I was reading up on Rand Paul a little and I came across his stance on gay marriage, one that seems to be pretty standard for Tea Party-leaning candidates. It made me wonder what such a situation would actually be like? What would it actually mean if states actually did “decide for themselves” on the issue of same sex marriage?
If two people got married in one state and moved to a state that did not recognize their marriage… what would happen? It seems like that would require a huge change in how states recognized other states’ laws, and ignoring a piece of the Constitution to boot.
According to Lawyers.com,
Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, a state must recognize the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. It requires that any final judgment entered by the courts of a state acting consistent with state laws and with constitutional requirements, must be recognized and enforced in every other state.
On top of that, how can marriage be decided completely on a state by state basis when there are federal benefits to marriage… wouldn’t those have to be decided at the federal level? I do not think the federal government could deny marriage status (ie, when filing a tax return) to a couple that moved from Hawaii to Texas based on their current state of residence (this ignores the fact that Texas be obligated to recognize the Hawaiian marriage).
So how would we make it work?
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