution. A lesbian couple, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, who have been together for over 50 years were the first lesbian couple to be married in the state of California. On March 11, 2004 the California Supreme Court ordered the city of San Francisco to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The courts have also ruled that the over 4,000 gay and lesbian marriages that were performed in San Francisco are no longer valid.
Initiated in January 2005 gay and lesbian couples can register as domestic partners in the state of California. Couples who register as domestic partners are eligible for many of the same state rights as heterosexual married couples, but only in the state of California (Porter 2004, 35).
Recently on October 25, 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state of New Jersey must allow same sex couples to marry. However, the court left the decisions up to lawmakers where these rights would be extended in the form of full marriage or just civil unions that allow gay and lesbian couples all of the privileges that married heterosexual couples have. The New Jersey legislature has 180 days from the ruling date to make a decision in which time they will define exactly what marriage or civil unions rights will be awarded to gay couples.
Supreme Court Justice Barry T. Albin wrote “Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state constitution” (White 2005, 11).
In Multnomah County Oregon, which includes a large portion of Portland, began issuing same sex marriage licenses on March 3rd, 2004. On April 20th, 2004 a judge ordered the county to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples until the state legislature rules on the matter. More than 3,000 gay and lesbian couples were married in the state of Oregon, but those marriages were nullified by the Oregon Supreme Court in April of 2005. Many Oregon lawmakers are pushing for civil unions.
In November 2004 Oregon adopted an amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. In July 2005 the Oregon Senate approved a measure that will allow civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. The bill still has to pass the Oregon House of Representatives.
There have been many controversies dealing with the same sex marriage issue. Many argue that homosexuality is not natural, homosexual marriages are not valid because they do not produce children, homosexual marriages are not healthy for children involved, homosexual marriages are not supported in religion, and that legalizing...