In an interview with The O`Reilly Factor in August 2010, when Glenn Beck was asked if he “believed same-sex marriage was somehow a threat to [this] country,” he replied, “No, I don`t think so. I think Thomas Jefferson said, “If it doesn`t break my leg or grab my bag, what difference does it make to me?”   Most proponents of same-sex marriage argue that gay and lesbian couples should not be treated differently from their heterosexual counterparts and should be able to marry like anyone else. In addition to wanting to defend the legal principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment, proponents say there are very practical reasons to fight for what they call “marriage equality.” They point out, for example, that same-sex couples who have been together for years, if not decades, often find themselves deprived of the basic rights and privileges currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples who marry legally – from the division of health and pension benefits to hospital visitation rights. As NPR`s Nina Totenberg reported when the Supreme Court heard the pending case in April, conservative justices had asked lawyers questions: In August and September, national political parties addressed same-sex marriage in their party platforms. The Democratic National Convention passed a platform that “rejects the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us” and proposed support for same-sex marriage: “We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation and support equal responsibilities, benefits and protections.  The Republican National Convention platform said the justices “undermine traditional marriage laws,” approved the federal marriage amendment and state initiatives that support “traditional marriage,” and referred to the “right of states not to recognize same-sex `marriages.`”  The spread of marriage equality had been going on for years—it dated back to Massachusetts, the first state where marriage equality was abolished. When the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, it forced the public for the first time to seriously consider the possibility of partnerships between gay and lesbian couples — opening the door to a shift in public opinion that has culminated today in majority support for marriage equality. “The Constitution gives them that right.” Although the proposed constitutional amendment failed, opponents of same-sex marriage had better luck at the state level. Prior to 2004, only three states had passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. In 2004, however, voters in 13 states passed referendums to amend their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. Fifteen other states took the same step between 2005 and 2012, bringing the total number of states banning same-sex marriage in their constitutions to 30. Perhaps the biggest and most surprising of those victories came in 2008, when voters in the nation`s largest and most liberal state, California, passed Proposition 8, which enshrines a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution. As mentioned earlier, Proposition 8 was later struck down by a federal court, although the ban on same-sex marriage is still in effect and an appeal is pending before the Supreme Court.
(See graphic: Same-sex marriage state by state.) Kennedy compared this development to society`s views on gays and lesbians, noting that for years “a truthful statement by same-sex couples about what was in their hearts should not be told.” Four centuries ago, arranged marriages were common in the West (America and Western Europe). Love marriages – the unions that are common today between romantic partners who marry out of love and commitment to each other – became popular in the West in the 18th and 19th centuries, although the practice of arranged marriages remains widespread in some countries such as India. However, same-sex marriage was rarely mentioned or recognized as a political issue until the 1970s. In August 1953, U.S. Postal Service officials delayed delivery of the monthly issue of ONE magazine, with the cover story “Gay Marriage?” for three weeks, while trying to determine whether its contents were obscene.  In the following decades, only a few mentions of the subject were documented.   In June 1971, members of the Gay Activists Alliance of the Marriage License Bureau in New York demanded the right to marriage for same-sex couples.   Gay and lesbian Americans have been demanding the right to marry, or at least establish more formal relationships, since the 1960s, but same-sex marriage has only become a national issue in the last 20 years. The spark that sparked the debate occurred in Hawaii in 1993, when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that an existing law banning same-sex marriage would be unconstitutional unless the state government could prove it had compelling reason to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. For same-sex marriage advocates, Friday`s ruling is a long-awaited end to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal law defending marriage and required the U.S. government to provide equal benefits to same-sex and heterosexual couples. 10.
In January, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages married in Utah between Dec. 20, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2014.  An April 2015 analysis by the Williams Institute, a think tank focused on LGBTQ issues, found that support for same-sex marriage was growing in all 50 states and appeared to be growing faster in states that had legalized same-sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriage have also been successful in recent years. After the New Jersey legislature passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in February 2012, the state`s Republican governor, Chris Christie, vetoed it. And in May 2012, North Carolina voters approved an amendment to the state`s constitution banning same-sex marriage, leaving North Carolina on its 30th birthday. I would like to ask the Commissioner whether he is aware that the Commission has not yet presented a proposal for a directive on environmental protection in the Community. On September 3, District Judge Martin Feldman ruled against the plaintiff same-sex couples in Robicheaux v. Caldwell. Maintains Louisiana`s ban on same-sex marriage.
 This was the first federal court decision since the U.S. Supreme Court`s decision in Windsor in June 2013 upholding the constitutionality of a state ban on same-sex marriage.  Approximately 7,400 businesses offered spousal benefits to same-sex couples in 2008. In states that recognize same-sex marriage, same-sex couples cannot continue to receive the same benefits as if they marry.  Only 18% of private employers provided health services to domestic partners.  In recent years, the debate has shifted from issues of individual rights and appropriate family education to issues that pit religious freedom against policies of non-discrimination. While all laws legalizing same-sex marriage include some conscience protection that allows churches and other religious groups not to marry gay and lesbian couples, the legal basis is for religiously affiliated organizations such as hospitals, schools, and other social services that may not provide benefits to an employee`s spouse in a same-sex marriage or to a gay or lesbian couple. Adoption and other services that are commonly provided to heterosexual couples.
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