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Fall

Summer II

08/05/2016

Discuss the constitutionality of same-sex


marriages and address the advantages and
disadvantages of same-sex marriages. Finally,
state your overall conclusion on whether samesex marriages should be permissible and under
what conditions.

Abdiel Montes
Govt. 2305, Term Paper

El Centro Community College

08

Members

of

the

LGBT

community

have

been

facing

discrimination for decades. The biggest events in history that started


the reformation of equal rights were the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New
York City. Police officers raided a gay club, the Stonewall Inn, for its
violations regarding the sale of liquor without a license. New Yorks gay
community began rioting against the police officers on the incentive
that they were tired of always being targeted and that multiple gay
clubs were being raided prior to the Stonewall Inn; the riots lasted for
several days and they sparked the formation of the Gay Liberation
Front, which was formed to bring an end to discrimination against
homosexuals. Throughout the years following these riots, the LGBT
community faced many demeaning notions which included the idea
that homosexuality was a mental disorder and the Dont Ask Dont
Tell policy of the military, among many others. LGBT Americans were
forced to live in a world where they were not accepted and practically
hated for being who they were. Progressives made efforts to fight for
the rights of homosexuals and one of the biggest steps towards
acceptance was the declassification of homosexuality as a mental
disorder in 1973. As we entered the 21 st century, we began to see a
change in the way that homosexuals were viewed. In 2001, the
Netherlands became the first country to legalize marriage equality and
it motivated other countries to do so as well, including the United
States. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize marriage equality

in 2003 and as many other states followed its lead, marriage equality
became legal in the United Sates on June 26, 2015 in the Supreme
Court case Obergefelle v Hodges.
This Supreme Court ruling spread a lot of joy throughout the
entire

country

immediately.

and

same-sex

couples

began

getting

married

Along with this joy came the controversy of many

conservative Americans who still claim today that marriage equality


violates the constitution. I believe that these Americans use this as an
excuse to mask how they really feel about the situation. They are not
to blame for their opposing views because they were raised in a
conservative era that followed strict religious guidelines. However, this
does not give them the right to deny happiness to countless Americans
who love people of the same sex. The Reconstruction Amendments
were vital for the country after the Civil War. These amendments
included the 14th Amendments Equal Protection Clause, which dictates
that states cannot discriminate against distinct groups of people. The
Equal Protection Clause has helped minorities receive the same
opportunities as everyone else, including LGBT Americans. Marriage
equality gives these Americans the right to marry who they love and
therefore, it is very constitutional and there is no violation. I am proud
to be part of a country that is adopting liberal views and will eventually
be accepting of everyone. In an article by Massachusetts Senator
Elizabeth Warren, she quotes Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:

the generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the
Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of
freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future
generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty
as we learn its meaning. The United States is known as The Land of
the Free. Kennedys quote justifies everything that freedom is and
that is the reason why marriage equality is legal. It is a component that
is not officially listed but falls within our freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, and all other freedoms that are listed in the Bill of Rights.
The legalization of marriage equality unfortunately did not end
the

discrimination

towards

LGBT

Americans.

Discrimination

is

something that has not quite ended despite the many changes in the
country that were designed to help us be more accepting of one
another. Its legalization does, however, come with many advantages to
help change this perspective that many Americans have not been able
to let go.

As I have mentioned above, marriage equality promotes

freedom in our country and sets a precedent for equality for all, and
not just homosexuals. Same sex marriage also offers these couples a
chance to take advantage of the benefits offered to married couples,
including and not limited to: income tax returns, receiving Social
Security, Medicare, and disability benefits, death benefits, and family
and housing benefits. Marriage equality gives those few Americans
who have fought for their rights a piece of mind and tranquility by

knowing that their efforts paid off and the rough experiences that they
went through did not go unnoticed. An advantage that many
Americans do not even think about is the business opportunity that
marriage equality provides to the bridal industry. It allows this
significant industry to gain access to a whole new market. Also, one of
the greatest advantages, in my opinion, is that marriage equality gives
everyone a chance to experience what love is, as mushy as that may
sound. It allows everyone to be comfortable in their own skin and ends
years of suffering caused by judgments. Heterosexual couples should
not be the only ones who are allowed to celebrate the true
commitment of a relationship. Overall, marriage equality demonstrates
what humanity is all about and the benevolence of this country.
Marriage equality also has its disadvantages, disadvantages that
many people do not even think about. Most of these disadvantages are
also the basis of discrimination towards homosexuals. A sensitive topic
in the issue of marriage equality is religion. Marriage is a traditional
religious ritual and many believe that a man marrying another man or
a woman marrying another woman reduces the sanctity of marriage.
Homosexuals are also bashed by those who say that marriage is
between a man and a woman, in accordance to the Bible. There are
also many disadvantages when it comes to homosexual couples
wanting to start a family. Since they have to rely on surrogates,
insemination, and adoption, homosexual couples will never know the

feeling of having a biological child. There are arguments between


people who say that a child needs the influence of a father and a
mother and, to a certain extent, this is true. There will come a time
eventually when a child will need the bond with a mother or father as
they grow up and mature. There is also a different kind of family
disadvantage. An unfortunate one that often times cannot be avoided:
marriage equality might possibly destroy families. Parents will disown
their children because they cannot come to terms with their childs
sexuality. Can you imagine finally being able to marry the person you
love and not being able to have some of the most important people in
your life with you? Marriage equality is not universal yet and
homosexual couples that travel may not be recognized as a couple,
and as a result they may not be entitled to the benefits or the
application of the law that married couples are entitled to in a certain
country.
In conclusion, I believe that same sex marriage should be
permissible under the condition that people should be free to love who
they want to love. We live in a modern era where times are changing
and thoughts are evolving. Love should not have any conditions. As a
gay teenager, it makes me very happy that I will not have to worry
about not being able to marry the person I love a few years down the
road. And if any condition should exist for same sex marriage to be
permissible, it should be that the couple is happy in their commitment.

Citations

Warren, Elizabeth, Sen. "Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Constitution Had


Everything To Do With Gay Marriage Ruling." Time. Time, 30 June
2015. Web. 05 Aug. 2016. <http://time.com/>.
History.com, Staff. "The Stonewall Riot." History.com. A&E
Television Networks, 2010. Web. 05 Aug. 2016.
<http://www.history.com/>.
"The History of Psychiatry & Homosexuality." Association of Gay
and Lesbian Psychiatrists. Web. 05 Aug. 2016.
<http://www.aglp.org/>.
Lombardo, Crystal. "8 Major Pros and Cons of Gay
Marriage."NLCATP.org. 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 05 Aug. 2016.
<http://nlcatp.org/>.
Lipp, Murray. "7 Ways the U.S.A. Benefits From the Legalization of
Gay Marriage." The Huffington Post. 2 June 2013. Web. 5 Aug.
2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/>.
Guillen, Lina. "Marriage Rights and Benefits." Nolo.com. 11 May
2016. Web. 05 Aug. 2016. <http://www.nolo.com/>.