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Emphasizing The Role Of The State: The Legality Of Same Sex Marriage

966 words - 4 pages

Emphasizing the Role of the State: The Legality of Same-Sex Marriage
The social contract theory holds that humans living in the state of nature surrendered their personal freedom to their government in order to promote the safety and wellbeing of all. The social contract gives rights to both citizens and their government. Just as the rights of citizens are limited by legal constraints, the doctrine of the separation of church and state is one limit to the authority of the U.S. government. The separation of church and state protects the rights of citizens to make personal and private choices about their faith. The principle also provides that legal rights, decisions, and punishments remain ...view middle of the document...

All citizens of the U.S. exchange the act of forcing others to adhere to one’s personal beliefs for the state’s authority to construct and enforce the rights of all citizens. Importantly, the U.S. government created its own list of powers and limits of governing over its people. The doctrine of the separation of church and state derived from the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that a ruling body of government may not create laws around religion. Thus, the role of the state is not to create and enforce policies that are aligned with religious doctrines, but to create and enforce policies that are equitable and beneficial for their citizen’s at large.
The separation of church and state supports that any citizen may believe and practice their own religion without influence from the state. However, the separation of church and state fails to resonate within the moral decision-making of both citizens and members of the state. In fact, morality can be strongly associated with religious and/or spiritual influence. For example, capital punishment, a system that is governed by the state, is morally contested by individuals and policy-makers alike. Many who believe killing is wrong base their arguments in religious premises. Many Christians whom oppose capital punishment believe that God places people on Earth for a purpose. If we kill them prematurely, then we may be thwarting God's will. Individuals’ religious affiliation with the morality of capital punishment is very similar to the religiously- derived beliefs of same-sex marriage. Several religions in the United States support that marriage is a contract between a man, a woman, and God. The descriptions of marriage between religious doctrines vary, yet all constitute the heterosexuality of the couple seeking marriage. The power of religious influence on the U.S. politics of same-sex marriage has proven to be substantial.
On the first of September,...

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