アメリカの最新課題 Contemporary American Issues © 2020 Yuko’s Blog. All Rights Reserved.  

Practical Reasons to Support Same-Sex Marriage 同姓間結婚を支持する合理的理由
On May 9th, President Obama announced that he supports same-sex marriage. On May 23, Colin Powell, who was the US Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005 when George W. Bush was President, also told the media that he supports gay marriages.

It has been a controversial issue for many years, but recent multiple polls show that support for same-sex marriage is at the highest level in U.S history. So, is it about the time for the federal government to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), which was approved by Congress and signed by President Clinton in July, 1996?

The law proclaimed that marriage is a legal union between a man and a woman and denies federal sanction of same-sex marriage. It also permits states to choose whether to recognize same-sex marriage which are performed in other states.

Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that DOMA should be repealed because it is a violation of human rights, it is unconstitutional, it promotes violence, and it is unjust social policy.

DOMA is a violation of human rights because more and more evidence shows that sexual attraction is biological, not just a social phenomenon. The marriage laws which prohibit same-sex marriage in most states were probably based on the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness or lifestyle choice, so same-sex marriage was not rational.

Proponents also believe that DOMA is unconstitutional because the laws of marriage are made by each state, not the federal government. Most states have laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, but Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Vermont, and Washington DC permit same-sex marriage, and a few states do not have any laws about same-sex marriage.

Therefore, a same-sex marriage which is legal in one state may become illegal if the couple moves to another state. But a legal marriage in one state should be protected in all states, according to the Fourteenth Amendment.

DOMA also promotes violence against same-sex couples because denying marriage to same-sex couples tells society that same-sex couples are worth less than heterosexual couples. Probably, the Clinton administration has passed laws to fight against hate crimes, but hate crimes against sexual orientation have increased since the 1990s.

This is another reason why single gays and lesbians, as well as same-sex couples, have been increasingly experiencing tremendous stress, resulting in mental health problems and drug abuse.

This law also is unjust social policy because it deprives same-sex couples of legal rights or protections and financial benefits, such as inheritance rights, Social Security, and medical insurance benefits that are granted to heterosexual married couples, and makes it much more difficult for same-sex couples to receive child custody and visitation rights.

Therefore, repealing DOMA should promote stability in families, both heterosexual and same-sex, especially because it will help to promote better lives for any children in such families.