same-sex marriage in the United States

Same-sex marriage
Performed nationwide in
Netherlands (2001)
Belgium (2003)
Spain (2005)
Canada (2005)
South Africa (2006)
Performed statewide in
Massachusetts, USA (2004)
Foreign same-sex marriage recognized in
Israel (2006)
Debate in other countries and regions
Aruba
Australia
Austria
China
Estonia
France
Ireland
Latvia
Lithuania
New Zealand
Portugal
Romania
Sweden
Taiwan
United Kingdom
United States:
  CA, CT, MD, NY, NJ, OR, WA
See also
Civil union
Registered partnership
Domestic partnership
Timeline of same-sex marriage
This box:     [ edit]
Same-sex marriage, also called gay marriage, is a marriage between two persons of the same sex. The issue is a divisive political issue in the United States and elsewhere. The social movement to obtain the rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States for same-sex couples began in the early 1970s, and the issue became a prominent one in U.S. politics in the 1990s.

The legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States are complicated by the nation's federal system of government. Traditionally, the federal government did not attempt to establish its own definition of marriage; any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, even if that marriage was not recognized by one or more other states (as was the case with interracial marriage before 1967). With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, however, a marriage was explicitly defined as a union of one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law. (See .) Thus, no act or agency of the U.S. federal government currently recognizes same-sex marriage.

However, many aspects of marriage law affecting the day to day lives of inhabitants of the United States are determined by the states, not the federal government, and the Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent individual states from defining marriage as they see fit; indeed, most legal scholars believe that the federal government cannot impose a definition of marriage onto the laws of the various states by statute. Massachusetts has recognized same-sex marriage since 2004. Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, California, and New Hampshire (from 1 January 2008) have created legal unions that, while not called marriages, are explicitly defined as offering all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law to same-sex couples. Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Oregon (from 1 January 2008) and Washington have created legal unions for same-sex couples that offer varying subsets of the rights and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of those jurisdictions.

In contrast, twenty-six states have constitutional amendments explicitly barring the recognition of same-sex marriage, confining civil marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. Forty-three states have statutes restricting marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, including some of those that have created legal recognition for same-sex unions under a name other than "marriage." A small number of states ban any legal recognition of same-sex unions that would be equivalent to civil marriage.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have attempted to prevent individual states from recognizing such unions by amending the United States Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In 2006, the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages, was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party line vote, and was debated by the full United States Senate, but was ultimately defeated in both houses of Congress.[1]

On August 30, 2007, Iowa Judge Robert Hanson temporarily annulled a law allowing marriage only between men and women before placing a stay the following day on his own ruling.[2]

Debate

Conservative publications

A writer of The Weekly Standard, Stanley Kurtz, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, blames same-sex marriage in the Netherlands for an increase in parental cohabitation contracts. He asserts that same-sex marriage has detached procreation from marriage in the Dutch mind and would likely do the same in the United States.

Using anecdotal evidence, such as a Dutch man and two women who entered a cohabitation agreement together, and a small Unitarian Church group that advocates polygamy, Kurtz states that allowing a monogamous same-sex marriage will create a social disorder that will eventually lead to group marriage.

Liberal publications

Christopher Ott, a reporter for The Progressive, has characterized the social conservatives' predictions of legalized polygamy in states such as Massachusetts that have same-sex marriage as false. He confronts the common argument that same-sex marriage would devalue marriage as a whole by referencing other historical events such as allowing women to vote and stating that it did not devalue the electoral process. Ott describes the prohibition of same-sex marriage as devaluing the American principle of equal treatment.

...you also have to wonder if he and other opponents to equal rights really understand the consequences of the amendments they support. Do they really want gay and lesbian couples separated at the emergency room door in the event of an accident or illness? Do they really think long-term couples should be denied the right to make medical or end-of-life decisions, which married couples take for granted? Do they really think that kids should be denied health coverage by one parent's health insurance because the law treats them as strangers? Do they really think it's fair for gay and lesbian people to pay the same taxes as everyone else, but to be denied the hundreds of rights, benefits and protections of marriage? Do they really think that a gay and lesbian couple that has been together for 50 years does not deserve the protections that non-gay newlyweds enjoy from day one?[3]

Groups supporting and opposing same-sex marriage



It is supported by an assortment of groups and individuals. Those supporting same-sex marriage include Alternatives to marriage project[4], the American Civil Liberties Union,[5] the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, Freedom to Marry,<ref name="glaad" /> the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders,<ref name="glaad" /> Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation,<ref name="glaad" /> the Human Rights Campaign,<ref name="glaad" /> Coretta Scott King [1], Tucker Carlson, Lambda Legal,<ref name="glaad" /> Marriage Equality USA [2], MassEquality,<ref name="glaad" /> the Metropolitan Community Church, Stonewall Democrats, PFLAG, Family Pride, Log Cabin Republicans, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Basic Rights Oregon, Equal Rights Washington, Equality California, Equality Maryland, Equality Mississippi, Equality North Dakota, OutFront Minnesota, Outright Libertarians, Kentucky Equality Federation, Stonewall Democrats, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Stonewall Young Democrats, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, Human Rights Watch, Lavender Greens, Human Rights Watch, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, People for the American Way, Soulforce, COLAGE, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights,<ref name="glaad" /> National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,<ref name="glaad" /> National Organization for Women[3], Reform Judaism, the Unitarian Universalist Association,[6] the United Church of Christ,[4], and United Farm Workers.

Additionally, the mayors in 2006 of several large cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle support same-sex marriage as well as politicians such as Deval Patrick, Mike Gravel, Eliot Spitzer, and Dennis Kucinich. Several political parties such as the Communist Party USA,[7] U.S. Green Party, the Socialist Party USA,[8] and several state Democratic Parties also support gay marriage.

Those supporting the creation of a separate but equal legal status for same-sex couples in the form of civil union or domestic partnership legislation include some state governors such as those of California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, the national Democratic Party,[9] and President George W. Bush.[10]

Groups that oppose giving a legal status to same-sex marriages include the American Family Association, the Christian Coalition, the Christian Voice, the Church of God (Anderson, IN),[11] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Conservative Mennonite Conference[12] the Evangelical Methodist Church,[13] Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, the Hutterite Brethren,[14], the Moral Majority, NARTH, the Orthodox Church in America,[15] the Rabbinical Council of America,[16] the national and most state Republican Parties, the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention[17] the Seventh-day Adventist Church,[18] Southern Baptist Convention,[19] Unification Church, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU).<ref name="orthjew" />

Popular opinion

''See Same-sex marriage in the United States public opinion

Legal issues

See Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States

State level

See Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States by state
Enlarge picture
U.S. same-sex union laws (accuracy disputed).

Impact of foreign laws

The legalization of same-sex marriages across all of Canada (see same-sex marriage in Canada) has raised questions about U.S. law, due to Canada's proximity to the U.S. and the fact that Canada has no citizenship or residency requirement to receive a marriage certificate (unlike the Netherlands and Belgium). Canada and the U.S. have a history of respecting marriages contracted in either country.

Immediately after the June 2003 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Ontario, a number of American couples headed or planned to head to the province in order to get married. A coalition of American national gay rights groups issued a statement asking couples to contact them before attempting legal challenges, so that they might be coordinated as part of the same-sex marriage movement in the United States.

At present, same-sex marriages are recognized nationwide in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa. Same-sex marriage conducted abroad is recognized in Israel, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.

Case law

United States case law regarding the rights of gay or bisexual persons:
  • Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971) (upholding a Minnesota law defining marriage)
  • Jones v. Hallahan, 501 S.W.2d 588 (Ky. 1973) (upholding a Kentucky law defining marriage)
  • Conaway v. Deane, ___ A.2d. ___ (Md. 2007) (upholding state law defining marriage as between a "man" and a "woman," stemming from No. 44, Sept. Term 2006)
  • Singer v. Hara, 522 P.2d 1187 (Wash. App. 1974)
  • Adams v. Howerton, 673 F.2d 1036 (9th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 458 U.S. 1111 (affirming that same-sex marriage does not make one a "spouse" under the Immigration and Nationality Act)
  • De Santo v. Barnsley, 476 A.2d 952 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1984)
  • In re Estate of Cooper, 564 N.Y.S.2d 684 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 1990)
  • Dean v. District of Columbia, 653 A.2d 307 (D.C. 1995)
  • Storrs v. Holcomb, 645 N.Y.S.2d 286 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996) (New York does not recognize or authorize same-sex marriage) (this ruling has since been changed, New York does recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states)
  • In re Estate of Hall, 707 N.E.2d 201, 206 (Ill. App. Ct. 1998) (no same sex marriage will be recognized; petitioner claiming existing same-sex marriage was not in a marriage recognized by law)
  • Baker v. State, 170 Vt. 194; 744 A.2d 864 (Vt. 1999) (Common Benefits Clause of the state constitution requires that same-sex couples be granted the same legal rights as married persons)
  • Rosengarten v. Downes, 806 A.2d 1066 (Conn. 2002) (state will not recognize Vermont civil union)
  • Burns v. Burns, 560 S.E.2d 47 (Ga. Ct. App. 2002) (recognizing marriage as between one man and one woman)
  • Frandsen v. County of Brevard, 828 So. 2d 386 (Fla. 2002) (State constitution will not be construed to recognize same-sex marriage; sex classifications not subject to strict scrutiny under Florida constitution)
  • In re Estate of Gardiner, 42 P.3d 120 (Kan. 2002) (a post-op male-to-female transgendered person may not marry a male, because this person is still a male in the eyes of the law, and marriage in Kansas is recognized only between a man and a woman)
  • Standhardt v. Superior Court ex rel. County of Maricopa, 77 P.3d 451 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2003) (no state constitution right to same-sex marriage)
  • Morrison v. Sadler, 2003 WL 23119998 (Ind. Super. Ct. 2003) (Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act is found valid)
  • Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (Massachusets Supreme Judicial Court, 2003) (denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality, and was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.)
  • Lewis v. Harris (New Jersey Supreme Court, 2006) (New Jersey is required to extend all rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, but prohibiting same-sex marriage does not violate the state constitution; legislature has 180 days from October 25, 2006 to amend the marriage laws or create a "parallel structure.")
  • Andersen v. King County (Washington Supreme Court, 2006) (Washington's Defense of Marriage Act does not violate the state constitution)

References

1. ^ Senate blocks same-sex marriage ban, CNN, June 7, 2006, (Accessed July 5, 2006)
2. ^ BBC NEWS, Iowa judge approves gay weddings
3. ^ Ott, Christopher, [5], The Progressive, February 8, 2005.
4. ^ [6]
5. ^ Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples (2004-05-14). Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
6. ^ "Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Community", [7] (accessed July 2007)
7. ^ Election Platform 2004. Communist Party USA. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
8. ^ Socialist Party Platform: Human Rights. Socialist Party USA. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
9. ^ Democratic Party 2004 Platform.
10. ^ Bush Tolerates Civil Unions, Thinks States Should Decide.
11. ^ Resolution Regarding Same-Sex Marriage. The Church of God General Assembly Resolution, 2004. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
12. ^ CMC Statement on Homosexuality. Conservative Mennonite Conference. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
13. ^ Williamson, Edward W.. Is America witnessing the end of marriage?. The Evangelical Methodist Church. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
14. ^ Hutterites take rare political stand against gay marriage. CBC News (2005-02-18). Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
15. ^ On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
16. ^ Same-Sex Marriage, Rabbinical Council of America. (Accessed July 5, 2006)
17. ^ SBC Officially Opposes "Homosexual Marriage. The Southern Baptist Convention (2003-07-26). Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
18. ^ The Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Homosexuality.
19. ^ [8]

Bibliography

  • Wolfson, Evan (2004). Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-6459-2. 
  • Chauncey, George (2004). Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00957-3. 
  • Dobson, James C. (2004). Marriage Under Fire. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah. ISBN 1-59052-431-4. 

Same-sex marriage in the United States
This box:     [ edit]
Marriage Legalized:Massachusetts
Civil unions enacted:Connecticut - New Hampshire (as of 1/1/08) - New Jersey - Vermont
 Domestic partnerships enacted:California - District of Columbia - Hawaii (reciprocal beneficiaries) - Maine - Oregon (as of 1/1/08) - Washington
Prohibited by statute:Arizona (amendment rejected) - Connecticut - Delaware - Florida - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa (pending appeal) - Maryland - Minnesota - New Hampshire - New York - North Carolina - Pennsylvania - Puerto Rico - Washington - West Virginia - Wyoming
Prohibited by constitutional amendment:Alabama - Alaska - Arkansas - Colorado - Georgia - Hawaii - Idaho - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana - Michigan - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon - South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennessee - Texas - Utah - Virginia - Wisconsin
Marriage or Civil Union
Law proposed
:
California - Connecticut - Illinois - Maine - New Jersey - New York - Rhode Island - Vermont - Washington
Marriage undefined:New Mexico - Rhode Island

See also

In General

In USA

External links

Supporting same-sex marriage

Netherlands has allowed same-sex marriage since 1 April 2001, the first nation in the world to do so.

Registered partnerships

On 1 January 1998, registered partnerships (Dutch: geregistreerd partnerschap) were introduced in law in the Netherlands.
..... Click the link for more information.
Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognise same-sex marriage, with some restrictions. As in the Netherlands (the first country to legalise same-sex marriage), this was achieved when the Christian Democrats were not in power.
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005. In 2004, the nation's newly elected Socialist government, led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, began a campaign for its legalization, which would include adoption by same-sex couples.
..... Click the link for more information.
Gay rights in Canada

Civil Marriage Act
Re Same-Sex Marriage
38th House 38th Senate
39th House 39th Senate
Same-sex marriage in Canada

..... Click the link for more information.
Samesex marriage became legal in South Africa on 30 November 2006 when the Civil Unions Bill was enacted after having been passed by the South African Parliament earlier that month.
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage in Israel is currently unlikely since all marriages performed inside Israel are religious marriages. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel and its parallel systems for Christians and Muslims, which control all rules of marriage and divorce in Israel, currently oppose such
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in France. As of 2006, one same-sex marriage ceremony has been conducted in France and was declared void. France has a statute authorizing civil unions, known as PACS, between same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples.
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
Latvia became the third member state of European Union (after Poland and Lithuania) to constitutionally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.[1]
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriages are not legal in Lithuania, with the Civil Code defining marriage as a voluntary agreement between a man and a woman. Nevertheless, a drive to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriages was reportedly under way in December 2005 by a conservative
..... Click the link for more information.
New Zealand does not allow same-sex marriage, but allows civil unions that provide virtually all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. On immigration to New Zealand, couples that have same-sex marriages from countries that allow them can have their marriages
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage
Performed nationwide in
Netherlands (2001)
Belgium (2003)
Spain (2005)
Canada (2005)
South Africa (2006)
Performed statewide in
Massachusetts, USA (2004)
Foreign same-sex marriage recognized in
Israel (2006)
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in any Eastern Orthodox-majority nation, including Romania. In Romania, homosexuality was banned by the Communist authorities. It was legalised in 1996, and the last anti-gay law, Article 200, was abolished in 2001 under pressure from the Council of
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage
Performed nationwide in
Netherlands (2001)
Belgium (2003)
Spain (2005)
Canada (2005)
South Africa (2006)
Performed statewide in
Massachusetts, USA (2004)
Foreign same-sex marriage recognized in
Israel (2006)
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage
Performed nationwide in
Netherlands (2001)
Belgium (2003)
Spain (2005)
Canada (2005)
South Africa (2006)
Performed statewide in
Massachusetts, USA (2004)
Foreign same-sex marriage recognized in
Israel (2006)
..... Click the link for more information.
United Kingdom does not currently offer same-sex marriage, though it does provide civil partnerships to same-sex couples that provide all the legal consequences of marriage.
..... Click the link for more information.
same sex marriage in California has been an intense political battle for at least the last decade. As California is known for its large gay communities and generally liberal political climate, the issue continues to remain a prominent topic of debate.
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage in Maryland is not currently recognized by state law. In 2004, supporters of same-sex marriage filed a lawsuit, Deane & Polyak v. Conaway, to force the state to recognize these unions.
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage can not be performed in New York state. Since August 2007, it is, however, recognized if the party involved got legally married in a place where same-sex couples have the right to marry.[2]

Five separate suits were filed seeking same-sex marriage.
..... Click the link for more information.
International recognition

Aruba
Dutch Antilles

Israel
New York, USA

Civil unions and
domestic partnerships

Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Luxembourg

New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
..... Click the link for more information.
same-sex marriage in Oregon. In 2004, Multnomah County began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, which began a political battle over same-sex marriage that ended later that year with an amendment to the Oregon Constitution.
..... Click the link for more information.
Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Washington state. A decision in two cases that were on appeal to the Washington Supreme Court could have made Washington the second U.S. state to recognize these unions.
..... Click the link for more information.
A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to marriage. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in many developed countries in order to provide same-sex couples with rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar
..... Click the link for more information.


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