Did you know that the first legal gay marriage did not happen until 2004 while congress, the lawmaking branch of our nation’s government, has been around since it was created in 1787? It took our government two hundred and seventeen years to legalize gay marriage in just one state, one state out of fifty. Luckily, now there are 37 states in America that legalized gay marriage. But what is taking our country so long to end the struggle for equal rights in all of our states? There are still 13 states that have not legalized gay marriage yet, Michigan being one of them. Since Michigan has banned gay marriages there have been many petitions and riots to remove the ban and legalize gay marriages. Since gay and lesbian couples cannot get married in the state of Michigan, they are denied many marriage benefits, insurance, and other things in the state that heterosexual couples do receive. Many couples that disagree with these bans have tried to take it to court hoping to get a better answer. However, suing the government hasn’t worked for many people. This isn’t stopping gay and lesbian couples from trying to marry the person they love, and a difference could be made if we came together, gay or straight and helped do what is right. If we start a petition to remove the ban of same sex marriages and to make it legal for a gay or lesbian couple to elope, we could change thousands of lives in our state. Marriage is said to be a lot of things: a commitment, a sexual relationship, a responsibility filled with love and joy. Marriage is a friendship made between two people that nobody else can compare to. And then of course there is another way to look at it all; the civil rights side. Marriage grants you many things in the United States like benefits that unmarried people don’t get a chance to have. Health care is a big help when you are married, and along with tax benefits, rights to adopt and custody of children, immigration rights, and better insurance policies. As it may seem like a privilege to get married and have all these benefits to come your way, states allow everyone except for gays and lesbians to get married. So convicted felons, murderers, rapists, and child molesters can all get married with no question about it as long as there is a witness, and as long as they are marrying someone of the opposite sex. In some states where same sex marriages are approved, there is still a bit of a hassle for the married couple. According to the article Is Full Marriage Equality for Same Sex Couples Next, “the Federal Defense of Marriage Act prevented same-sex married couples and their families from obtaining healthcare and other benefits they would otherwise receive, and forced them to undergo a complicated procedure for filing taxes” (Archibald, 2014). It may seem odd that a state can approve of so many different types of people to get married and allow anyone to have a marriage license, but does not allow same sex marriages to happen. And where same sex marriages are allowed to happen, there is still a consequence simply because they are gay. Money is one of the most important things to everyone in this country, wealthy or not. It plays the biggest factor in all of our lives. In a New York Times post they showed that same sex couples that are denied marriage rights are estimated to pay about $41,196 to $467,652 in expenses in their lifetime because they are not able to get marriage benefits (Bernard, T. & Lieber, R. 2009). In our country there are about 1,138 different marriage benefits offered to heterosexual couples. Gay couples who do not receive marriage benefits have to pay thousands of dollars more on average every year. Unmarried women alone pay thousands of dollars every month more than the average married woman because of their lack of health benefits, insurance, and medical expenses. The same sex marriage debate has been going on for quite some time. The religious aspect always gets thrown into play as some people believe...
References: Archibald, C. J. (2014). Is Full Marriage Equality For Same Sex Couples Next? The Immediate and Future Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in the United States V. Windsor. Valparaiso University Law Review, 48(3), 695-713
Christopher Lloyd, & Jason Winer (2009). Modern Family. Los Angeles, Ca: American Broadcasting Company
Ellis, B. (2012). "Gay Marriage Boosts NYC 's Economy by $259 Million in First Year," CNN
Geraldine, A. K., & Wagner, R. (2015). Same-sex marriage debate. Salem Press Encyclopedia
Klein, Ezra. (2013). "Sorry, Justice Scalia: There’s No Evidence That Gay Parents Aren’t Great Parents." Washington Post
Michaelson, J. (2008). Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality. Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law, 1541.
Nussbaum, M. (2009). A Right to Marry? Same-sex Marriage and Constitutional Law. Retrieved March 8, 2015 from http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/a-right-to-marry-same-sex-marriage-and-constitutional-law
Press, A. (2015). Gov. Snyder: Michigan Will Recognize About 300 Gay Marriages. Time.Com, N.PAG.
Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber, (2009) "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple," www.nytimes.com
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