Should Same Sex Marriage Be a Constitutional Right? Essay
SHOULD SAME SEX MARRIAGE BE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT? Same sex marriage is currently not an option in 39 states. It has been frowned upon by the church for decades, yet the 14th amendment makes “the elusive promise of equality a reality”. (p. 255) In 1996 congress passed DOMA to define the word marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman” (p. 253) This preventing any couples married in one state that allows gay marriage to move to a state without, and receive recognition of their union.
Attorney Theodore B. Olson is in support of legalizing same sex marriages. It would be “a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation’s commitment to equal rights. ” (p. 254) By not allowing gay marriage or by limiting the acknowledgement such as in California, and a “civil union” we are labeling “those relationships as less worthy, less sanctioned, or less legitimate. ” (p256. Olson has heard claims that traditional marriages promote “procreation” therefore these claims are insinuating that legalizing gay marriage would lessen our population? This is an obseard excuse.
It doesn’t matter if someone is gay or not, if people want to have kids, or not have kids, they make their own choices. I know a lesbian couple who recently got married and they are planning on having a child, they are going to go to a sperm bank to conceive. On a similar note Olson points out that nobody questions if heterosexual couples intend to have children before they get married.
There are couples who know they have no desire to bear children, there are adults who get married at age 70, we allow people in prison to marry, and soldiers going off to war to marry prior to their deployment. None of which are guaranteed to produce off spring. “Another argument, vaguer and even less persuasive, is that gay marriage somehow does harm to heterosexual marriage. ” (p. 256) What does that mean? I can only imagine people think that if gay marriage is legal it would reduce the amount of heterosexual marriages.
Years ago when people were hiding their sexual preference they would enter into a heterosexual relationship/marriage because that was the “thing to do” however now that gay relationships are more open and acknowledged, this certain habit is no longer among us, so whether same sex marriages are legal or not, the heterosexual marriages are still being effected the same because individuals are not needing to “hide in the closet,” people are not getting married for show. When I was in high school one of my friends’ father (father of 3 kids) left her mother because he was gay, for years, but never was able to admit it.
Had sexual preference been more accepted in society 30 years ago they would have never have even gotten married. People refer to the church that homosexuality is against their religious beliefs. I’ve heard things like “God made a man and woman for a reason” I have two notes on that, first as Olson points out, science has taught us that sexual preference are characteristics that “are immutable, like being left-handed” (p. 257) and secondly for those who advert to God, how many of them actually practice what they preach in regards to the 10 commandments. How many American’s today sustain abstiancne until married.
How many individuals do not commit adultery (#7) and do not covet the neighbor’s wife. (#9) These individuals who uphold the Lord’s word so highly, and are against gay marriages, are the many who do not themselves follow what they speak of. They are hypocrites. People claim that this is not the time to address this issue, then when is the time? 40 yrs ago it was illegal for black women to marry a white man; this is the same sort of racism we are facing now in today’s society for gays and lesbians. Sam Shulman is against legalizing gay marriage. His defense on this issue is in my opinion, absurd.
He, as many, argues religion as a foundation. Stating that allowing same sex marriage, “we will find ourselves entering on the path to the abolition of the human. The gods move very fast when they bring ruin on misguided men. ” (p. 266) His bigger defense is that gay marriage will bring “harm to the family” and “potential unhappiness of children” (p260) He makes outrageous statements that “In a gay marriage, one of the two men must play the woman, or one of the two women must play the man. ” (p. 265) Are you kidding? What about the divorced single Mom or the widow Dad, who take on both “parental roles. Even on that note, who decides or determines what the “role” of the Mother or Father is. This argument Shulman makes is probably the worst excuse I have encountered. When I was younger I watched “Full House” with a single Dad and 2 male friends raising his 3 daughters. This was a hit show, and nobody was gay on the show, but yet 3 men raising 3 girls…there was no gender role filling in on the show. It simply expressed raising a family in an alternative way. I also know a gay couple who had a civil union a few years ago. One of the men was married prior and has 2 children. He and his husband are currently the primary care iver for these kids. In my opinion it is not only unethical and immoral to judge and prohibit same sex marriage, but it is also against our 14th amendment. Section 1 states: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
By denying same-sex marriage and limiting the legal options that a gay or lesbian couple should be entitled to, is doing the exactly what the amendment is supposed to prevent. These couples are not receiving the same privileges or equal protection as heterosexual couples. Not only income tax or health insurance benefits, but life choices. If a person is in a horrific accident and is not married, the other person is not permitted to make decisions, let alone even visit. This is not fair to anyone. This is depriving people of living their lives the way they desire.
Olson states is best, (p. 257) “No matter what you think of homosexuality, it is a fact that gays and lesbians are members of our families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the rest of us. ” I believe that same sex marriage should be a constitutional right. It is an individual choice, and it should not be up to the state to decide who can or cannot make that decision.