I had to write a post on a controversial topic in school that the states had tried to rule on but was heading or had gotten to the federal level.
I want to post what I wrote and see your arguments for or against my stance. Since this is a controversial topic, please refrain from giving your personal moral, ethical, or religious convictions. This is reviewing on whether or not the states should have the right to regulate it or should the federal government as well as to why.
Anyone who does violate this will have the topic locked and others will not be able to participate and learn. This is not meant to cause trouble but to look at how our government works and our own history.
My post was on same-sex marriage.
The definition of marriage and the same-sex marriage issue has been one of the biggest issues in the political arena in the last decade. Traditionally, marriage was always assumed to be between a man and a woman. This view began to change as same-sex couples challenged state laws that prohibited them from getting married. The tension between the states and the federal government over this topic has escalated and continues to draw fire.
As the definition of marriage is not laid explicitly in the United States Constitution, the states have begun one by one to address this issue. As a unanimous decision has not been agreed upon by all states, many couples have tried to take it to the national level. The question on whether or not this topic should be dictated by the federal government has good arguments on each side.
In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was signed by President Bill Clinton which stated that it was up to the states to make the final determination on the legality of same-sex marriages as well as how to deal with those that were married in other states. The President went further and defined it in a limited sense at the national level. The same Act defined �marriage as a union between a man and a woman for federal purposes, such as claiming tax breaks for spouses and receiving deceased partners� Social Security benefits.� (1)
This is the argument that has been used that the federal government should be regulating the definition of marriage. Many federal policies such as taxes and benefits are structured around one�s marital status. Though the states might recognize a marriage, the federal government might not. Then the question arises if they are really married or not according to census records and official documents. After all, the congress can levy taxes by right of the Constitution, it should be able to determine all the criteria surrounding it. (2)
To many, having the states define and regulate the marriages is just fine as they consider the ceremony to be strictly religious and the constitution does address religion. Those that advocate state regulation cite the very first amendment as their justification. If marriage is a religious ceremony, then the federal government is in violation of the first amendment. (3)
This is a very important issue because it does cross the state and federal jurisdiction lines. The constitution did leave too much room for the states and the federal government to cross hairs. (4) The federal government uses marriage to determine many actions with the citizens of the United States. This gives them good reason to define marriage. Yet, the marriage ceremony has been around long before governments were which makes it seem more religious and localized than it does national.
The United States government is going to have to step in and make decisions that affect the state�s actions in regard to same-sex marriages. The world is different today than when the Constitution was formed. Someone could work for a company in a different state or move multiple times with their job. If they are in a same-sex marriage, they could be legal in one state and not in another. This affects health insurance policies, wills, and life insurances. It�s not just a state issue anymore. It�s something that will have to be finalized through the federal government whether the populous likes it or not.
If you get married in one state are you considered married in another? How does that affect your legal standing? There is a lot more here than just a matter of defining marriage. It�s a reflection of the major changes that are occurring in the country that are hitting religious, moral, ethical, economic, and political areas like few issues have ever done before.