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  • 1. Should same sexmarriage be legally recognized? Lauren Zurmuhl Sociology 130 UO1
  • 2. Introduction Heated political and social debate past 15-20 years
  • 3. Supporters Ban on same sex marriage is form of discrimination Violates personal liberty and civil rights Similar to racial discrimination of 1950’s
  • 4. Opponents Homosexual marriage is “special rights”, not civil right (Conant) Religious marriage is between a man and a women only (Fingerhut et al) Superiority of intact biological family compared to same sex marriage family (Ponnuru)
  • 5. History 1993 Hawaii- National Attention Judges ruled state constitution required compelling reason not to extend to Homosexuals equal marriage rights (Fingerhut et al)
  • 6. Defense of Marriage Act Passed by congress in 1996 Denied homosexual couples from receiving benefits Defined marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” source-Fingerhut et al
  • 7. 1999 Vermont Vermont Supreme Court rules “same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights, protections, and benefits” first state in the US to institute civil unions without calling it marriage Source-John Dooley, Baker v. Vermont, Majority Opinion,, Dec. 20, 1999
  • 8. Massachusetts Supreme Court 2003 gays have equal marriage rights 2004 first same sex marriage granted
  • 9. Attempts by Congress to ban same sex marriage July 2004, US Senate effort to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage fails. Only 48 votes of the necessary 60 votes for the proposal to pass. September 2004, US House of Representatives rejects a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage by a vote of 227 to 186 Source-"House Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Ban," Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2004
  • 10. State Constitutional Marriage Amendments 2004-2008 26 states pass constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage Campaign strategy supported by opponents of same sex marriage Laws are difficult to overturn Source-Fingerhut et al
  • 11. Battle in California Proposition 8
  • 12. California Proposition 8 National Attention November 2008 - California statewide referendum on same sex marriage Put constitutional ban on same sex marriage(52.3% voters approved) May 2009 California Supreme Court upheld August 2010 US Appeals Court overturned ban Lessens status and dignity of gays and lesbians Source-Vaughn Walker, JD, Opinion, Perry v. Schwarzenneger,, Aug. 4, 2010
  • 13. Opponents Arguments Question normality and morality of LGBT individuals Uses religious arguments Gay and Lesbian values are encroaching on traditional values and rights of others Families not as stable as traditional families
  • 14. Religious Argument against Same Sex Marriage Marriage is a religious rite. July 2003 -Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II, marriage "was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman”. (Source-Joseph Card. Ratzinger, "Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons”.)
  • 15. Encroaches on Rights of Others Conservative groups campaign against same sex marriage ( Argue "Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us."
  • 16. nationformarriage.org
  • 17. “Special Rights” not Civil Right Diminishes religious freedom will diminish the religious freedom of those who consider homosexuality sinful (Conant) “not civil right, but civil wrong” Many African –Americans believe gays discriminated against, but marriage not civil rights issue (Conant)
  • 18. Family Issues-Children of Same Sex Marriages More likely to be involved in crime More depression and thoughts of suicide Greater rates of infidelity More likely to be unemployed and on public assistance Source-Ponnuru
  • 19. Proponents Arguments No one else’s business Protected by Constitution, Is Civil Right Lessens status of individuals, makes acceptable to discriminate Basic rights for couples Does not harm heterosexual marriages or family values
  • 20. Civil Rights Issue Protected under Constitution-Right to liberty and equality “Unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses” (source-Vaughn Walker, JD, Opinion, Perry v. Schwarzenneger,, Aug. 4, 2010) Similar to ban on inter-racial marriages prior to 1967
  • 21. Lessens Status Same sex marriage bans - Lessens status and dignity of gays and lesbians Stigmatizes gay and lesbian families Makes acceptable to discriminate against gays and lesbians Civil Union but not marriage is second class status Source- _build/sexual_orientation/sexual_orientation_and_gender_id entity_policies.authcheckdam.pdf
  • 22. Legal Marriage Conveys Basic Rights Hospital visitations during illness Tax benefits from marriage Inheritance rights Family healthcare benefits Legal rights in case of divorce Source-Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber, "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple,", Oct. 2, 2009
  • 23. No Harm to Traditional Marriages Legal same sex marriage has no effect on heterosexual marriages No adverse affect on “family values” (rates of divorce, abortion, illegitimate children) Source-Laura Langbein and Mark A. Yost, Jr., "Same- Sex Marriage and Negative Externalities," Social Science Quarterly, June 2009
  • 24. Changing Popular OpinionSource: Nate Silver, "Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage Appears to Shift at Accelerated Pace,”, Aug. 12, 2010
  • 25. Changing Political Tide
  • 26. Class Discussion What do you believe?
  • 27. Conclusion