Same-sex marriage has been a political hot topic in the United States (U.S.) dating back to 1972 with the first appeal to the Supreme Court. Since then a lot of progress has been made in the U.S. same-sex marriage movement. Currently, there are 37 states that allow couples to share in the freedom to marry the person of their choosing (gaymarriage.procon.org, 2015). Why does there continue to be bans in some states that prohibit same-sex couples the right to marry? Why are same-sex couples still denied the privilege of providing insurance coverage for their significant other and denied the right to reap the benefits of federal and state income tax breaks that heterosexual couples are able to enjoy?
The foundation for the argument surrounding same-sex marriage stems from a religious perspective; that to allow same-sex couples to marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage. However, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” (U.S. Const. amend. I). Currently 13 states continue to have bans on the legalization of same-sex marriage. The National Supremacy Clause, found in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, states that when state law is in conflict with federal law, that federal law must prevail (U.S. Const. art. VI). Furthermore, Section I of Amendment XIV of the U.S. Constitution states “…No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV). Equal protection of the law means that all persons have the same basic rights- including the right to decide who they will marry, regardless of gender.