Equal Marriage Rights forSame-Sex CouplesAlyssa Altman and Elijah Clark-Ginsberg
States with Gay Marriage, CivilUnions, or Domestic Partnerships Marriage (7 states and DC) Civil unions or domestic partnership (11 states)
Marriage vs. Civil Unions vs.Domestic Partnership✤ Marriage automatically conveys hundreds of rights✤ Many of these rights cannot be replicated in any other way✤ Civil unions and domestic partnerships are often not recognized outside the state in which they were performed✤ Civil unions and domestic partnerships simply aren’t marriage in name or in practice
Domestic partnership and civil unions aren’t good enough.
All couples deservethe right to marriage.
The Obstacles Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be✤ Public opinion remains largely divided, with just recognized by the law as over half the country supporting equal marriage valid, with the same rights as traditional marriage? rights for same-sex couples✤ Many states have passed constitutional 2% amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman 45% 53%✤ The Defense of Marriage Act, limiting marriage to heterosexual couples at the federal level, is still in effect Should be valid Should not be valid Undecided
The Defense of Marriage Act✤ Section 2 states no political subdivision can be required to recognize same- sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions✤ Section 3 blocks the recognition of same-sex marriages at the federal level✤ Denies over 1,100 federal rights to same-sex couples✤ Many court challenges and repeal attempts✤ The Obama administration and Massachusetts and California state courts have found §3 to be unconstitutional✤ The Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA in court
“The President and I have concludedthat classifications based on sexualorientation warrant heightened scrutinyand that, as applied to same-sex coupleslegally married under state law, Section3 of DOMA is unconstitutional.” - Attorney General Eric Holder
President Obama and His Cabinet✤ Supports legalizing same-sex marriage despite being personally opposed✤ Supports the Respect for Marriage Act✤ Against a federal mandate requiring all states to perform same-sex marriages and supports states’ right to decide✤ Opposes DOMA and announced his administration would not continue to defend it in court
“You want to be commander in chief?You can start by standing up for themen and women who wear the uniformof the United States even when it’s notpolitically convenient.”- President Barack Obama on the repeal of DADT
The Proposal: Goals✤ Strike down the Defense of Marriage Act✤ Provide federal recognition and rights for couples in same-sex marriages and partnerships✤ Work to achieve recognition at the state level in all states✤ Maintain respect for federalism and dissenting opinions
The Proposal: Involving theJudiciary✤ DOMA is already being challenged in District and Appeals courts and may be argued before the Supreme Court.✤ If a certiorari petition is ﬁled with the Supreme Court, President Obama should instruct Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to endorse it.✤ President Obama should instruct Solicitor General Verrilli to submit an amicus curiae brief supporting the nulliﬁcation of DOMA.
The Proposal: Involving theLegislature✤ The Respect for Marriage Act is a proposed bill in Senate and House of Representatives.✤ It would repeal DOMA and provide federal rights and recognition to same-sex couples.✤ It would not require any state to recognize same-sex marriages.✤ It is supported by President Obama as well as President Clinton, who signed DOMA into law, and original DOMA sponsor Rep. Bob Barr.✤ President Obama should ramp up his support, encourage legislators to back the bill, and encourage voters to convey their support to their congresspeople.
The Proposal: Involving the States✤ If DOMA is struck down by the United States Supreme Court as unconstitutional, that sets a powerful precedent that rights and recognition cannot be limited based on sexual orientation✤ If state constitutional amendments limiting the deﬁnition are challenged in court, it is all but guaranteed that those amendments will be struck down.✤ This paves the way for states to legalize same-sex marriage on their own without direct interference from the federal government.
Who Benefits✤ Same-sex couples can ﬁnally get married and share equal rights nationwide✤ Particularly helpful to families facing bereavement, immigration, and health issues✤ A UCLA study determined that Iowa would have a net gain of $5.3 million per year as a result of legalizing same-sex marriage✤ Other states and the federal government would presumably see similar income gains
Who Suffers✤ There is no suffering, just perceived suffering.✤ Conservatives believe that same-sex marriage threatens the sanctity of the institution of traditional marriage.✤ Many of these arguments are based on biblical teachings, which we cannot allow to impact policymaking.
Bibliography✤ "Attorney General Declares DOMA Unconstitutional." The 1600 Report. 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http:// whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/23/attorney-general-declares-doma-unconstitutional/>.✤ Badgett, M.V. Lee; Baumle, Amanda K; Romero, Adam P.; & Sears, Brad. (2008). The Impact on Iowas Budget of Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry. UC Los Angeles: The Williams Institute. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/ 4ps5c05m "Change in DOMA Policy Could Have Immigration Implications." Bromberg, Kohler Maya & Mashler, PLLC. Web. 07 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bromberglaw.com/2011/09/praesent-sed-diam-neque/>.✤ Fowler, Geoffrey A. "Marriage Law Goes to Court." WSJ.com. Wall Street Journal, 4 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http:// online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323840802610610.html>.✤ "GLAD / Know Your Rights." Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Web. 07 Apr. 2012. <http://www.glad.org/rights/>.✤ "Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships: A Comparison." EqualityMaine. Web. 07 Apr. 2012. <http:// equalitymaine.org/marriage-civil-unions-and-domestic-partnerships-comparison>.✤ Myers, Steven Lee, and Helene Cooper. "U.S. to Aid Gay Rights Abroad, Obama and Clinton Say." NY Times. New York Times, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 7 Apr. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/world/united-states-to-use-aid-to-promote-gay-rights- abroad.html?pagewanted=all>.✤ "Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must â Stand Upâ For Gay Soldiers." Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must Stand Up For Gay Soldiers. 10 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/ 2011/10/01/333761/obama-at-hrc-dinner-gop-presidential-candidates-must-stand-up-for-gay-soldiers/?mobile=nc>.✤ Volksy, Igor. "Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must â Stand Upâ For Gay Soldiers." Obama At HRC Dinner: GOP Presidential Candidates Must Stand Up For Gay Soldiers. 1 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http:// thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/10/01/333761/obama-at-hrc-dinner-gop-presidential-candidates-must-stand-up-for-gay- soldiers/?mobile=nc>.