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A few years ago many would have predicted that a final decision on homosexual marriage in the United States would have been rendered by today It seemed that we were at a breaking point But despite the legal wrangling of the mid-1990s in Hawaii gay marriage has somehow been swept under the carpet as an issue However it can still spark violent argument when mentioned in mixed ideological company The vehemence which it provokes speaks to its importance as an issue and it is indeed an issue which goes to the heart of one of our most revered institutions Should marriage licenses be granted to partners regardless of their respective genders For those who are truly concerned with civil rights and the preservation of the family unit the answer should come back a resounding The rights and responsibilities of marriage are not only a civil right but benefit society as a whole as well they should be conveyed to both heterosexual and homosexual couples The debate here should not be framed in terms of why marriage privileges should be granted to homosexuals In the United States the Ninth and Tenth Amendments establish a precedent of implicit rights what is not explicitly forbidden is implicitly protected Unless the government can give some positive reason for the prohibition it should not interfere with the private contracts of its citizens the onus is on the state If no societal interest can be shown if the sanction is based only on custom or convention then its not clear what business it is of the law Thus the better question is why we should reserve the privileges of marriage to heterosexuals And if we cannot find a good objection to the extension of these rights then perhaps the issue should be considered closed Social conservatives are often quick to answer that homosexuality is immoral and the government should not recognize homosexual partnerships as legitimate However this argument
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