Ponikvar/ 3rd period
Topic: Should homosexuals be allowed to get married?
Author's name: Sally Driscoll, Alexander Stingl
Article Title: "Counterpoint: Same-Sex Marriage is Both a Constitutional and Human Right" Organization's name: N/A
Title Of Publication: N/A
Date Of Publication: N/A
Date of Access: 3-29-11
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=26619735&site=pov-live Abstract: The article presents an argument in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.S. It is asserted that gay couples deserve to receive the same benefits given to heterosexual couples in all states by the federal government, and failure to give full recognition can be considered discrimination. A Pew Center Research study conducted in 2006 found that over half of adults under age thirty support same-sex marriages. Shifting Values
American culture has changed in many ways over the past few decades. As a result, the institution of marriage has been impacted tremendously. In 1967, sixteen states still had anti-miscegenation laws that prevented interracial marriage. Until the 1970s, most married couples assumed roles that were narrow and limiting: women raised children and performed household chores in lieu of an otherwise rewarding career, while men brought home the only paycheck and often missed out on the joys of parenting. Some of these couples were also comprised of gays and lesbians who had yet to come "out of the closet" and felt pressured to conform to the limitations of heterosexual marriage. The gay rights movement continues to work toward a more tolerant, respectful, and compassionate society. According to a Pew Center Research study conducted in 2006, 51 percent of college-educated Americans now believe that homosexuality is innate; this is in sharp contrast to the view, prevalent throughout the twentieth century, that homosexuality is caused by society and can be prevented. Many Americans have come to accept that sexual orientation is just another difference, like red hair or left-handedness, and that homosexuals should not be discriminated against for something over which they have little control. The shift in values is also being extended to the issue of gay marriage. The same Pew Center Research study determined that over half (53 percent) of adults under age thirty support same-sex marriages; even 25 percent of senior citizens, who lived their formative years prior to the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements, already support same-sex marriages. Marriage Defined
By the most succinct definition, marriage is a legal contract between two people that is sanctioned by society. While some cultures continue the tradition of arranged marriages, American marriages are also an expression of romantic love. Two people "fall in love" and commit to a long-term relationship in which they are expected to care for each other for their own benefit as well as the benefit of society. There are many shapes marriages can assume today without falling under some kind of social stigma, including those between different races, nationalities, and religions, as well as inter-generational marriages. There are childless marriages, common-law marriages, marriages of convenience, open marriages (in which the couple partake in sexual relationships with other people), and long-distance marriages (in which the couple might live in two different countries or states). For better or worse, there are marriages between Democrats and Republicans and marriages between lawyers and doctors. Even convicted felons are allowed to marry. To round out the picture, many people choose to marry two, three, or four times, contributing to the 50 percent divorce rate in the U.S. The contemporary institution of marriage is anything but traditional, and offers the conservative Christian or other judgmental person much to condemn or criticize. However, one needs to suspend...