Since the historical Stonewall Riots in New York City (June 28, 1969) against the police by homosexuals, the gay liberation movement began. It was a time when homosexuals could finally fight for who they are. But did anyone ever expect to be hated and condemned for who they are? Did they question the power some people can have to turn their world around for better or worse? Or worse, did they think that they would never be able to be who they truly were without having to have fear for their lives.
In order for everyone to truly be equal, acceptance and tolerance must be given. Ever since the pilgrims came to the Americas they had one objective, freedom. Ralph Waldo Emerson counseled self-reliance so we could “intuit our true callings and choose to pursue the paths that made us most ourselves” (Frank 2). By not giving homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals, the government is taking away homosexuals rights to an equal quality of life that they deserve.
Some heterosexuals believe that homosexuality is a choice and is unnatural.
But although heterosexuals believe in the choice of homosexuality, homosexuals believe that it is an “undeniable force or a deep-seated feeling that they must respect if they are to be true to themselves” (Frank 2). Nathaniel Frank, author of “Gay Is a Choice? ” once expressed his opinion on the matter stating that “[people] cast other spheres of identity—particularly religion—as matters of unchosen conviction and deep principle” (Frank 2). Frank believes that we are given the right to participate our religion but why can’t homosexuals “honor their callings” (Frank 2).
Many heterosexuals don’t view homosexuality as a choice, which leads to some taking action into their own deadly hands. Over the last ten years, more than twelve thousand hate crimes have been reported due to sexual orientation. Malcolm Lazin from Equality Forum said “last year twenty-nine gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender Americans were killed because of their sexual orientation” (Talev 1). In 2009, President Obama signs a federal gay rights law dedicated to Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. tating that “no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding hands of the person they love” (Talev 2). Obama felt like he was finishing President Lyndon Johnson’s work with the signing of the protection for blacks in 1960 and that this is an “extension of that work” (Talev 2). But when it comes to hate crimes or gay marriage, homosexuals find homosexual marriages the hardest to gain. After the Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Clinton in September 1996 earning gay marriage rights was even harder than before.
Clinton’s Act forbid federal recognition and federal tax and pension benefits for same-sex marriage partners and gave states the right to refuse to recognize any same-sex marriages that might be performed in other states” (Andryszewski 67). Currently there are only 5 states that have authorized gay marriage, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa. To many homosexuals their right to marry is one of the most important to their lives. When same-sex couples have same-sex ceremonies honoring their commitment together they aren’t given the same rights as heterosexual couples. Same-sex families lack other benefits afforded married couple, including tax breaks, spouse benefits under retirement plans, and Social Security survivor benefits—all of which can put their health at risk” (Tanner 2). If same-sex couples even hope to have the same protection as heterosexuals gain through marriage they must spend a lot of money to guarantee “protections and sharing arrangements” (Andryszewski 64). In 2009, the “New York State Senate defeated bill legalizing same-sex marriage” (Precious 2) and many believe change in this decision is “unlikely anytime soon due to the size of the defeat (38 to 24)” (Precious 1).
Many homosexuals believe that “this just speaks that they are so out of touch with current affairs and with the need for New York to progress” (Precious 2). Gay marriage would be more possible if they had more support from heterosexuals, but unfortunately many heterosexuals believe that “heterosexual marriage with children is God’s model for how humans should live their lives and only context in which sex is holy” (Andryszewski 62). Many heterosexuals believe that “…gay groups will work especially hard in 2010 to defeat the senators who voted no (legalized same-sex marriage)” (Precious 2).
Gay marriage bans don’t just affect same-sex couples life together but also their job. While in the military homosexuals are expected to follow the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. President Obama is currently working with Congressional leaders to end the policy and get it appealed as soon as possible. Many doctors strongly oppose the military’s ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy, stating that “forcing gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret has a “chilling effect” on open communication between gays and their doctors” (Tanner 2).
Is it right for the military to have the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy when it can cause miscommunication between a doctor and patient and possibly create a life or death situation? When same-sex couples are ready to start a family, they usually look into adopting a child or artificial insemination. “In the past, adoption authorities have often been hostile to homosexuals” (Andryszewski 69) and “most other states made it more difficult for anyone other than married heterosexuals to adopt a child.
Many states required two separate adoption proceedings (one for each parent) a lengthy and expensive process” (Andryszewski 69). Although “…a small number of gay men have hired surrogates to become pregnant through artificial insemination…so they can raise children to who they are biologically related” (Andryszewski 67-68) many homosexuals have been treated as criminals in court when trying to gain custody of his or her children in states where sodomy is illegal.
Much of the controversy with gays and lesbians adopting is because many people think “children are better off raised in a two-parent heterosexual household” (NA 1). Research has shown that children raised with one or two gay or lesbian homes “fare just as emotionally and socially as children whose parents are heterosexual” (NA 1). More studies have shown that “children are more influenced by their interactions with their parents, than by their sexual orientation” (NA 1).
Why deprive a child from a loving family when research and studies have shown that sexual orientation isn’t an important factor when it comes to raising children. Many homosexuals and heterosexuals have fought for gay rights for forty years through a long and tedious process. But equality has been needed ever since the pilgrims came to the Americas. Gay rights are not only wanted but needed in out society today as a whole. The fight for homosexuals has advanced very much over the last forty years but the struggle won’t end until success is made. In the future gay rights controversy will be an obstacle of the past.
Cite this Should Homosexuals Be Given the Same Rights as Heterosexuals
Should Homosexuals Be Given the Same Rights as Heterosexuals. (2017, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/should-homosexuals-be-given-the-same-rights-as-heterosexuals/