Does the Defense of Marriage Act Promote the Health, Safety, Morals, and General Welfare of the Public?

This Does the Defense of Marriage Act Promote the Health, Safety, Morals, and General Welfare of the Public? lesson plan also includes:

Gay marriage is the topic for a structured, academic controversy discussion. The process begins with groups reading primary source documents and recording their responses to text-based questions on the provided graphic organizer. Participants are then assigned a side, either for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or against DOMA, and in groups of four (two for and two against) present their arguments. As a conclusion, individuals then craft an essay presenting their own stance on the question. Be sure to investigate your school's policy on using "R" rated films in the classroom, and discussing topics of sexuality before using this resource with your classes.

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CCSS: Designed
Pros

  • The procedure for the discussion is carefully scaffolded
  • Primary source documents present a wide range of arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act
Cons

  • Packet comes with a warning that line numbers for primary source documents are "all messed up"
  • The film, Milk, a clip from which is used as a grabber for the lesson, is rated "R"
  • No primary source documents newer than January 1, 2013
  • Rules for a safe, respectful discussion of controversial topics need to be in place prior to the lesson