Free Essay

Gay Marriage

In: Social Issues

Submitted By taz31328
Words 1261
Pages 6
Homosexuals should be allowed to marry because the disallowance of it violates their constitutional rights. Marriage is an institution long recognized by our government under the right to pursue happiness, and denying that right to any couple, regardless of gender, is unconstitutional. This argument, though, is not disputed. In fact, none of the arguments raised in opposition to the allowance of homosexual marriages takes into account the constitutional rights afforded to all humans. The arguments are only in relation to the possible repercussions (real or imagined) of granting these rights.
Our nation was built and has always been based on the fundamental principles of freedom expressed in the Declaration of Independence and through our Constitution. The opponents of homosexual marriage need to remember what freedom means to America, and understand the significance of setting a precedent that denies that freedom. The Supreme Court has long recognized that the institution of marriage is one of the rights guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution. Banning same-sex marriage is discriminatory. Marriage is a basic human right and should not be denied to any individual. At various times in U.S. history, other minorities have been prevented from marrying: African-Americans, for example. Interracial marriage was also legally prohibited in various states, until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in 1967 ("Should Gay" 31).
At this time, however, marriage is only granted to heterosexual couples. Although homosexuals live under the same constitution, they are not afforded the same rights as heterosexuals. The reasons presented against the allowance of homosexual marriage are flimsy, and have nothing to do with the constitutional rights that are supposed to be afforded every American. All of the arguments against homosexual marriages have to do with the repercussions of granting the constitutional right of marriage to homosexuals, but not with the constitutional rights of homosexuals. The arguments offered are remarkably similar to the arguments offered 30 years ago against interracial marriages. Marriage plays an important role not only in people's experience of daily living but also in our culture's received ideals.
Marriage viewed as a cultural ideal is one way to explain the strength of the backlash against gay marriage. Legally married heterosexuals would not lose any legal right or material benefit if gays were allowed to get legally married (Mohr 22). Then why the fuss? There is no moral reason to support civil unions and not same- sex marriage unless one believes that admitting homosexuals would weaken a vital civil institution. This was the underlying argument for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which implied that allowing homosexuals to marry constituted an "attack" on the existing institution. The DOMA basically concludes that homosexuals are inherently depraved and immoral, allowing them to marry would inevitably spoil, and defame, the institution of marriage (Sullivan "State" 18). This claim strays from the realm of traditional social policy enters the realm of cultural symbols. But symbols matter: it is chiefly in terms of symbols that people define their lives and have identities. Marriage viewed as a symbolic event, enacts, institutionalizes, and ritualizes the social meaning of heterosexuality. Part of the attraction of marriage for some heterosexuals, is that it confers status. One of the ways it does this is by distinguishing such people from homosexuals. If you remove that cultural status, you further weaken an already beleaguered institution (Sullivan "State" 18). Marriage is the chief means by which culture maintains heterosexuality as a social identity, and is the social essence of heterosexuality. In consequence, on the plane of symbols and identities, if one did not get married, one wouldn't be fully heterosexual. Using the same argument, if others were allowed to get married, one wouldn't be heterosexual either (Mohr 22). This analysis explains why our government can claim that marriage by definition is the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, even though this definition is circular, lacks any content, and defines nothing. The function of this definition is not to clarify or explain; its function is to assure heterosexual supremacy as a cultural form. (Mohr 22)
Supporting the civil union while opposing marriage is an incoherent position, based more on sentiment than on reason, more on prejudice than principle. Marriage, under any interpretation of American constitutional law, is among the most basic civil rights. "Separate but equal" was a failed and pernicious policy with regard to race; it will be a failed and pernicious policy with regard to sexual orientation. The many advances of recent years, the "domestic partnership" laws passed in many cities and states, the generous package of benefits finally granted in Hawaii, the breakthrough in Vermont--should not be thrown out. But neither can they be accepted as a solution, as some straight liberals and gay pragmatists seem to want. In fact, these half-measures, far from undermining the case for complete equality, only sharpen it. For there are no arguments for the civil union that do not apply equally to marriage. To endorse one but not the other, to concede the substance of the matter while withholding the name and form of the relationship, is to engage in an act of pure stigmatization. It risks not only perpetuating public discrimination against a group of citizens but adding to the cultural balkanization that already plagues American public life (Sullivan "State" 18).
Particular religious arguments against same-sex marriage are rightly debated within the churches and faiths themselves. That is not the issue here: there is a separation between church and state in this country. Supporters are only asking that when the government gives out civil marriage licenses, those who are gay should be treated like anybody else. Of course, some argue that marriage is by definition between a man and a woman. But for centuries, marriage was by definition a contract in which the wife was her husband's legal property. And that changed. For centuries, marriage was by definition between two people of the same race. That also changed. These things were changed because society recognized that human dignity is the same whether one is a man or a woman, black or white. No one has any more of a choice to be gay than to be black or white or male or female (Sullivan "Let Gays" 26)
The matter is ultimately simple enough. Gay men and women are citizens of this country. After two centuries of invisibility and persecution, they deserve to be recognized as such. A random woman can marry a multimillionaire on a Fox TV special and the law will accord that marriage no less validity than a lifelong commitment between Billy Graham and his wife. The courts have upheld an absolutely unrestricted right to marry for deadbeat dads, men with countless divorces behind them, prisoners on death row, even the insane. In all this, we make a distinction between what religious and moral tradition, expect of marriage and what civil authorities require sanctioning it under law. It may well be that some religious traditions want to preserve marriage for heterosexuals in order to encourage uniquely heterosexual virtues. And they may have good reason to do so. But civil law asks only four questions before handing out a marriage license: Are you an adult; are you already married; are you related to the person you intend to marry; and are you straight? It's that last question that rankles. When civil law already permits the delinquent, the divorced, the imprisoned, the sterile, and the insane to marry, it seems revealing that it draws the line at homosexuals (Sullivan "State" 18).

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage: The Complicated Moral Debate The debate on gay marriage is a complicated one. Many different emotions, ideas, and opinions are formed from the subject. There are some who believe that gay marriage is morally wrong, and damages the foundation of the traditional marriage. Andrew Sullivan, a gay rights activist, stated in his article Here Comes the Groom (New Republic, 2015): The argument that gay marriage would subtly undermine the unique legitimacy of straight marriage is based upon a fallacy…Gay marriage could only delegitimize straight marriage if it were a real alternative to it, and this is clearly not true. Gay marriage is not, in short, a denial of family values. It’s an extension of them. (p. 38) In the religious lens on the topic of gay marriage, traditional Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin, which is why it is usually condemned by the church (Dias, 2015). In addition, there are also people that believe gay marriage should not be a law recognized by the federal or state municipalities because they consider it an ‘alternative lifestyle’, a choice made rather than a biologically inherited trait (Rich, 2015). In the next few paragraphs, I will discuss the history of legalization of gay marriage in America, the religious communities’ outlook on the subject of gay marriage, how Hollywood has influenced the gradual acceptance of gay marriage by showing more homosexual people in media, and also discuss some of the psychological and sociological......

Words: 1449 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...GAY MARRIAGE 1 Gay Marriage In The United States By: Michael White SOC. 120 PJ Rosch April 2, 2012 GAY MARRIAGE 2 America is a place where a person man or woman can be whoever they want to be. America is the only place in the world where freedom reigns everywhere in the country. But, Why is it that two men or women who love each other can not get married?. Here and now people in LGBT community are fighting for equality. They want the same right as people who are considered to be regular americans to get married. Opposing forces such as certain religous groups, and several other organizations are fighting to stop this from happening. There is an easy solution to the problem why not let people be. If America is truly a land of freedom and expression then why is same sex marriage is prohibited. HISTORY Gay Marriage is something that has been going on for centuries all around the world. Same sex marriage existed in places such as China dated as far back as the Ming Dynasty. The relationships consisted of men and women mostly women who entered into contracts with younger men and women in a fancy ceremony. These ceremonies are similar to the modern day wedding between a male and female. The first recorded gay marriage occured during the Roman Empire. This marriage was between an Emperor by the name of Elagabus and slave named Hierocles. This marriage still was not fair because in the eyes of the Roman Law, the slave Hierocles was noted as a female. Various......

Words: 2119 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage Nearly seventy percent of people in the U.S. oppose gay marriage, almost the same proportion as are otherwise supportive of gay rights. This means that many of the same people who are even passionately in favor of gay rights oppose gays on this one issue. Because there is a lot of misunderstanding about what homosexuality really is, as well as the erroneous assumption that gay people enjoy the same civil rights protections as everyone else. There are also a lot of stereotypes about gay relationships, and even a great deal of misunderstanding of what marriage itself is all about. The purpose of this essay is to clear up a few of these misunderstandings and discuss some of facts surrounding gay relationships and marriage, gay and straight. Stereotype has it that gays are promiscuous, unable to form lasting relationships, and the relationships that do form are shallow and uncommitted. As gays age and mature, just like their straight men, they begin to appreciate and find their way into long-term committed relationships. The values that gay couples show in their daily lives are sometimes even better from their straight neighbors. They're loyal to their mates, and are devoted partners. They value and participate in family life, are committed to making their neighborhoods and communities safer and better places to live. A benefit of gay marriage is the fact that the commitment of marriage means the partners are less likely to have......

Words: 480 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage debate Recently, gay marriage has become an issue of great concern all over the world. The question whether this marriage should be legalized has continued to raise heated-up debates in all social, religious and political arenas. The matter was has come into fresh discussion after the president of The United states of America passed a motion that allows gay marriage in the country. The following is an analysis of a debate that was held to discuss whether gay marriage should be legalized. Arguments supporting legalization of gay marriages If two people are in love, regardless of whether they are both male, both female, or of the opposite sex, it should be no one else’s business. The decision as to whether they are committing their lives to living together lies on them, and should not be jeopardized by the opinions, believes and feelings of others. They have a right to get married- if they so wish, as marriage is a personal decision, and one chooses the life he wants to live, as long as he/she does not compel others to follow that way, and as long as as the decision does not violate or endanger the rights of others (gaymarriage.procon.org). When same sex couples, such as gay couples, are denied the right to get into marriage, it sends the notion that it is acceptable to discriminate against gay people. It depicts such people as social and moral misfits, and thus exposes them to unfair treatment by the members of the society. As much as one may argue that the......

Words: 930 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage Should gay marriages be legal? Clearly we as a nation are undecided on this issue. 36 states have passed legislation banning gay marriages, yet the state of Vermont recently passed a law that allows homosexual couples the right to participate in civil unions. Some other states are also debating whether or not to allow these couples to marry. Unfortunately, the dispute has left the United States homosexual community in an awkward position. There are some people who think that gay people have no rights and should never be allowed to marry. Other people believe that gay people are just like anyone else and should enjoy the same rights and privileges as heterosexuals do. I think that the United States should allow these couples to marry just like any other couple. There are many opponents of gay people as it is, and they all have their reasons to dislike the idea of letting them get married. One of the main reasons is that the primary purpose of marriage is procreation. Because gay couples are unable to have children, they should not be allowed to marry (Schiffen 495). Another main argument is that the word marriage means the union of one man and one woman. This is a long-standing theme of most major Western religions. Under a proposed bill known as the Defense of Marriage act, marriage is defined as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Furthermore, it defines a spouse as “ a person of the opposite......

Words: 2010 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage: What’s the Problem??? “Homosexuality is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle,’” Blount wrote. “A day is fast approaching when North Carolina will have to deal with the issue of same sex marriage.” This phrase is written across dozens of newspapers, journals, and websites. All you have to do is simply go to yahoo, type in gay marriage in North Carolina and thousands of results come up. Now you may think at first that most of these websites or links may just be talking about the approaching topic, but you would be baffled by what you actually do find. In my case the first time I searched the topic of gay marriage in this state, I was at a loss for words when the first 500 results were all against gay marriage. Such titles as “support traditional marriage” and “nogaymarriage.com” where some of the first I saw. You would have to rummage around through thousands of results before finding one moderate website that could actually tell you what was going on without putting in their own input. Gay marriage, in my opinion should be allowed. There is no strong reason for why homosexuals cannot be married. People should drop all of the political jargon and realize how they would feel if someone told them they could not marry the person they loved just because they were heterosexual. It’s easier to understand once the shoe is one the other foot. One argument heard is that same sex marriages will take away from the......

Words: 1963 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Gay Marriages

...Gay Marriages Priscilla Reyes Sociology 120: Introduction to Ethics & Sociology Kathleen Miller March 10, 2013 Gay marriages, I don’t believe in gay marriages only in marriages between a man and woman. I know that a lot of gays or lesbians are trying to get the Supreme Court to approve same sex marriage. In California, the Supreme Court is trying to get same sex marriages ban nationwide. The gay and lesbian are using the law to have the same sex marriages pass and there have been about 3 states like Maine, Maryland, and Washington that have passed the same sex marriage. In other states like Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and New Jersey are against the same sex marriage. I don’t think that it should change what marriage is referring to between two men or two women; it is based on a man and woman marrying in holy matrimony. This is stated in the Bible and thru the standard government law and constitution. The government shouldn’t change the law of the constitution or the bill of rights because of same sex marriages. The gays and lesbians want the same rights as a man and a woman do when they get married, for instance if the significant other happens to pass away the significant other would inherited what their significant other left behind. It is not the same when a man inherited his wife life insurance policy or the wife inherits her husband’s life insurance. Marriage should only be between a man and a woman not two men or two women getting...

Words: 2517 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage Even in today’s world, people make a big fuss about gay marriage. When I hear or think about a marriage, all I think about is two people who are so deeply in love with each other that they want to spend their entire life together. I think gay marriage is acceptable for the good it does to the general public. Gay people are as important as any other person as they contribute in the advancement of the human lifestyle in more ways than we can imagine, such as social, economic, and religious aspects. Social Aspect of Gay Marriage We live in a society that promotes equality and no discrimination. Gay people are as important as any of us, and so are their rights and freedom. Supreme court honored them with their rights when they made same sex marriage legal. To respect and reduce intergroup prejudice, support cultural diversity and set high standards in the society, Supreme Court legalized same sex marriages. When people are not focused on defending their rights of equality they manage to spend that time to give positive, educational and loving feedback towards the society. Adoption of orphans by gay couples would be a great example. By adopting, educating and giving better future to orphans; gay people provide strong structure to the future generation. Economic Aspect of Gay Marriage American economy took a boost in some aspects once the same sex marriage got legalized. Some of industries that benefited from this are banquet, catering and tourism. For example,......

Words: 598 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Name Professor English1301 22, October 2013 Gay Marriage Gay marriage has slowly become a significant factor amongst individuals of today's society. Similarly, this leads to the discussion of homosexuals having the right to marry in society. Ultimately, conflict from the opposing position of ‘against’ gay marriage may arise that gay marriage can destroy the concept of marriage and mock the importance of procreation as presented in Charles Colson's "Gay Marriage: Societal Suicide". In Katha Pollitt's "What's Wrong with Gay Marriage?", she appeals to the readers logic to convince them that gay couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage, while Charles Colson also uses logic to emphasize his argument, though it is not as strong as Pollitt's. Marriage has been justified as a religious and legal commitment between man and woman, through the expression of love. Specifically, in relation to origins of marriage as it is the traditional building block of human society, further steps should not be taken to define the term marriage as it is already set in framework that it is known to be kept as man and woman. This concept of man and woman reiterates through the concept of how gay marriage could affect families and children that are involved within homosexual relationships. Firstly, in relation to the idea of forming a family with homosexual parents becomes unnatural as homosexual parenting represents an attempt to disrupt that......

Words: 992 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay marriage will strengthen family values by allowing millions of gay people the opportunity to reinforce their bonds in the same way that heterosexuals do. Same sex couples that get married are more likely to buy homes, which strengthens the economy. Same sex couples that buy homes are more likely to stay in them longer than people who rent. They're more likely to spend money on improvements. They would also be more likely to adopt one or more of the huge number of unwanted children brought into the world by straight people, for various reasons that children ended up in foster care. Married gay people would create strong positive role models for the next generations of gay children. The outlook of same sex marriage in society, and the proof being demonstrated, that the world will continue to spin on its axis. Even if gay people get married. It would help the conservative and religious right wing to see that gay people are just like everybody else, which would hopefully spare their children who happen to be gay the pain of their parents, assuming that being gay is a sin or mental illness. Pros of Same Sex Married 1. If the newlywed resides in the United States then will get to experience the advantages, which the government offers to married couples. These benefits take account of nursing home, social security as well as health care. 2. Another significant advantage of getting married is the reason that you can have kids and have similar assistance,......

Words: 615 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...In the United States, there is a lot of controversy over the issue of gay marriage. There are constant discrepancies between adamant believers in gay marriage and the political leaders of our country. The government’s refusal of the right of the marriage of homosexuals should not be tolerated. A large portion of people in America at the moment are utterly and completely against gay marriage, however there are also those who possess a more liberal view on the situation and  feel differently towards the subject of equal treatment for all people. Religious beliefs often play a substantial role in the decision making process in many ways. For instance, Christian politicians are using their religious beliefs to impose their views and ideas upon people of their denomination. Christians believe that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because of the Bible entries that suggest that God made man and women for each other and that any other variation of this couple is a sin. Some feel that this country was founded on the beliefs of Christianity and therefore we should respect those ideals of our forefathers but this can no longer be the case. Our society has grown throughout the years and people have become more and more accepting of change. Every person has their own religious freedom to worship which ever God they see fitting and to believe in any cause they choose. There has been separation from church and state for many......

Words: 1205 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

... “What is gay marriage?” Bronner, E. (2012, June 23). Gay marriage gains backer as major foe revises views. The New York Times, pp. 9A. Ethan Bronner exhibits the change of mind of David Blankenhorn, a national figure in the movement against same-sex marriage, about his opposition towards gay marriage and the reactions he received due to that switched thought. Bronner wrote, “I opposed gay marriage believing that children have the right, insofar as society makes it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world,'' referring to Blankenhorn old thoughts where he added to his idea, “Whatever one's definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness.'' This meaning that he changed his ideology for the civil rights’ sake of equality. Bronner follows by expressing the response of Rev. Jim Garlow, senior pastor, who contradicts Blankenhorn new opinion along with Peter S. Sprigg. This article contributes demonstrates the power of an open mind. It shows how a person who had a straight definition of what he thought marriage was changed that interpretation with the help of many outside factors. Kottak, C. P. (2012). Mirror for humanity: A concise introduction to cultural anthropology (8th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Companies. Conrad Phillip Kottak explains what marriage is in the point of view of......

Words: 1445 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...Gay Marriage Issue Gay marriage is one of the leading political topics in the United States today. The problem is whether or not people should support gay marriage. First of all, marriage is the agreement between two people to stay together, being soul mates and commitment to have responsibility to each other. For this reason, it is difficult to identify if homosexual marriage is legal or illegal. It is confused because the marrying of two people of same sex is going against the tradition. Every species has two genders, and “love” or “couple” is always defined as special feeling between male and female. As a result, gay marriage could not be accepted. With the issue of gay marriage, lines get blurred and religion rears its head to influence a government’s decision of who shall be married and who will be refused. In fact, marriage is changing over time with the tolerance of the society, which makes gay marriage is now more acceptable than before. Gay marriage is a socially recognized marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Besides, according to Andrew Sullivan, “marriage is not simply a private contract; it is a social and public reorganization of a private commitment. As such, it is the highest public recognition of personal integrity. Denying it to homosexuals is the most public affront possible to their public equality.” Many heterosexuals might not accept this point of view. Also, there are religious reasons for opposing this......

Words: 555 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Gay Marriage

...numerous opinions and standing views on gay marriage. The argument regarding gay marriage should be legalized or not is extremely controversial. According to an article from the Human Rights Campaign, there is nothing wrong with allowing homosexuals to have the same rights as those who are heterosexual. Every individual person should be granted equal rights, regardless of sexuality. Gay marriage should be legalized in all states and countries, it has been held off for too long. Moreover, there are several reasons why homosexuals feel strongly about wanting to be legally married. One reason that is most commonly heard is, they want to legally show their love for each other by having a marriage license. Homosexuals want the right to marry like anybody else, and for the same reasons too. They are in love and want to spend their lives with this person. Even though it is possible to do this without being married; “they want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer” (90). There be no reason two people cannot marry despite their sexuality. If a man and woman get to marry because they love each other, what is the difference between a man and a man or a woman and a woman wanting to marry because, they love each other? Also, another cause why homosexuals want the right to marry their spouse is because they are being cheated of rights. Although, two people love each other, if they cannot marry they are losing rights. Marriage gives both spouses......

Words: 1710 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Gay Marriage

...Love Is Blind: Gay marriage has been the topic of discussion in recent years. It has been broadcast on news stations and printed in magazines all across America. Each publication has displayed a different point of view. The discussions mostly have been about how it affects our world and our economy. There are many ways that gay marriage affects both our world and our economy. Gay marriage is not only affecting our economy, but is also protected by our government. Same-sex couples are also better off. There’s three main ways that gay parents affect children. They affect the child’s growth in their social and academic competence rate, they make amazing parents, and the children develop emotions that most kids don’t have. “The kids typically develop in ways that cannot be distinguished from their peers raised by heterosexual parents” (Davis). The affect it has on the child’s social and academic competence rate is outstanding. “According to a study published in Pediatrics, they found that children with lesbian parents have a higher social and academic rating; than those with heterosexual parents” (Gartrell & Bos, Pediatrics). "in fact, growing up with parents who are lesbian or gay may confer some advantages to children. They have been described as more tolerant of diversity and more nurturing toward younger children than children whose parents are heterosexual" (Davis). They make outstanding parents. Most foster kids just really need nothing more than a loving home, with......

Words: 1037 - Pages: 5