One of many heated controversies today is whether or not marriage licenses should be issued to couples of the same sex. Supporters and homosexuals point to the Equal Protection clause of the fourteenth amendment to strengthen their stance. The clause reads: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The equal protection clause guarantees equal treatment under the law regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. If sexual orientation is not a matter of choice--a male who feels attracted to other males have as little say in their emotions as those who are born with black skin--is it unconstitutional that homosexuals be denied their rights to marriage? Many people argue that the right to marry whomever one wishes is protected under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.
How far does the equal protection clause extend? Gay marriage opponents argue that the equal protection clause do not extend to the limit that would allow marriages between homosexuals to exist.
Equal protection, they argue, do not mean equal protection for everyone. When considering who is being protected, one must consider the common good of the public. For example, to ensure public safety, 14 year olds are denied their right to drive cars but 18 year olds are not because the safety of the public good overweighs the right of the 14 year olds. Poor single parents receive government financial aid while millionaires are denied this right. The Equal Protection Clause does not guarantee equal treatment of all persons.
In this same concept, same sex marriages should not be allowed because doing so would jeopardize the common good of the public. Gay marriage opponents point out that allowing gay marriages would chain react into many...