Sabrina Winston - Same-Sex Marriage Thesis Presentation


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Sabrina Winston is a senior graduating from Chavez Capitol Hill High School. She is a member of the Chavez “We the People” debate team that took 1st place in the school-wide competition and 2nd place in the district competition. Sabrina’s has gained work experience with organizations such as Metro Teen aids and the D.C. Department of Public Works. Miss Winston is interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science and will be attending Potomac State College in the fall.

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  • Gay marriage bans are a timely issue especially since president Obama came out publicly supporting gay marriage. Gay marriage is an issue that I feel passionate about and now I feel its time for my generation to step up and advocate for gay marriage.
  • The legalization of gay marriage_______________________________________________________________________Gay marriage recognition laws are when states recognize that a couple is married_______________________________________________________________________Civil unions and domestic partnerships are a legally recognized form of partnership similar to marriage.
  • This image here is showing the difference between marriage and civil unions.
  • Currently there are no states who have not legalized gay marriage with recognition laws.
  • Gay rights are civil rights because homosexuals are a group of people that are being discriminated against
  • This is an example of how nothing has really changed but the group that's being discriminated against
  • This here is another example that’s showing nothing has changed but the group that’s being discriminated against
  • This is the loving’s they are an interracial couple who's case went to the supreme court to win the right to interracial marriage. This case set up precedent for gay marriage.
  • Just like the equal protection clause requires the law to treat interracial couples the same as same-race couples, it also requires the law to treat gay couples the same as straight couples
  • Gay marriage bans categorically deny homosexuals the fundamental rights to marriage. Without civil rights homosexuals are second class citizens. Second class citizens are citizens who belongs to groups that cant exercise there full rights.
  • According to some,it is a moral or religious wrong to get married to the same sex, especially when a large population of the country adheres to Judeo-Christian beliefs …. Some also argue that it is a “violation of natural laws”.
  • Congress can’t impose one groups religious beliefs on others & the law cannot take religious beliefs or morals into consideration, this is called “ separation of church & State”
  • Marriage is a CIVIL right. When it comes to CIVIL rights, it does not matter what the majority thinks
  • Although public opinion is not important when it comes to civil rights. It is nice that 53% of Americans now support gay marriage. (Gallup, 2011)
  • Marriage laws have traditionally been considered as under state control, as they are not mentioned in Congress’ enumerated powers in Article I Section 8. So under the 10th Amendment, they are reserved to the states.
  • However, in 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 made gay marriage illegal at the federal level. The problem is that this interfered with states’ ability to make gay marriage laws, because gay marriages in states that allowed it would not receive federal benefits, so they would not be full marriages, they would not be equal to straight marriages in the same state. In other words, the federal government was interfering with the states’ power to make gay marriage laws.
  • InMassachusetts v. United States Dept. of Health and Human Services (D. Mass 2010), the courts determined that the tenth amendment gives states the right to make marriage laws, and that by passing DOMA Congress was overstepping its boundaries and undermining states’ ability to make gay marriage laws
  • Another reason, besides the 10th amendment, why states should be allowed to make their own gay marriage laws, is that as Justice Brandeis claimed, progressive states should be allowed to lead the country by courageously implementing progressive public policies
  • The Counter-position, which the federal government took when it passed DOMA, is that progressive states shouldn’t be allowed to experiment with progressive public policies, because they would be forcing them on other states because of the Full Faith and Credit clause.For example, when one state passes a gay marriage law it forces it on all the other states, that have to recognize those gay marriages if the couple moves to their state.That’s why the federal government passed Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which in Section 2 stipulated that states did not have to recognize gay marriage laws in other states.
  • Controversy 4 asks the question, does the Constitution and do our society’s values protect the right to marry someone of the same sex?
  • The due process clause is a very powerful clause in the Constitution. The key word is LIBERTY – as in individual rights. The due process clause protects individual rights not specified in the Bill of Rights. It protects the right to make individual personal private decisions about one’s body and family without government interference. The courts have ruled that it protects the right to abortion, the right to view pornography in the privacy of one’s home, the right to refuse medical treatment, the right to raise one’s children the way one wants, and most recently in Perry v. Brown , the right to marry someone of the same gender.
  • Goodridge v. Dept of Public Health was the first court to rule that the due process clause also protects the right to marry someone of the same gender. It lead to the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage. However it was only a state-level case, and only applied to Mass.
  • The court came to the same conclusion in Perry v Schwarzenegger, known as Perry v. Brown on appeal. The difference is that THIS case will probably go to the Supreme Court. Since the legal case was very strong, it is possible that the Supreme Court agree with the lower ruing. If the Supreme Court agrees, no state will be allowed to prohibit gay marriages.
  • Not everyone agrees that people should have the RIGHT to marry someone of the same gender. According to the “slippery slope” argument, if people are allowed to marry people of the same gender, then next they’ll be able to marry close family members, children, pets, etc.
  • My alternative policy is for The Supreme Court to rule that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional in the court case Perry v. Brown which most people believe will reach the Supreme Court. When the ruling in Perry v. Brown first came out, many people believed that it was inevitable that the Supreme court would agree with it. However, the current Supreme Court is quite conservative & has made several conservative decisions lately, so it is no longer as clear cut what they will decide for the case
  • The outcome of such a positive supreme court ruling would be the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states.
  • Sabrina Winston - Same-Sex Marriage Thesis Presentation

    1. 1. GAY MARRIAGE BANS By: Sabrina Winston
    2. 2. SECTION 1Background Section
    3. 3. GAY MARRIAGE BANSA gay marriage ban is a banagainst same-sex marriage.
    4. 4. OTHER STATE LEVEL GAY MARRIAGE POLICIESLegalized gay marriageGay marriage recognition lawsCivil unions/ domestic partnerships
    5. 5. IMPACTS OF GAY MARRIAGE BANSNo end-of-life decision makingNo family leaveNo Social Security benefitsNo work place marriage benefits like health insuranceDon’t benefit from1,100 laws legal & financial benefits and responsibilities for married couples
    6. 6. CITY & STATES WHERE GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL (California) Connecticut Iowa Massachusetts (Maryland)-pending New Hampshire New York Vermont Washington DC
    7. 7. RECOGNITION LAWSThere are currently no gay marriage recognition lawsNew York and Washington DC used to have recognition laws before they legalized gay marriage
    8. 8. STATES WITH CIVIL UNIONSDelawareHawaiiIllinoisNew JerseyRhode Island
    9. 9. STATES WITH DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS California Colorado Maine Maryland Nevada Oregon Washington DC Washington State Wisconsin
    10. 10. DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA)Federal lawpassed In 1996Signed by President ClintonSection 2: States don’t have to recognize gay marriages from states where they are legalSection 3: For federal purposes, marriage is defined as between a man & a woman
    11. 11. SECTION 2Policy Analysis
    12. 12. CONTROVERSY 1 Are GayRights CIVIL RIGHTS?
    13. 13. LOVING V. VIRGINIA (1967)
    17. 17. ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE OF THE 1ST AMENDMENT “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”
    18. 18. CONTROVERSY 2Is it more important to honor majority rule or minority rights?
    19. 19. IS IT MORE IMPORTANT TO HONOR MAJORITY RULE OR MINORITY RIGHTS? Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights ofman," fundamental to our very existence and survival....
    20. 20. IS IT MORE IMPORTANT TO HONOR MAJORITY RULE OR MINORITY RIGHTS?Should we have caredthat it bothered somewhites for blacks to be equal or have civil rights?
    22. 22. CONTROVERSY 3Should states or federalgovernments make gay marriage laws?
    23. 23. DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA)Section 3: For federalpurposes, marriage isdefined as between a man & a woman
    24. 24. SHOULD STATES OR FEDERALGOVERNMENTS MAKE GAY MARRIAGE LAWS? Massachusetts v. United States Dept. of Health and Human Services (D. Mass 2010)
    25. 25. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis One of the principal values of American federalism is that a “single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
    26. 26. COUNTER-POSITION The Full Faith and CreditClause of the U.S Constitution says that states mustrecognize “public acts, records and judicial proceedings of other states.”
    27. 27. CONTROVERSY 4 Do people have aright to marry whom they want?
    28. 28. DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT- “Nor shall any statedeprive any person oflife, liberty, or property,without due process oflaw”
    29. 29. DO PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO MARRY WHOM THEY WANT? Goodridge v. Department of Public Health --Due Process Clause --Equal Protection Clause
    30. 30. DO PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO MARRY WHOM THEY WANT? Perry v. Schwarzenegger (2010) (Perry v. Brown on appeal) --Due Process Clause
    32. 32. SECTION 3Alternative policy
    34. 34. The outcome
    35. 35. SPECIAL THANKS TO Mr. Rick Rosendall,DC Gay Marriage Bill advocate.
    36. 36. WORK CITED HRC Foundation Answers to Questions About Marriage Equality Merriam Webster defines domestic violence and civil unions Gallup poll First Time Majority Americans Favor Legal Gay Marriage