Nov 10, 2017 in Analysis

Defense of Marriage Act

Introduction

The Defense of Marriage Act is an American federal law that was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. The DOMA law is formally referred to as the U.S. Public Law 104-199. It existed as a constitutional law from 1996 to 2013 in the American constitution. The law allowed federal states to refuse to accept same-sex partners married in other states as spouses. In this case, a federal state that did not allow same-sex marriages to occur in its country had no obligation to accept such partners coming from other states. In this case, the partners had no benefits that the heterosexual partners enjoyed. These partners were illegal, could not enjoy insurance benefits, next of kin benefits, immigration and tax return filing benefits among others. The US legislature argued that it only recognized one man and one woman marriage in the country. Therefore, same-sex partners did not have the freedom to marry as they could not enjoy government privileges like the other spouses.  Unfortunately, the Defense of Marriage Act was pronounced as illegal in 2013 when the American legislature argued that it was inhuman to deny people their right to sex orientation. This paper argues that the Defense of Marriage Act should be moral and should have been allowed to remain constitutional because of the reasons explained below.

Firstly, as the majority of the legislators in the 1996 parliament agreed, marriage should be between a man and a woman. Marriage is sacred and should be done with a purpose. A man should marry a woman, and the two will make a home. The DOMA law clearly indicated that it only recognized marriage between a man and a woman.[1] Allowing same-sex marriages distorts the law of nature. Since time in memorial, a female could get married to a man to make a home, and the two would get children to take care of the future generation. Marriage between same-sex partners has no chance of giving birth to a child. In fact, if all men get married to other men and vice versa, there would be no society. Those who supported the abolishment of the DOMA law would not be born in such relationships. Therefore, it would be better if the Defense of Marriage Act would be preserved as a constitutional law.[2]

On the same note, same-sex marriages are not in a position to take care of children. Naturally, a parent should get a child and take care of him or her. The parents love the child because of the blood relationship that they share. However, if a couple or an individual is infertile, or for some reason, he or she cannot bear a child, he is allowed to adopt a child. During the signing of this law, the parliamentarians argued that same-sex partners will not be allowed to legally adopt a child. The law indicated that there would be no transfer of a child from one partner to the other after death or separation. These people were denied such rights as the government could not trust their reason for getting married to same-sex partners. They have the ability to get children but prefer to marry partners who cannot bring children in their lives. Therefore, they should be left to cope with the consequences of their decisions. They should not be allowed to adopt children. They were born through a different relationship, and they should have done the same if they needed children in their lives.

Secondly, the abolishment of DOMA increased chances of immorality in the society. During the embracement of the DOMA as a law, both houses agreed that same-sex marriages encouraged incest and polygamy. It destabilizes the opposite-sex marriages that have existed for ages, and have given birth to the current society. The American Constitution is clear that only monogamous marriage is legal.[3] A man should not have more than two spouses. Similarly, the Defense of Marriage Act supported monogamy. It stipulated that one man should have a single woman as a wife. However, the abolition of this law encourages the opposite. Same-sex partners are likely to engage with multiple partners because they might not get satisfaction. On the same note, the partners might be forced by circumstances to engage with a sexual relationship with the opposite sex so that they can get children. As a result, there will be a lot of immorality, incest and polygamous relationship in the society.[4] If people are given the freedom to do whatever they want to do in the society, the society is uncontrolled. Consequently, people do the wrong things as they do not have the rights rules to govern their actions. Therefore, it would be necessary for the DOMA law to be retained as legal and constitutional.[5]

Thirdly, the abolishment of the DOMA law discourages religious values. Religion is an important aspect of a person’s life. It dictates what the person should do and what he should not do. People follow their religion as they do not want to annoy the Supreme Being as they understand the consequences of such actions. Research indicates that religion stabilizes the society. It makes the people do the right thing in accordance with their religion. All the religions that exist in the world support good morals. There are Supreme Beings who have power over human beings. It is the responsibility of the people to obey the religious rules. These rules have been obeyed since time in memorial, and have never confused or misled the people to do what is wrong. It is unfortunate that same-sex marriage is new, and not supported by any religion.[6]

According to religious teachings, a man should marry a woman or women for partnership, companionship, and procreation. People believe that the Supreme Being created them so that they can live happily and make families. According to Christianity and Islam, God created the man and the woman, and told them to “multiply and fill the earth.”[7] It is therefore, necessary for a man to marry a woman so that they can get children. All the other religions including the traditional religion dictate that men should marry women. If religion encouraged such actions of same-sex relationships, there would be no need to create or initiate life in the world as it would end gradually. Allowing same-sex marriages also destroys the natural law that makes the man rule the woman. In fact, if both men and women are allowed to marry, there will be no order in the society. There will be no respect between the genders as they will view each other as equals.[8] As a result, there will be no order in the society. The children will have no role models in the society. They will not know whether it is the man or the woman who is the father or mother in the family. Thus, religious dictates such rules to retain order and respect in the society.[9] The abolishment of the Defense of Marriage Act is against all the religious beliefs. It leaves the society with an open chance to do be immoral. A society that has no religious background has decayed morals. People have nothing to fear as they do not believe in anything. As a result, the abolishment encouraged the society to do anything. The society is exposed to different crimes that arise when the society is morally not upright because of lack of religious aspect.[10]

Unfortunately, the Defense of Marriage Act was pronounced illegal by the American Supreme Court in 2013. This law defined legal marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It stated clearly that a man was only allowed to marry one woman to curb polygamous marriages. The United States v. Windsor case, the Supreme Court ruled that every person had the right to marry a partner of his choice. The homosexual activists had done a lot of work since the 1970s to fight for the right of homosexuals. They argued that people should not be restricted to marry partners they did not want. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human rights had given human beings the right to marry, without dictating the right spouse to choose. Therefore, the Supreme Court abolished the section that indicated the union of man and woman as the only illegal relationship. In 2015, DOMA faced another challenge when the court canceled the section that pointed that same-sex marriage was constitutional.[11] During the Obergefell v. Hodges, the jurisdiction invalidated the DOMA section that denied federal states from recognizing same-sex partners in other states. Same-sex couples were given the right to marry and enjoy all the benefits that all other married couples enjoy. They can marry, adopt children, have their spouses as next of kin, file tax jointly, have protection against domestic violence and live together in a college or military academy. The Act that protected the society from so many evils was abolished, and the society will face the consequences of this abolishment until something is done.[12]

In conclusion, the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law in 1996. The law denied the federal states the right to recognize the same-sex partners as legally married couples. These partners were denied some rights in the Constitution that the opposite sex couples enjoy. They could not have their partners as their next of kin, could not inherit property after the death of a partner, could not file tax returns jointly, and had no protection against domestic violence. The law discouraged Americans from marrying same-sex partners, arguing that the only form of recognized marriage was between one man and one woman. This essay supports the DOMA as it retained sanity in the society. It encouraged people to live in natural relationships that allow females and males to live as a family. The law discouraged immorality, polygamous and incest in the society. It also encouraged religious values in the minds of the people. It is only through opposite sex relationships that a couple can get their biological child. Therefore, the law was good and ensured growth and development of the future society. However, in 2013, the Supreme Court abolished crucial section 3 that indicated that a man should marry a woman to make a family. The court went further to abolish the section that stated that same-sex marriage was illegal. As a result, the court pronounced the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. The rights of the homosexuals are protected, but the future generation is endangered. The society is likely to be immoral, unreligious and full of crime. It would be better if DOMA remained constitutional for the sake of the current and future generation in America.

Bibliography

Andrew M. Harris. "Widow's $363,000 Tax Bill Led to Obama Shift on Marriage Act". Bloomberg Businessweek. (February 28, 2011). 

Beth Walston-Dunham, Introduction to Law, 6th ed. (Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, 2012), 97-103.

Bordewich, Fergus. The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government. (Simon & Schuster. 2016)195.

Dobuzinskis, Alex. "Lesbian immigrant from PH challenges US gay marriage ban". ABS-CBN   News. (July 13, 2012).

 Earl M. Maltz, The Coming of the Nixon Court: The 1972 Term and the Transformation of Constitutional Law (University Press of Kansas; 2016) 56.

Edwards, Laura F. A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 212.

Geidner, Chris. "Another Federal Judge Finds DOMA Marriage Definition Unconstitutional, Now in Widow's Case". Metro Weekly. (June 6, 2012). 

Geidner, Chris. "Federal Appeals Judges Consider Whether DOMA Is Constitutional in Historic Hearing in Boston". Metro Weekly. (April 4, 2012). 

Gerber, Scott D. "Bringing Ideas Back In—A Brief Historiography of American Colonial Law". American Journal of Legal History. 51 no 2, (2011) 359–374.

Goodwin, Liz. "Lawmakers' 'moral disapproval' of gay people in 1996 could doom DOMA law in Supreme Court". Yahoo! News. (March 27, 2013). 

Hovenkamp, Herbert The Opening of American Law: Neoclassical Legal Thought, 1870- 1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 116

 

 

 


[2] Hovenkamp, Herbert The Opening of American Law: Neoclassical Legal Thought, 1870-1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 116

 

[3] Beth Walston-Dunham, Introduction to Law, 6th ed. (Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, 2012), 97-103.

 

[4]  Earl M. Maltz, The Coming of the Nixon Court: The 1972 Term and the Transformation of Constitutional Law (University Press of Kansas; 2016) 56

 

[6] Hovenkamp, Herbert The Opening of American Law: Neoclassical Legal Thought, 1870-1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 116

 

[7] Gerber, Scott D. "Bringing Ideas Back In—A Brief Historiography of American Colonial Law". American Journal of Legal History. 51 no 2, (2011) 359–374.

 

[8] Dobuzinskis, Alex. "Lesbian immigrant from PH challenges US gay marriage ban". ABS-CBN News. (July 13, 2012).

 

[10] Andrew M. Harris. "Widow's $363,000 Tax Bill Led to Obama Shift on Marriage Act". Bloomberg Businessweek. (February 28, 2011). 

 

[11] Bordewich, Fergus. The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government. (Simon & Schuster. 2016)195.

 

[12] Edwards, Laura F. A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 212.

 

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