Tag Archives: Same-sex marriage

MPSL VLog:Unions in the Union (Same-Sex Marriage)

Same-sex marriage was also up for a vote in several statewide elections. Professor Gaffaney explains what could happen in this Supreme Court 2012-13 term.


Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on Same Sex Marriage

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to review two cases dealing with same sex marriage. Some observers believe this move might result in a decision that will affect gay rights nation-wide. What do you think?


The Supreme Court of the United States just began its new term. It is expected to decide cases about affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and voting rights. Professor Gaffaney explains.

MPSL VLog: Same-Sex Marriage… Again?

President Obama announced his position on same-sex marriage has “evolved” (along with many other Americans’), but how will this affect the race for the presidency? Professor Gaffaney explains.

Federalizing Marriage and States’ Rights

Same-Sex Marriage Rally

Same-Sex Marriage Rally (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Last week, President Obama made history when he publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage.  As the first sitting president to support marriage equality, Pres. Obama has quintessentially made marriage equality a valid election issue. However, the republican response was swift yet contradictory. The position of the Republican Party is that marriage is a states’ rights issue. States’ Rights, in U.S. politics, refers to political powers reserved for the individual state governments rather than the federal government guaranteed under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As a result, prominent republicans, including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have openly criticized Pres. Obama’s support for same-sex marriage during an election year as a political attempt to federalize the issue of marriage.

Conversely, prominent republicans, including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, also support amending the U.S.  Constitution, which would ban same-sex marriage in all 50 states outright. The proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) would limit marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman:

“Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman”

The FMA was previously attempted in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008 and eventually failed each time. Nevertheless, advocating a constitutional amendment carrying out a federal definition of marriage is fundamentally federalizing the issue. As such, the individual states would no longer have the authority to define marriage as they see appropriate, which violates the states-rights position traditionally advocated by the Republican Party.


Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

MPSL VLog: The Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage

Lawsuits across the country challenge bans to same-sex marriage.  In California, a federal court of appeal issued a narrow ruling that would allow same-sex marriage. Professor Gaffaney explains.