Opposing Viewpoints: Same-Sex Marriage Equality
If you had a child that grew up to love someone of the same sex, and wanted you to acknowledge their love for each other by being at their wedding, would you? Unfortunately, many Americans would sadly answer no to this question even when it involves their own child and his or her biological makeup. Marriage has been traditionally viewed as a religious and legal commitment between a man and a woman, as well as the ultimate expression of love. Homosexual relationships are continuously gaining acceptance throughout the country, however, many states still do not permit these couples to marry.
Many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry, and honor their relationship publicly to represent their love for each other despite what others opinions may be. Whether you refer to it as marriage equality, gay marriage, or same-sex marriage, they all represent the same thing: extending the freedom to marry, along with the rights and protections that opposite-sex married couples are entitled to, to same-sex couples through the act of civil marriage. As a nation known for our peace, equality, and freedom, there should be no limitations or laws that prohibit same-sex couples from having the same marriage rights as everyone else.
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Due to their beliefs, religious faiths are free to discriminate against same-sex marriage but the government should not be able to. Two people should be able to enter into marriage without the government intervening. According to the first amendment, the Bible has no say in American law, causing the church to be separated from the states decisions. Making same-sex marriage illegal is similar to criminalizing a white person for marrying a black person or an American’s right to marry a non-American. An American should have the right to marry whomever they desire, no matter their race, religion, nationality, or gender.
Gays have been fighting for their rights for over 60 years, and their pleas are still not being fully heard. As of Nov. 7th, 2012, gay marriage has been legalized in nine US States (ME, MD, MA, CT, IA, VT, NH, NY, WH, and D. C. ). However, there are still thirty one states that have constitutional amendments against gay marriage, along with six states that have laws completely banning it. The result of banning gay marriage just further ostracizes these American citizens from the rest of our society, causing them to feel unwelcome and inferior to others. Love does not discriminate against gender, and is completely beyond human control.
Everyone should be given the opportunity for happiness, and who are we to determine who someone can or cannot love? Same-sex marriage should be legalized for many reasons, mainly because it does not harm anyone else nor is it their business if two men or two women want to get married. The banning of gay marriage is just unfair and biased being caused by many people’s fear, confusion, or opposition on the topic. I believe that love is all that matters in a marriage, and if two people love one another there should be no one standing in their way of expressing that love to the fullest degree.
Currently in our nation, there are same-sex couples that have been in long-term relationships who still pay higher taxes, and are denied the same protections and rights that are given to married heterosexual couples. God created men to be equals as all religious faiths well know, but our society considers gays as unequal when it comes to marriage. The whole idea to ban gay marriage is completely demoralizing, narrow minded, and just intolerant in our modern day society.
Those that oppose same-sex marriage claim that it should not be legalized in order to “protect traditional marriage and a traditional family”. What is there to protect? Same-sex marriage is not harmful or dangerous in any way, and is basically like any other “normal” marriage except for the fact that it’s two people of the same sex rather than opposite sexes. Opponents argue that children are safer when their parents are in a “normal” marriage consisting of one man and one woman. However, marriage actually protects children and provides them with benefits.
By denying same-sex couples the ability to marry, their children are often denied benefits that a child of a standard couple would be given. Studies have shown that children raised by same-sex couples are well adjusted and happy, and feel like they can be more open with their parents. My cousin, for example, has been raised in a family with two legally married mothers, and this has not affected her growth as a person. Some gay marriages have stronger family values and benefits than some straight marriages, while also having a stronger emotional bond with each other at times.
Since two people of the same sex cannot reproduce, adoption rates will also increase helping children who are in need of a family. A child would rather have a happy, protected home with two parents even if they are of the same sex than no home at all. The well-being of children needs to be taken into strong consideration when deciding to ban gay marriage because it not only affects the parents but also the children and the benefits they may be refused to them as a result. A main reason that many want to ban gay marriage is due to the “slippery slope” argument.
They think if gay marriage was legalized, then it could potentially lead to polygamous, incestuous, and interspecies marriage. The main fear behind this argument being that marriage will be de-institutionalized and lead to a deterioration of all other marital restrictions. Gay marriage is its own moral and legal issue that should be kept distinct from these other fears, and it is ridiculous if people think that legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex would lead to someone legally marrying their dog. “Gay marriage is prohibited by my religion” is another overly used argument.
The problem with this argument is that American is a secular state, meaning that the church and state are separated. It is fine for people to oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs but to support their argument by saying that the Bible said so is false. No one knows for sure what the view on homosexuality was according to God. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” the Bible clearly states, representing my point exactly.
There is no clear distinction about homosexuality, and that basing opinions solely off what the Bible says shows that most of our society is very close-minded towards new and changing ideas. Supporters argue that same-sex couples should have the same marriage benefits, public acknowledgement, and protections that are offered to opposite-sex couples and the banning of this is discriminatory. This sends a message to our society and future generations that anyone without the same skin color, sexual preference, or nationality as us is not accepted.
Marriage has changed throughout the years; just like interracial marriage used to be illegal and women were once inferior to men. People have worked hard to maintain civil rights over the years, from abolishing slavery to the equal treatment of women. Homosexuals are no different in this aspect. If marriage rights are banned, do people really think that homosexuality will go away? Did people think when they banned African American’s from having the same rights as Caucasian’s that they would stop being colored? It is evident that statements such as these are misguided and inaccurate, just ike many of the opposing views on same-sex marriage. In the end, most people will agree that the banning of gay marriage is just another form of prejudice, and will come to realize that the ban on same-sex marriage, just like the banning of interracial marriage is supported by fear, confusion, and animosity towards anyone who differs from what they consider the “norm”. In a nation that is prided on our equality and freedom of expression and speech, any law that prohibits two people of the same-sex who love each other from entering into marriage should be deemed unconstitutional.