Section I Legalization of Same-Sex Marriages When the Framers of the Declaration of Independence wrote “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness”, did they write these wordsto include everyone’s rights or just the rights of the “moral majority”?Too many times in the history of the United States we take what we want from the Declaration of Independence and interpret it the way we see or feel it should be. Nowhere did they write that only heterosexuals have these rights and if you are not heterosexual then you give up your rights. If we look at our history, there was a time we objected to mixed race relationships, but we have worked our way past that.
Why then, can we not, put aside our biases and realize what is defined as “normal” by some, is not defined as the same “normal” to all.Clinical studies of same-sex couples have found that the absence of legally recognized marriage contributes to significant common problems in these relationships, particularly with regards to defining boundaries, receiving familial and societal support and recognition, and valuing the relationship as a legitimate expression of love and commitment (Green, 2004; Greenan & Tunnell, 2003, King & Bartlett, 2006). For many of these couples, relationship commitment remains ambiguous, for example they are uncertain when the relationship began or the extent of their mutual obligations. We subject same-sex couples to various levels of stress due to the lack of legal recognition.
For example, they may lack inheritance rights, hospital visitation, and health care.We subject same-sex couples faced with relationship dissolution to added stress due to the absence of legal protections for both partners. There is well-documented information that discrimination has a detrimental impact on mental health in the lesbian and gay communities. Discrimination also contributes to psychiatric problems and both gays and lesbians report greater levels of stigma and discrimination and are more likely to seek psychological treatment.
I am in full support of legalization of same sex marriages, for the same reasons I am in support of heterosexual marriages. Every American has the right to choose with whom they spend their life, after all our ancestors wrote the Declaration of Independence to include everyone. We must allow same-sex couples who have professed their love for each other the same rights as a heterosexual couple. We have heard and seen many times that we should not mix the functions of church and state, yet that’s what we are doing when we deny same sex couples the right to marry.
I know the Bible says, that a man should not lie with another man, but it also states that God created everyone equal. I look at the Bible as an interpretation of words written by others, not necessarily the words of who originally wrote them. We cannot question those who wrote them, to ensure that is what they meant; we just believe what they wrote because we learned from a very young age that it is the truth. Section II Prehistoric artifacts show evidences of homo eroticism ergo homosexuality in the prehistoric era.
Homosexuality is a natural sexual inclination in humans. Homosexuality has been tied to the evolution of human societies around in world from the primitive era to modern times. The Upper Paleolithic era that dates back to 5000 BC has artifacts that are likened to modern day ‘double dildos’ that archeologists believed two women used together. (Taylor, 1996) The rise of civilizations in the world also presents same sex unions in some portions of society.
Same sex unions of different forms have existed that ranges from informal relationships to ceremonial or ritual unions. In China male love was cultured in the southern province of Cantonese. Warrior class in ancient Japan practiced a form of pederasty in which youths apprenticed and became lovers of the older men. There were records showing that homosexuality was also revered in cultures of ancient Middle East, East Asia and in Hellenic Greece.
As societies became more civilized, views on homosexuality are included on governing laws. Jurisdictions on homosexual issues were criminalized, decriminalized and recriminalized. Comes the medieval period, the Catholic Church repressed and condemned sexual freedom and same-sex unions. Many countries criminalized same-sex unions and penalized the crime with various horrific punishments.
Modern history shows an eventual toleration of homosexuals in the society. As freedom is rediscovered by humans more societies became humane. This leads to the increasing number of homosexuals in many countries. Their human rights have always been subjected to discrimination.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) movements and organizations were formed in many countries and states. They fought discrimination and rallied for equal rights and recognition of homosexuals. Single status homosexuals received the same support as heterosexual individuals get from the government. The American Psychiatric Society removed homosexuality in their manual of mental disorders because a study was made to suggest that homosexuals are as sane and competent as heterosexuals.
Many modern European countries are recognizing homosexual marriages. In the United States there are many controversies and arguments concerning the legality of same-sex marriage.There is very little literature and demographic data about the LGBT population of any age. Many reports use the ‘one in ten’ statistics.
But this is rather inaccurate because many LGBT do not label themselves as such or they don’t disclose private information about their identity. There are also issues on terminology whether who and who shouldn’t be called gay or member of LGBT. But if all technicalities are addressed there might be more than ‘one to ten.’ (Gates, 2006) The LGBT population is large enough to stir national awareness and put pressures on the government to amend some laws for marriage.
The LGBT population is a large pool of competent and talented individuals. Their competitive presence in politics and elections, and the industrial sector really makes America to look at this brilliant populace. The emergence of LGBT organizations strengthened the LGBT community. The LGBT movement gets stronger because of organizations that unite LGBT individuals and represent their needs to be addressed by those who are culpable.
LGBT activism continually fights for equal rights, non-discrimination, economic justice, marriage recognition and against hate crimes, anti-gay industry and HIV /AIDS. The issues relating to members of the diverse LGBT community are very dramatic. That’s why running politicians make it a point to address their needs in their campaign. Same-sex marriage is a troublesome political issue in America.
The social movement started in 1970s and given much attention in the 1990s. Advocates of this movement claims that marriage and its benefits should not denied to same-sex couples because it is but a right of every American. Those who do not support this same-sex marriage argue that marriage is institutionalized only with a man and a woman. Therefore no rights are formed from a formal union between same-sex couples.
(Chauncey, 2004)The arguments that will support my stand on the legalization of same sex marriage are based on social, religious and economic point of view. Political decisions should also be examined in all these point of views.The social point of view talks about same sex marriage as an important part of larger issue about the role of the government in regulating and recognizing intimate relationship. According to the statement of the American Anthropological Association many societies in the ancient times treat same-sex unions in a variety of ways.
This organization concludes that a same-sex union is a factor to stable and humane societies. The social argument is directive to a constitutional amendment.The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly supports the movement because ‘of the inherent worth and dignity of a person’ same-sex couples should have the right to marry like other couples. Arguments arising from this point of view are that civil marriage is different from religious marriage and that divinity and sacredness of marriage is kept depending on the couples.
The economic point of view is based on the benefits of marriage. Many same-sex couples do not enjoy the privileges endowed to other couples because of government and state rulings. The impacts of its legalization on same-sex couples, businesses, employers and government will also be explained in this part.Section IIISocial Point of ViewThe findings of the American Anthropological Association, the largest organization of Archeologist studying culture in America, are some of the societies that existed since ancient times are even built on same-sex relationships which made up for stable relationships in the society.
In many societies in the ancient times, same-sex relationships is recognized or banned. But in any case, civilization or social standards is not depended on marriage institution restricted between a man and a woman. This implies that the government, a formal representative of the society, should continually look at the predefine definition of marriage and revise it to adapt to the social revolution of its people. Legalizing this type of marriage would rather encourage stable and committed relationships.
The couples’ role is to safeguard each other’s well being. Same-sex couple’s ability to do this is no difference from any other couples. They can still take care of each other. (American Anthropological Association, 2004)Research shows that same-sex relationships would not have a negative impact on the current status of the society.
In Denmark, after 15 years of implementing same-sex marriage the rates of heterosexual marriages had gone up and their divorce rates had gone down. This result is contrary to the notion that same-sex marriage would have a negative impact on traditional marriage. This can be attributed to the fact that the traditional concepts of marriage has evolved.Some advocates of same-sex marriage argue that it is moral enough to play the basic role of marriage in the society –procreation- even though same-sex couples could not have biological children.
The American society is no longer upholding the role of marriage since the government offers child tax credits and assistance.Many people are also in favor of same-sex marriage because scientific studies shows that gender orientation is just natural and that preventing two people of the same-sex to marry is just like preventing two people of the same eye color or skin color to marry. (Herek, 2003) Religious Point of ViewThe Unitarian Universalist General Assembly supports marriage equality which is a means to civil marriage rights for same sex couples. This organization believe in the inherent worth and dignity of a person whether gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexuals.
This organization upholds justice, equality and compassion for same-sex couples. This organization promotes that love between same-sex couples has deep connections in a loving environment that will nurture the couples and their children. (Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2008)The Roman Catholic Church and many catholic organizations vehemently opposed same-sex marriages because it is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. But on the premise that God made everyone equal the rights of homosexuals must be equal to the rights of others.
Civil marriage is different from religious marriage. Civil marriage is performed by the state through a government official while a religious marriage is performed within the context of religion. Legalizing civil marriages for same-sex couples does not force the religious sect to adapt the new practice. Moreover, they have the freedom to set their own rules for marriage.
The government won’t be able to discriminate civil marriage based on gender. The sanctity of marriage is dependent on the couple whether homosexual or not. The sacredness of marriage has foundations on true love between couple whatever their gender. (National Black Justice Coalition, 2007)Civil union is only legal in one state, Massachusetts and same-sex couples are offered some of the rights of other couples.
While other states provide the counterpart of civil unions, there are many estates that are amending their constitution to ban same-sex unions. There has been a move to amend the federal law to completely ban same-sex unions. This discriminating move was turned down in congressional houses. Economic Point of ViewIn 1997 the General Accounting Office enumerated 1049 rights and benefits denied to LGBT couples.
Older LGBT members are denied benefits amounting to $124 million a year. (Congressional Budget Office, 2004) Civil marriage is important to gays and lesbians to access rights the benefits that spouses have. Many instances are when a partner was suddenly hospitalized the other partner does not have visitation rights because they are not married. Or when rushed to an ambulance the other partner cannot be there to support the other.
If a partner dies, the one left alive has no survivor benefits because they are not married. If the surviving partner has a child, he still cannot access the social security services because he is not recognized as dependent. They could not simply afford lower taxes that other married couples do.The impact on employment of legalizing this type of marriage will be dramatic because that would be a manifestation that gays and lesbians are openly free and all rights also goes for them.
Until now, discrimination against gays and lesbians is prominent in employment. Many members of the LGBT community run small businesses. Many members have trouble from seeking resources of financing when they are starting their own businesses. Banks and lending institutions sometimes do not accommodate them solely because of their gender identity.
(National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, 2008)If the government will come to decision it has to adjust many of its laws- adoption laws, citizenship, marriage, divorce, etc. Section IIIOpposing ViewpointsOpponents of same-sex marriage argue that marriage should be defined as only the union of one man and one woman.Opposition is associated with those who have frequent religious attendance, older age, Republican Party affiliation and residing in the southern states. The young, non-church goers, independents, Democratic Party affiliated and those who lived in the Northeast United States mostly supports same-sex marriages.
(Wolfson , 2004)Those who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage argue that couples are expected to create a family which is the basic building block of the society. Same-sex couples would not live up to this definition. Some argued that same-sex marriage is just a freedom to have sex than the natural function of reproduction. Marriage is a natural occurring event from the physical attraction of the opposite sex that would lead to procreation.
Same-sex marriage then is by nature infertile. Research study shows that children do best when raised by their biological parents with minimal marriage conflict. (Moore, et al., June 2002)A loving and nurturing environment is what makes a child reach his maximum potentials.
I think gay parents are more concerned in raising a child because they understand what it feels to be different from the normal crowd. That’s why many of them have created a loving environment for their child so that their child will grow despite uncommon family settings. They must’ve understood how it to grow different from many people and must’ve been very serious in deciding to have a child.Ironically, there are also opponents of same-sex marriage even in the LGBT community.
They argued that access to rights and benefits in terms of relationships reinforces a cultural bias against single hood, treating it as unusual, unwanted, or immature.In 2000, the Census reports that one-third of lesbian couples and one-fifth of gay male couples have kids under 18 living in the home. (Badgett and Rogers, 2003) Some people argue that adoption, raising a child and access to reproductive technologies should not be allowed to same-sex couples because it would make same-sex marriage more attractive. Many health and child welfare organizations disagree.
The rationale of these arguments lacks reason.Contrary to the notion that legalizing such marriage has a negative impact on the society the rate of heterosexual marriages in Denmark has gone up and divorce rates are down since recognizing same-sex marriages. (Spedale, et.al, 2004)The conservative states are aggressively against legalization of same-sex marriages to the point of endorsing a homophobic society.
Their aggressive stand creates more instability and social divide in their state. Some states made a move to banned same-sex marriages. Such discriminating act can be likened to banning same-sex relationships where such marriages are rooted. Discrimination is also evident against individual members of LGBT.
The United Church of Christ became the first Christian religious sect to support same-sex marriages in 2005. This move was followed by more Orthodox and Christian denominations in the succeeding years. Their support is on the grounds that loving and nurturing environment can be foster by two individuals regardless of sex. They condemned discrimination on the basis of everyone’s ability to love and take care of a partner.
Politics hyped up and made worse the debate between legalizing same-sex marriage. Each party took a different side in addressing the issue. Presidential candidate Obama recently talks about the same-sex marriage in connection with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The economic arguments that gays would marry just to receive the benefits is counter by the Congressional Budget Office study on the basis that the public would not shoulder the burden of increased taxes and insurance premiums.
About 21 percent of all same-sex couples have access to legal protection through civil marriage, civil unions or domestic partner type laws. Civil unions are obtainable to same-sex couples in three states: Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey. But the majority has little or no protection through their civil marriages. (Lambdalegal, 2008)The Pew Research Center made a study with a three percent margin of error in March 2006 asking the question “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples?”They found out that 59% are opposed and only 39% favors gay marriage.
The study also reveals the decline in strongly oppose from 42% to just 28%. This could be attributed to increasing LGBT movements in the country. Because the national issue of same-sex marriage many people became aware of the situation of the LGBT community. Critics of same-sex marriage can only be viewed as discriminating other than rational.
(The Pew Research Center, 2006) Section IVIntegrative ConclusionThis paper had examined the viewpoints of proponents of legalizing same-sex marriage and those who are oppose to it. There are many arguments and controversies concerning this issue. This paper examined what the society had to say, what the government has to do, what political parties could do, and what researchers found on the economic status of same-sex couples.This issue is difficult to resolve because of the intertwining nature of individuality, human sexuality, stable society, and role of marriage in the society, role of spouses, and rights and benefits of marriage.
Traditional concepts of stable society and marriage have evolved in the past century. Government laws based on those traditional concepts come in conflict with present-day situations, particularly in marriage.Efforts to amend the constitution on marriage or provide civil marriages to gay people are very slow. Maybe nobody wants to fight for gay people because it will create too much trouble in legislating laws than the notion of social disorder.
The federal government is pressured on deciding a win-win solution to same-sex marriages. Religious sect will play a large role in legalizing same-sex marriage. More Americans are opposed to legalizing same-sex marriages but as more people became aware of the situation of LGBT, especially the elderly populace, more people will approve of legalizing same-sex marriages in light of providing the rights and benefits of all married couples.Same-sex marriage will be a national issue for a few more years.
The initiatives of LGBT movement will become increasingly important and more advocacies will be gained because of their united representation of the LGBT community. The LGBT community continually faces many dramatic and pressing problems such as discrimination in employment, in starting businesses, and in the society.In terms of rights and privileges I think that same-sex couples who have civil unions must be granted the 1049 rights and benefits that all married couples received. If they will not be given these rights and privileges, America will miss the opportunity offered by these competent and talented people.
America is, after all, the land of the free. References American Anthropological Association, 2004. Statement on Marriage and the Family from the American Anthropological Association. Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.
aaanet.org/press/ma_stmt_marriage.htm Badgett, M. V.
Lee and Rogers, Marc A, 2003. Left Out of the Count: Missing Same-Sex Couples in Census 2000. Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies. Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.
iglss.org/media/files/c2k_leftout.pdf Chauncey, George, 2004. Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality.
New York: Basic Books;Congressional Budget Office, June 2004. The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages. Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.cbo.
gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5559;sequence=0;Gates, Gary G., 2006. Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey.
The Williams Institute of UCLA Law School.;Herek, Gregory M., 2003. Attempts To Change Sexual Orientation.
Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_changing.html;Lambdalegal, 2008.
Same-Sex Relationships. Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.lambdalegal.com;Moore, Kristin Anderson, et al.
, June 2002, Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children and What Can We Do About It?. Child Trends Research Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.
pdf;National Black Justice Coalition, 2007. Questions About Marriage. Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.nbjcoalition.
org/about/faq.html;National Gay ; Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, 2008. NGLCC Testimony to the House: Advocacy Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.nglcc.
org/ht/d/sp/i/484/pid/484;Spedale, Darren et.al, 2004. Scandinavian Registered Partnerships and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Journals of Legal Scholarship:Issues in Legal Scholarship i.5, The Berkeley Electronic Press;Timothy Taylor, 1996.
Uncovering the Prehistory of Sex. .British Archaeology no 15, June 1996 Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://www.britarch.
ac.uk/ba/ba15/ba15feat.html;The Pew Research Center, March 2006. Less Opposition to Gay Marriage, Adoption and Military Service.
Accessed on April 11, 2008 from http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=273;Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2008. Marriage Equality 101.
Accessed on April 11, 2008 from ttp://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/marriageequality/27675.shtml;Wolfson, Evan (2004).
Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry. New York: Simon & Schuster. Annotated Bibliography Badgett, M. V.
Lee and Rogers, Marc A, 2003. Left Out of the Count: Missing Same-Sex Couples in Census 2000. Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies. [Online] http://www.
iglss.org/media/files/c2k_leftout.pdf [accessed April 11, 2008]The authors interpreted and analyzed the statistics of LGBT population in the United States in the Census 2000. Congressional Budget Office, June 2004.
The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages [Online] http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=5559&sequence=0 [accessed April 11, 2008]The General Accounting Office found that at least 1049 rights and benefits are denied to same-sex civil unions compared to other married couples.
Lambdalegal, 2008. Same-Sex Relationships [Online] http://www.lambdalegal.com [accessed April 11, 2008]This organization provides legal support to members of LGBT.
It also publishes information about the situations and cases of LGBT members. Moore, Kristin Anderson, et al., June 2002, Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children and What Can We Do About It?. Child Trends Research [Online] http://www.
childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.pdf [accessed April 11, 2008]This research is about the factors that could affect the upbringing of a child. Low-conflict marriage while raising a child brings out best in him.
National Black Justice Coalition, 2007. Questions About Marriage. [Online] http://www.nbjcoalition.
org/about/faq.html [accessed April 11, 2008]This is an internet publication of NBCJ organization. It provides information on issues that are related to discrimination National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, 2008. NGLCC Testimony to the House: Advocacy [Online] http://www.
nglcc.org/ht/d/sp/i/484/pid/484 [accessed April 11, 2008]This LGBT movement is the largest chamber of commerce in the LGBT community. This movement represents the small businesses and entrepreneurial founded by LGBT members. Spedale, Darren et.
al., January 2004. Scandinavian Registered Partnerships and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Journals of Legal Scholarship:Issues in Legal Scholarship i.5, The Berkeley Electronic PressThis article details the impact of same-sex marriages on heterosexual marriages and divorce in Denmark 15 years after its implementation.
The Pew Research Center, March 2006. Less Opposition to Gay Marriage, Adoption and Military Service. [Online] http://people-press.org/reports/display.
php3?ReportID=273 [accessed April 11, 2008]This organization made a study on public opinions of Americans concerning the LGBT population. It also features if Americans favors or oppose same-sex marriages. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2008. Marriage Equality 101.
[Online] http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/marriageequality/27675.shtml [accessed April 11, 2008]This religious sect is in full support of same-sex marriage because it is an inherent in the dignity of humans.
This church also does civil unions. Wolfson, Evan (2004). Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry. New York: Simon ; Schuster.
The author is the founder of gay rights movement in America. Included in this book is the American view of LGBT’s rights and equality.;;;