To my mind, the social meaning of same-sex marriage exclusions clearly does denigrate same-sex marriage (and maybe those who participate in it) but this is contested, as the question notes.
However a recent debate over same-sex marriage has stirred a nationwide debate reverberating in the halls of Congress, at the White House, in dozens of state courtrooms and legislatures, and is also becoming a speech-making topic for election campaigns at both the national and state levels.
Nonetheless, it would be good if advocates would try to avoid it.
They could be sharpened most obviously by clearly distinguishing legal marriage from religious marriage.
At the end of the day, same sex marriage will still be a popular topic of debate because of people who ban some things and let some things of the same kind pass. Same sex marriage does no harm to society. Most people will agree that the ban on same sex marriages is nothing more than prejudice at work. Soon, we will look back at the arguments against same-sex marriages and see, like the ban on interracial marriages, that they are backed by nothing more than racism, prejudice and fear.
The claim that a prohibition of same sex marriage is based on “a deep-seated moral tradition that is natural and rational (and thus part of the state's legitimate interests)” simply begs the question.
Other opponents argue that children are safer in “normal” marriages. A topic debate is the effects on children that are raised by same sex couples. Marriage protects children and gives them certain benefits. Denying same sex couples marriage sometimes denies their children the medical and insurance benefits given to children of standard couples. Studies show that children raised by same sex couples are well adjusted and happy. Kids need good role models and loving parents. Gender is a factor in neither of those needs. Here was an article written by a kid raised by a same sex couple, explaining more on how there really isn’t a difference between same sexes coupled families and normal families.
Overall, this essay will display a thorough representation and discussion on how gay marriage can be positioned in society with valid points made both ‘for and against’.
"I stand as living proof that one can be raised by a same-sex couple, and a couple plagued by the grueling trials of progressive Multiple Sclerosis at that, and still turn out all right," he wrote. "Without shameless self-promotion I have experienced success in speech and debate, journalism and academics, am politically involved in my community and have received acceptance to prestigious colleges across the country. Same-sex parents are not, by definition, unfit to parent and same-sex families are not, by definition, any more troubled than 'regular' families. I have found positive male role models in my life who have set outstanding examples for my own behavior, but the strength demonstrated by my MS-stricken biological mother has been surpassed by none I have met. It is with great pride that I call myself her son. And soon, it will hopefully be with great pride that she calls her partner, Jackie, her wife."
Many states are starting to reconsider and allow same sex marriage. Hawaii lawmakers approved a bill to allow civil unions for same-sex couples, marking an end to what the governor called an "emotional process" for a longtime battleground in the gay rights movement. This should be the same for all the other countries and states that ban same sex marriage. The Canadian government ruled on June 10th 2003 to overturn the laws that prevented same sex couples from marrying. American couples can go to Canada to tie the knot, but it remains to be seen whether or not those same-sex marriages will be recognized by the United States government. President Bush and the Pope have both come out publicly against the sanction of same-sex unions.
, in which a federal district court held Californias ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, is set for expedited review in the Ninth Circuit; many argue that the case will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. The arguments for and against the constitutionality of such statutes are thus at a fever pitch. In an article published earlier this year, Professors Nelson Tebbe and Deborah Widiss argued that marriage rights are best conceived of as an issue of equal access, rather than one of equal protection or substantive due process. Nelson Tebbe & Deborah A. Widiss, , 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1375, 1377 (2010).
Professor Shannon Gilreath questions some of the fundamental premises for same-sex marriage in . He challenges proponents to truly reflect on what there is to commend marriage to Gay people, and points to his own reversal on the question as evidence. Though he stands fully in opposition to critics of same-sex marriage who use the stance to veil attacks on equality generally, Gilreath argues that marriage can be seen as a further institutionalization of gays and lesbians that risks assimilationist erasure of Gay identity. Gilreath concludes by noting that to the extent that marriage is assumed to be normatively good, the Tebbe-Widiss equal access approach to same-sex marriage recognition may be the most successful; still, he invites those on all sides of the debate to vigorously challenge that assumption
How should courts think about the right to marry? This is a question of principle, of course, but it is also a key question of litigation strategy. In August, district court Judge Vaughn Walker held Californias ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. , No. 09-2292, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78817, at *217 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2010). The Ninth Circuit has announced that it will hear the appeal on an expedited basis; it is widely expected that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the case. It is therefore especially important right now to craft arguments that can appeal to moderate judges.
David Boies and Ted Olsen, who surprised the legal world when they teamed up to bring the case, are extremely skilled lawyers. They built a very strong factual record in , and they deserve credit for winning a big victory in the trial court. But we believe that the legal arguments they have been emphasizing, and which serve as the basis for the trial court decision, are vulnerable on appeal. In an article published earlier this year in the , we argued the right to marry is best conceived as a matter of equal access to government support and recognition, and that the best doctrinal vehicle for that conception is the fundamental-interest branch of equal protection law. Nelson Tebbe & Deborah A. Widiss, , 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1375, 1377 (2010). Our approach offers a sensible, moderate way for judges to strike down bans on same-sex couples marriage rights and a more satisfying way to conceptualize the right to marriage generally.