They are also allowed many other rights such as the ability to make decisions for their partner who is being hospitalized, have the right to sue on their partner’s behalf and cannot be forced to testify against them in court. Married couples also pay less in taxes and receive many other social and financial benefits. But because gay couples are legally prevented from marrying, they are excluded from receiving the same considerations that married heterosexual couples enjoy. This is a clear violation of a citizen’s civil rights and liberties, a circumstance that should never be tolerated in the U.S.
The argument proposed by the opponents of gay marriage is that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican form of government in which elected officials are intended to set social policy for the nation. Legislators do this by representing their constituent’s moral views when drafting laws. Because the Constitution bars the intertwining of state and religion, the only method of ensuring that moral and ethical codes are enforced throughout society is through acts of legislation. In fact, lawmakers draft laws that address moral issues constantly and not just in high profile matters such as abortion, pornography, and gay rights. When courts determine morality issues, they counteract legislation meant to protect the moral fabric of society and break down the constitutionally guaranteed separation of powers within the government. “When judges erode the power of the people’s representatives to set society’s moral compass, they likewise undercut the authority of parents, schools, and other community groups to set the standards they would like to see their children and fellow citizens live by. Indeed, it is a frontal assault on community values writ large” (Raul, 2003).
Advocates of non-traditional marriage counter this argument by saying that there is no constitutional basis for denying legal matrimony to gay couples. The Constitution not only legitimizes gay marriage but implies that the government should never have .considered a ban and should instead actively pursue legalizing gay marriage.