From fire to light bulbs, and pagers to smart-phones, humans have always sought progress. The average person can agree that most new things are for the better. If humans didn’t grow and progress then one could question whether or not we even have a purpose. One thing that humans have lacked the necessary progression in is the place that homosexuals have in society. Same-sex marriage has recently begun to be legalized by several states. At this point 13 states allow same-sex marriage. The fact that the other 37 cannot accept same-sex marriage state makes me feel embarrassed to be human. Some argue that they cannot accept homosexuals as being equal to heterosexual people. Some argue that marriage is between a man and a woman only, because it has always been defined that way. This definition should evolve, the same way everything else does over time. Some argue that same-sex marriage would threaten Christianity and violate its teachings. Our country was built upon Christianity, and some believe that biblical morals should have a strong role in the government. The separation of church and state should undoubtedly apply to this issue. Same-sex marriage should be legalized because it would promote equality, social stability, and help boost the economy.
Same-sex marriage would promote equality. Denying homosexuals the right to marriage is basically the same as women being denied to vote before 1920, or African-Americans being denied the right to vote before 1870. It is unfair that a homosexual citizens in the United States who works and pays taxes cannot legally get married. It is basically like the government telling homosexuals “you can stand here, but you cannot stand over there because you are not good enough”. Marianne Mollmann is the advocacy director of the Women’s Rights Division, a project of Human Rights Watch, an organization dedicated to protecting human rights around the world. In article about homosexual rights, she wrote “violation takes place whenever gays are treated as different and less than heterosexuals, such as when they are denied the right to marry.” [Mollmann, Marianne. “Gay Marriage Is a Human Rights Issue”. (2012): Gale. Web. 24 Oct. 2013]. Many people feel they cannot accept homosexuals, as if they would prefer they didn’t exist. Homosexual people are just as human as heterosexual people. On a website called “www.sodahead.com” designed for people to voice their opinions and allow others to vote whether they agree or not.
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On one post someone basically said they don’t like when homosexual people make it obvious that they are homosexual. They wrote; “Does anyone else just want to say; “OK! YOUR GAY! WE DON’T CARE! NOW SHUT UP”. Of the 156 voters 72% voted that they agree with the post. [Sodahead.com Are you sick and tired of Homosexuals flaunting their homosexualness all up in your heterosexual face?, 2010. 24 Oct. 2013] Whether a man acts feminine or a woman acts masculine. Personally I don’t like for anyone, homosexual or heterosexual, to flaunt their sexuality. I don’t think anyone should have a say in whether or not a person can marry someone else based on how they feel personally. This country’s citizens are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness. In many ways marriage can be associated with ones pursuit of happiness, it offers many great benefits. As a united nation we need to learn to accept one another and judge people based on character rather than sexuality, that is how we reach equality.
Same-sex marriage would promote social stability.. Same-sex marriage would allow homosexuals to undertake the responsibilities that come with marriage. Homosexual’s love is the same as heterosexual’s, therefor it would only be right to give them the opportunity to commit to one another in the name of love and receive the benefits granted by doing so. Samuel G. Freedman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University, in an article about homosexual marriage he wrote; “It would only benefit the country to facilitate that level of commitment for more couples, including gay and lesbian couples. Accepting gay marriage as a civil right does not impinge on the rights of those who are morally or religiously opposed to it. Separation of church and state is a principle that allows Americans to support liberties and opportunities for all, even if they choose to live according to different values than those of their neighbors.” [Freedman, Samuel G. “Gay Marriage Would Promote Social Stability.” Gay Marriage. Ed. Kate Burns.
San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.] Freedman expresses that when considering separation of church and state religion is removed from the argument, and that nothing negative would result from same-sex marriage. For years homosexuality has been looked down upon but has gradually become more accepted. Many popular celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris are openly homosexual. In 1993 the policy that prohibited members of the military from asking if another member was homosexual and from being openly gay called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” took effect. This policy was set to avoid the issues of discrimination against homosexuals within the military. This policy was designed in a way in which homosexuals were encouraged to keep their sexuality a secret, in 2011 it finally ended. Later in his article Freeman writes; “the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” That supposed compromise in fact served to reinforce the closeting of homosexuals in the military. We should have built a monument to the gays and lesbians who had given their lives in the armed forces; we should have honored them for making the ultimate sacrifice of any citizen”. Once homosexuals are accepted and are given equality, it will create stability.
Generally, Republicans tend to be the ones against same-sex marriage, Republicans tend to be conservatives, and conservatives tend to take the bible rather literally. Recently a group of House Republicans proposed a new bill that would condone homosexual discrimination in order to protect religion. The proposal is addressed in an article on “thinkprogress.org”; “A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), has proposed a new bill that would provide a nationwide “license to discriminate” against married same-sex couples. Though Labrador claims the bill protects “religious liberty,” it is nothing less than a blanket invitation to deny benefits to same-sex couples” [Ford, Zach. “House Republicans Propose Nationwide ‘License To Discriminate’ Against Married Same-Sex Couples.” Thinkprogress.com. 19 Sep. Web. 24 Oct. 2013].
Same-sex marriage would actually help boost the economy. One of the few states that have legalized same-sex marriage is New York. Blake Ellis of CNN presents the fact that same-sex marriage has boosted New York’s economy; “Since gay marriage was legalized in New York State a year ago, marriage license fees, local celebrations and wedding-related purchases have boosted New York City’s economy by $259 million, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced Tuesday”. [“Gay marriage boosts NYC’s economy by $259 million in first year.” CNN Wire 24 July 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.] This fact is a prime example of same-sex marriage boosting the economy. PBS writer and economist M.V. Lee Badgett claims that same-sex marriage would be very beneficial to the country as a whole due to celebrations alone. She writes; “Hundreds of thousands of excited couples would start planning weddings, generating at least $1.5 billion, by my calculations, in spending on flowers, cakes, bands, meals, photographers, hotels, tourism in general, suits and gowns (not to mention those one-off gowns for the members of the bridal party). And of course all those purchases generate millions in sales tax revenue for state and local governments” [Badgett, M.V. Lee. “The Economic Benefits of Gay Marriage” PBS.org. 29 Mar, 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2013].
This point is inarguable. Legalizing same-sex marriage would undoubtedly bring much profit to businesses, thus the economy will profit. Another point that Badgett makes in her article is that homosexual employees will be more profitable for businesses if same-sex marriage is legalized: “The economic ripple effects of gay marriage can spread even further. Some observers, most notably competitiveness guru Richard Florida, argue that tolerant policies and environments — including for gay people — are essential for nurturing creative workers who will drive economic growth. By that reasoning, businesses, cities, states — and maybe even nations — that allow same-sex couples to marry will also send a strong signal to every worker that his or her talent and creativity will be valued”. Same-sex marriage would provide more profitable employees, more consumers for business, and more tax money for state economies.
An argument often used against legalizing same-sex marriage is that it would break tradition and that the institution of marriage needs to be protected. Same-sex marriage would in fact mean that the definition of marriage would no longer be specific to man and woman. Another argument against same-sex marriage is that it is not something parents want their children to think is acceptable or may even lead them to become gay themselves. A lot of religious people are against same-sex marriage because it is deemed an abomination in the bible. Our country is mainly Christian and it is a traditional Christian belief that being homosexual is wrong. They argue that legalizing same-sex marriage would violate their Christian beliefs and that keeping it illegal protects their religion.
Every argument in the previous paragraph is true; same-sex marriage would break the tradition and institution of marriage, it would encourage children to accept it whether their parents want them to or not, and it is against Christian teachings, however these are not valid excuses to keep same-sex marriage illegal. Those arguing to keep same-sex marriage illegal because they want to protect the tradition and institution of marriage may want to consider that many marriages are more dishonest than ones involving two people of the same sex who love each other. People marry others for money, for fame, and whatever other the reason quite often. Also, writer James Kellard writes in an article about his perception of the institution of marriage and how legalizing same-sex marriage compares; “Of course what makes the “protecting the institution of marriage” argument so ridiculous is that the divorce rate in the US is now over 50 percent. If we really want to protect marriage shouldn’t we outlaw divorce? Finally, it is extremely difficult to comprehend how a gay couple getting married will effect heterosexual marriages. Will homosexuals getting married be so stressful to heterosexuals that we will all have break downs and divorce our wives and husbands?” [Kellard, James. “Gay Marriage Should Be Legal.” Gay Marriage. Ed. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from “Do We Have a Constitutional Right to Ban Gay Marriage?” 2011. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.]. Those who argue against same-sex marriage because they want to protect their kids need to realize it is not fair that two people who love each other cannot get married because they do not want their kids to think it is acceptable.
Why should homosexuals have to suffer because parents with this opinion do not want to take responsibility of their child? Lastly the argument that legalizing same-sex marriage violates people’s religious beliefs and that keeping it illegal protects their religion. Kellard writes his feelings about this issue later in the same article. He writes; “since the beliefs of religious conservatives (generally) are not their beliefs, doesn’t that violate homosexuals’ freedom of religion? We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but we should not expect everybody else to conform to them”. Kellard expresses the idea that denying homosexuals the right to marry violates their freedom of religion, and that religious people against homosexuality should not be treated better than homosexuals in this regard. The country is growing and progressing every day, it is the most multicultural country in the world. It is necessary to change our definition of marriage, to treat everyone equally regardless of sexuality, to entitle homosexuals to their own beliefs without limiting their freedom, to consider the economic benefits of same-sex marriage, and to accept and be more open-minded. Oppressing groups holds us back. We must move forward and learn to accept if we want peace and unity. There is no logical reason to deny someone their right to pursue happiness through marriage. People must learn to disregard some of their personal beliefs when deciding what is best for man.