Same-Sex Marriage

Steven Arango, Newberry College

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Abstract: This paper discusses why the United States Constitution should not be changed to recognize same-sex marriage as the law of the land. Morality of this issue will not be discussed; only the legality of the issues surrounding same-sex marriage will be examined.

Same-sex marriage has been an issue in the United States for decades now and has become a volatile subject (Solomon & Tiemann, 2012). This paper will examine the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), several court cases against DOMA, the reason why DOMA is unconstitutional, why DOMA should have never been proposed, and how the United States Federal Government attempts to transcend its Constitutional powers via the Interstate Commerce Clause. The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted by the Federal Government and defines “marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, for the purpose of excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage” (Defense of Marriage Act, n.d.). The legality of same-sex marriage and the power to deliberate on it is significant to hundreds of thousands of couples and will have an enormous impact on how constitutional law is interpreted (LaFleur & Obsitnik, 2013). The Federal Government has many broad powers but deciding if it should deliberate and rule on same-sex marriage is a Constitutional dilemma (Article I, n.d.). Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in a handful of states but overall is still not recognized by a majority of states (Nelson, 2014, p. 1173). This being said, the Federal Government, until June 26, 2013, had not recognized these marriages due to the Defense of Marriage Act (Solomon & Tiemann, 2012, p. 36).

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