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Rough Draft

The purpose of Government is to promote freedom, order and equality. So, how is equality being promoted if same-sex couples are denied the right of marriage and all the benefits that heterosexual couples are provided? In the past the United States government has shown its ability to promote equality such as with women’s rights, which included the right to vote, equal pay, etc.; and in 1967’s case of Loving v. Virginia in which the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial couples from marriage were unconstitutional. The United States is also involved in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which bans discrimination based on sex. Yet, there is still the pressing issue of gay marriage. As Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts once said “America will not be America until we free ourselves of discrimination and bigotry.”

In 1996, the House of Representatives passed the Defense of Marriage Act. It was voted on by Senators 85-14. This Act did two things, one it said that “no State shall be required to give effect to a law of any other State with respect to a same-sex marriage”, and second it defined the words “marriage” and “spouse.” In the second section of the bill it amends the U.S. Code by saying that “marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex.” This lead to many federal marriage benefits being denied to gay couples, such as Social Security, tax breaks, Medicare, etc.

Currently the largest issue at hand is the Federal Anti-Marriage Amendment. If passed it would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and would deny gays of more than 1,100 rights. Some of the rights that the amendment would be denying to gay couples would be: the availably to domestic partners of health insurance benefits, “mak[ing] medical decisions on a partner’s behalf when they are sick, or even visit the partner or the partner’s child in hospital” , to be able to “take bereavement or sick leave to care or mourn for a partner, or a partner’s child”, to “share equal rights and equal responsibilities for children in their care”, to “file joint tax returns and enjoy tax benefits for couples, obtain joint insurance policies, or even rent or own property together”, to “obtain a protection order against domestic violence, to “get a fair settlement of property when the relationship ends, to “inherit from a deceased partner if they lacked a valid will”, to “choose a partner’s final resting place”, to “obtain pension benefits if the partner dies” and that is just to name a few!!!

[talk about companies and the economic side: 75% of Fortune 500 companies have included sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner health benefits]

[tell about how the rest of the world is dealing with the issue: Netherlands, in 2001, Belgium and Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, in 2003, extended full civil marriage to same-sex couples]

[talk about what some states are doing]

[talk about Massachusetts and how they were able to receive their rights]

[include the quote: For the first time in our nation’s history, we would be amending the constitution to exclude a class of people from the protections afforded to the rest of the citizens.]

[Maybe talk about the “sanctity” of marriage; Use quote from the TV show Queer as Folk Season 4 Episode 14 at 4minutes and 30 seconds]

Bizpafoof's Suggestions:
I found the listing of the rights to get repetative and I would advise refraining from listing so many. The other sources look like you should have plenty of material for arguments. I would also suggest drawing a few links to the Civil Rights movement or the Women's rights movement directly as opposed to just mentioning them. Maybe a quick compare/contrast would be helpful. Also, you might want to consider addressing some of the oposition's viewpoints and incorporating a counter-argument in your paper somewhere. Other than that it looks like a well thought out/ thought provoking paper

Review of buzz200326's paper by sobek18

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