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Gay Marriages and US Constitution Essay

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2019

Introduction

The gay marriage debate has been going on for a very long time. 37 % of voters in the United States of America are of the opinion that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally. In addition, some proponents of gay marriages oppose a constitutional amendment to illegalize gay marriages (Pinello 35).

On the other hand, 25 % of voters oppose gay marriages. 33 percent of voters support gay unions but disagree with such relationships being termed as marriages under the constitution (Pinello 35).

Despite varying views among American citizens, gays and lesbians deserve to be treated like normal people regardless of their sexual orientations. Therefore, America should consider amending the constitution in order to allow gays and lesbians to marry legally without alienation or discrimination.

Discussion

Gay couples should enjoy the same privileges and public acknowledgement as heterosexual couples do (Schuh 42). As such, any constitutional attempt to bar gay marriages is an act of constitutional discrimination. In the United States, gay marriage has been banned in 31 states by means of constitutional amendments. On the other hand, gays and lesbian marriages have been legalized in nine states (Pinello 37).

This disparity in the number of states that allow and those that have banned gay marriages is a direct indication that most people do not support gay unions. According to Schuh, “Legalizing gay marriages will enable gay people to enjoy basic rights such as inheritance rights, access to health services, and protection in case relationships end” (Schuh 42).

Above all, the American constitution is committed to ensuring liberty and justice for all (Pinello 51). This is regardless of an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, color, or sexual affiliation. It is important for presentation to be one-faced instead of two-faced as it currently is.

According to the constitution, every American citizen is equal and bound by the same constitution and laws. Therefore, sexual orientation should not be an obstacle to justice and equality for all.

“Sexual orientation should not be an obstacle to awarding justice and equality to everyone” (Stockland and Reichert 66).

The government should loosen its grip on governing marriage the same way it does to activities that do not directly affect the proper functioning of the state. Every citizen should be allowed to marry depending on their sexual orientation and not based on what the state thinks is right for them.

In addition, a constitutional amendment allowing gay marriages will be a positive leap towards giving full rights, recognition, and acceptance to gay people (Stockland and Reichert 68).

“The fact that the constitution does not include marriage as a protected right is a good enough reason for a constitutional amendment allowing gay marriages” (Pinello 53).

Exclusion of marriage as a protected right in the constitution has led to marriage being considered a privilege that is given by the states. In addition, with the ever-changing world, allowing gay marriages is important and inevitable since gay people are now more accepted and recognized than in past decades (Stockland and Reichert 71). Amendments to abolish slave trade and amendments to allow women to vote were passed in the past.

These amendments led to recognition of women as citizens with rights, and slaves as human beings who deserved to be treated appropriately and with respect. It should be no different with gay marriages. For gays and lesbians to receive the recognition and respect they deserve, an amendment to legalize gay marriage is necessary (Stockland and Reichert 72).

It has been shown that marriage unions foster the physical and psychological well-being of partners involved. Research has revealed that banning same-sex marriages has had negative consequences on the psychological well-being of gay individuals who wished to get married (Wolfson 85).

According to the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, legalizing gay marriages would largely contribute to helping gay couples get access to the kind of social support that makes heterosexual marriages successful.

“Social support includes physical and psychological benefits that should be enjoyed by every human being” (Wolfson 87).

In addition, legalizing same-sex marriage is important in order to acknowledge same-sex relationships. It is wrong and unethical for gay people to be punished by being denied marriage rights because of their sexual orientation (Schuh 47).

Conclusion

The issue of whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry has existed for a very long time in America. Both politicians and voters are divided over the issue, with some supporting gay marriages and others opposing gay marriages. The American constitution is committed to awarding justice and equality to all. In addition, it is committed to equal treatment of all under the law.

Banning or not allowing same-sex marriage is an indication of the superficial commitment of the constitution to awarding gays and lesbians their rights, and treating them equally and fairly. A constitutional amendment allowing gay marriages is necessary because currently, marriage is not a protected right in the constitution.

As such, the states possess the power to either award or deny the privilege. This has led to constitutional discrimination of gays and lesbians through denial of the right to marry except in nine states. The constitution should be amended to establish provisions that will legalize same-sex marriage.

Works Cited

Pinello, Daniel. America’s Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.

Schuh, Thomas. In Support of Same-Sex Marriage and Gay Rights in America. New York: Trafford Publishing, 2004. Print.

Stockland, Patricia, and Reichert, James. Same-Sex Marriage. New York: ABDO, 2007. Print.

Wolfson, Evan. Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007. Print.

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