Same-Sex Relationship in the U.S.

Li Luo

Same-Sex Marriage in the U. S. : The Fight for Equal Rights and Equivalent Citizenship

  1. Intro and Thesis

"We keep these truths to be self-evident, that men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among they are Life, Liberty and the quest for Happiness. "

- Declaration of Independence, 1776

When we look back again at American history, this well-known declaration that was written in the Declaration of Freedom has been constantly raised by different categories of people to defend their equal privileges and freedom in the world: America's founding fathers used it to light American's spirit to fight because of their freedom and privileges from the oppression of Britain; African-Americans lent it to fight against their same protection under the law as white people that has been rejected by the regulations for a long period. And right now, inside our generation, were witnessing a new fight for equality --- Same-sex matrimony.

The battle for same-sex marriage has a deep historical origin. Ever since the beginning of individuals civilization, marital and relatives will always be the building blocks of human culture. Matrimony creates intimacy and family among individuals, it also provides order, stability and reliability which are crucial to the success and wealth of human contemporary society. Predicated on those guidelines, people build-up traditional family beliefs, provide legal identification and a variety of privileges/rights through public establishments to reinforce this public norm. However, as the traditional marital relationships and social order are rooted in heterosexuality, many people consider the legalization of same-sex marriage as a menace to this interpersonal norm, and refuse to give LGBT people the full protection under the law and citizenship. In such a paper, I'll analyze the challenge of same-sex matrimony from three different perspective: protection under the law and obligations; parting of forces and federalism; factions and democratic consensus. Within the last section, I am going to conclude that as LGBT people constantly struggling with for their equal right of marriage, and the fact that more and more American people are prepared to accept gay people, the countrywide legalization of same-sex matrimony looks encouraging and the boundary of citizenship in American world is being processed.

  1. Rights and obligations: the unequal citizenship in conditions of LGBT categories' right of matrimony.

Citizenship has different so this means in different point of view. Citizenship can be used to summarize someone's legal id, it can also mean people's proposal in politics and community. In the article "The Meaning of Citizenship", Kerber offered a different way to take into account the definition of citizenship - a formal legal status with the possession of guaranteed privileges as well as responsibilities. She thinks that privileges and obligations should be similar: When a person wants to enjoy the privileges and freedom his / her state provides, he or she must match their obligations as a resident. However, in some cases, certain groups of men and women are not on offer equal protection under the law even though they meet their tasks. Specifically speaking, in a few says, LGBT people are refused to get the same protection under the law as heterosexual visitors to marry those people they love even the same amount of responsibilities are satisfied. Besides, since marital and relatives are the groundwork of human population, without legal matrimony status, same-sex couples usually face a lot more economical and legal negatives compared to opposite-sex married couples, including health care, inheritance, tax, etc.

Should federal provides equivalent right of relationship to LGBT people? The debates over this subject matter have lasted for more than four years. In 1970, two students from School of Minnesota, Richard Baker and Adam Michael McConnell became the first gay couple to use for a married relationship license (Rimmerman, 101). Unsurprisingly, their software was rejected by the neighborhood county, and in their appeal circumstance Baker v. Nelson, the Minnesota Supreme Judge upheld circumstances law that restricting matrimony to opposite-sex lovers (Rimmerman, 101). In the next two decades, a great many other claims successively received similar suits, however, they all finished up in the same destiny as the first one - being declined to give the right of relationship for gay couples.

It wasn't until early on 1990s that the debates over same-sex relationship emerge to the nationwide level. In 1991, in the case of Baehr v. Lewin, Hawaii Supreme Judge rules that denial of same matrimony befitting same-sex couple violate the state constitution (Rimmerman, 103). This view raised a whole lot of concerns of individuals who oppose same-sex matrimony. They fear that this result might trigger final acceptance of same-sex matrimony in Hawaii and the U. S. nationwide (Rimmerman, 103). Therefore, with the goal of preventing legal popularity of same-sex relationship in Hawaii, in 1996, conservatives released and forced the pass from the Defense of Matrimony Act (DOMA). Beneath the procedures of the DOMA, the word "marriage" is totally define as the legal union between a man and a woman. Furthermore, DOMA enables says to refuse reputation of same-sex relationships awarded under the regulations of other state governments.

I will consider the debates over this national law in conditions of Equal Cover Clause and Full Trust and Credit Clause.

The LGBT people have long been tried out to fight because of their equal privileges of matrimony, even though they may have experienced many impediments from conservatives. There are a series of struggles in court, including Lawrence v. Texas, USA v. Windsor, etc that can demonstrates LGBT people's battles. I will analyze some of the most crucial cases in detail to look at how LGBT groups use their judicial power to test DOMA and secure their protection under the law.

  1. How separation of capabilities within federal government and federalism apply to the same-sex marriage issue.
  1. Madison argues that creating "bank checks and balances" within government can prevent abuse of power. This idea can be applied to the same-sex matrimony issue. In United States v. Windsor, the National Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA that described "matrimony" and "spouse" to apply only to heterosexual people. This is a good example that Judicial branch looking at the Legislative branch. I will also illustrate other cases including Baker v. Vermont, Hollingsworth v. Perry.
  2. In Federalist No. 51, Madison's debate that a parting of power can create a balance of hobbies can be lengthened to the thought of federalism. Federalism offers states the independence to make their own plan that suits local circumstances. When different expresses make different laws and take different behaviour on the same-sex marriage issue, this is actually the practice of federalism. To break this inequality across areas and local areas, LGBT teams are now spending so much time to promote the legalization of same-sex relationship on the national level. The Supremacy Clause and 10th Amendment may also be mentioned to demonstrate its rule.
  1. Competing factions in the same-sex matrimony issue.
  1. Federalist No. 10 reviewed about how precisely to break and control factions to avoid tyranny of almost all. In conditions of the same-sex marriage issue, American population was divided by different groupings that either support it or are against it or take neutral stance. I will list some major political and social teams and illustrate their attitudes for the same-sex marriage concern, including Democratic and Republican Gatherings, Churches/Religious companies, and human protection under the law Organizations.
  2. Since LGBT group are moving nationwide legalization of same-sex matrimony, is this a tyranny of the majority? I will discuss relating to this question in detail and present my answer that it is a majority rule rather than tyranny of the majority.
  1. Conclusion
  1. Summarize key quarrels.
  2. Add current data: Matrimony between same-sex lovers has been known on the federal government level. As the Supreme Judge made a decision to let stand rulings that allow same-sex marriage in overdue 2014, now 37 areas have legalized same-sex matrimony with more says to join them. The street of matrimony equality appears more appealing than before, and we can see that citizenship has been redefined to provide equal rights to LGBT people.



Kerber, Linda K. "The Meanings of Citizenship. " The Journal of North american Background 84. 3 (1997): 833. Print out.

In this post, Kerber offers several ways to interpret citizenship, including formal legal position, possession of guaranteed protection under the law and bearing of responsibilities. She believes that this is of citizenship is continually changing and proposes a fresh way to check out citizenship: "A braided citizenship". Different groups of individuals from different genders, races, classes and nations of origin have been struggling for their equivalent citizenship in the U. S. Kerber analyzes each group of people's struggle at length to illustrate how the limitations of citizenship have been changing overtime to support her affirmation.

I use Kerber's notion of citizenship in conditions of the relations of privileges and obligations to help me assess the legitimacy of gay rights, more specifically, same-sex matrimony. And by using a myriad of evidence of LGBT people's fight for equal privileges within the braided citizenship to justify how same-sex marriage redefines the boundaries of citizenship.

Madison, Adam. Federalist No. 10: "PRECISELY THE SAME Subject Continued: The Union as a Guard against Household Faction and Insurrection. "New York Daily Marketer, November 22, 1787. Print.

In this work, Madison claims that people are diverse naturally and self-interested, so that factions are produced inside every culture. He argues about the necessity to break and control factions which he identifies as a menace to popular government authorities that may lead to tyranny of almost all. He thinks that in a huge republic government is run by staff chosen by its people. With so many different interests and categories, it might be more difficult to create a majority faction, thus it can better guard against the risks of tyranny of the majority and protect the rights of all its people.

I will use this tool to illustrate different communities/factions' stances in conditions of same-sex relationship, and to dispute about the question: Is legalization of same-sex relationship a tyranny of almost all?

Madison, Wayne. Federalist No. 51: "The Structure of the federal government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Amounts Between the Different Departments. " New York Packet, February 8, 1788. Print out.

In Federalist No. 51, Wayne Madison addresses the way the separation of powers within the federal government can be created under the new constitution. He is convinced that people are not "angels", meaning if there isn't any form of control over federal government, leaders will misuse their electricity. However, "Ambition must be produced to counteract ambition". By creating something of "checks and balances", where the government is split into different branches, the overlapping power between those three branches would put restrictions on federal government, thus avoiding the misuse of powers, and protect the protection under the law of folks.

I will bring on Madison's notion of checks and balances inside federal government to argue about how precisely different branches work to protect LGBT people's protection under the law. I'll further consider separation of powers in conditions of federalism to look at same-sex marriage courtroom cases.


Rimmerman, Craig A. The Lesbian and Gay Motions: Assimilation or Liberation? Boulder, CO: Westview, 2008. Print.

This book provides people an historical point of view to understand lesbian and gay movements. Rimmerman tackles the challenging issue of what constitutes activity effectiveness and how effective the assimilationist and liberationist strategies have been in three contentious plan arenas: the military ban, same-sex matrimony, and Assists.

I will focus on the same-sex relationship policy part of this publication, using those specific analyses of important courts instances in history to examine LGBT organizations' efforts to fight for their equal right of matrimony.

"UP TO NOW, so Fast. "The Economist. The Economist Newspapers, 11 Oct. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

This article provides brief benefits of the progress in terms of the same-sex relationship agenda because the early 2000s, and it gives some explanations of why this plan has modified so fast in such a short time, including the change in moral view and transformation of LGBT people, too.

I will use this source in the conclusion showing why the countrywide legalization of same-sex marriage is appealing.

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