Same sex marriage or civil union, as known as gay marriage, is the legal union of two people of the same sex, either legally wed in a secular or spiritual ceremony, or entered into in some civil ceremony other than a wedding. States have taken the time to recognize gay and lesbian individuals as a recognized part of society, through what is referred to as same-sex marriage legislation or laws. While not yet legalized, same sex marriage is being considered by many as a popular issue for the November presidential election.
Although same-sex marriage is seen as a highly polarizing topic on both sides of the political spectrum, there are those who support the redefining of traditional marriage as well as those who oppose it. Proponents of same-sex marriage generally tend to be socially liberal and very open minded. Whereas, those opposed to same sex marriage tend to be conservative, religious, and somewhat puritanical. Opponents of same sex marriage generally feel that civil unions give the government too much power over what is considered to be a personal lifestyle choice by those entering into the union.
The legalization of same sex marriage has been promoted heavily on national television and in the news over the past year. The issues of legalization and its impact on heterosexuals have also been discussed on national talk shows. A bill to legalize same-sex marriage was introduced in Congress last week. Should the bill become a law, it would be viewed as a direct challenge to the Supreme Court ruling on the matter, which found that the Defense of Marriage Act is a law worthy of deference by the court. Should the high court again strike down the law, the proponents of same-sex marriage would then seek to have the state to legalize same-sex marriage once again.
The issues may become even more heated when a same-sex couple files for a divorce and one or both claim that the other is not being true to them. Currently, twenty states still allow same-sex marriages. However, the legality of same-sex marriage in these states is still up in the air. Some believe the matter will be made more clear soon enough after the U.S. President Barack Obama takes office.
Many gay marriage supporters are calling on the newly re-elected President Obama to stop what they call his “apathy” towards same-sex marriages and support civil unions instead. Some gay marriage opponents are saying that the issue of civil unions should be resolved at the state level before the federal government moves in. However, the president has already said that he supports the right of states to determine their own laws on same-sex marriage. At the same time, he stated that he believes the matter should be left to states, and that the federal government will not step into the debate.
Some religious groups are also opposing same-sex marriage. The American Family Association has called on the president to “step out of his comfort zone and speak out” against same-sex marriages. The National Day Rally for Marriage has called on all U.S. residents to attend this rally to “celebrate the redefinition of gay marriage.” More than two dozen states are expected to have same-sex marriage legislation passed within the next few months.
The issue of same-sex marriages continues to be a highly contested one, as many Americans remain uncertain about what impact it will have on society, the legal system and the federal government itself. Arguing against same-sex marriage is, at least for now, mostly coming from conservative Christian viewpoints. Some see the legalization of same-sex marriage as a move towards satanic gay “marriage”, and claim that such a move by the federal government could further bring about “heresity” within the country.
The argument over same-sex marriage has been taken to the national level, with both sides deploying their most extreme tactics. For some, the issue of gay marriage is a purely traditional one – they see no reason why heterosexuals should have a “piece of the cake” that goes along with being homosexual. On the other hand, some argue that lesbians and gay men do not have the same genetic makeup and that the nature of same-sex sexual attraction is essentially the same. The argument between these two extremes has played itself out in the courts, and in various forums over the past year, with the outcome being the same. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments on same-sex marriage from either side, effectively rubber-stamping the decision in favor of same-sex couples across the country.