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Same sex marriage has been one of the most profound, controversial issues among most Americans, either heterosexual or homosexual, in today’s society. Up until 2004, same sex couples were prohibited to wed anywhere in the country. Now Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and most recently New Hampshire have legalized same sex marriage. Alternatives such as domestic partnerships and civil unions are legal in California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington State. Most of the other states are still prohibiting same sex marriage. In 1996, then-President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) , codifying states’ rights to decide whether to allow or ban same-sex marriage and defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman for federal purposes, such as claiming tax breaks for spouses and receiving deceased partners’ Social Security benefits. The law also spelled out a state’s right to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. (Vestal) Conflict theory states that society or an organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as political changes and revolutions. (New World Encyclopedia) Conflict theory applies to the legalization of same sex marriage due to the fact that these human beings are trying to maximize their benefits and live out their lives with just as many open doors as heterosexual couples.
Legalization has spread across fewer states than hoped for in this day in age. Political and legal experts say the growing number of same-sex couples in the country will create social and ultimately political pressure toward greater liberalization of state marriage laws. (Vestal) Homosexuality is becoming more acknowledged than ever before with Gay Pride Week, Gay...