Eliyahu Stiefel Mr.Hong English 1A 02/02/2012 Legalizing same-sex marriage has been a debate going on for quite some time. The recognition of such marriages is a civil rights, political, social, moral, and religious issue in many nations. Since 2001, ten countries have begun allowing same-sex couples to marry nationwide. In the United States the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, but such marriages are recognized by some individual states. Proposition 8 in November 2008 state elections, was a ballot proposition passed in California eliminating the right of same sex couples to marry. The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. I will argue that same-sex marriage should be legalized as it does nothing to impede on heterosexuals and that same-sex marriage can possibly have very positive effects on society. I will also suggest that perhaps decisions such as same-sex marriage should not be under government jurisdiction and perhaps marriage altogether should be privatized. Legalizing same-sex marriage according to some opinions can have a very positive effect on society. Jonathan Rauch an avid proponent of same-sex marriage and author of Gay Marriage writes, ”For gay couples, it will bring the stability and healthiness and happiness that marriage
uniquely provides. For straight people it will bring all of the benefits of social stability
that goes with marriage.”(Rauch) According to Rauch legalizing same-sex marriage can bring great benefits to society. Marriage causes people stay in more committed relationships, and when people are in committed relationships there is less promiscuity. A culture of marriage for gay people might not have stopped the [AIDS] virus altogether, but it certainly would have slowed the virus down, and saved who knows how many lives and who knows how much money and agony. Aside from the benefits that same-sex marriage can have on our society, the benefits that will reach the children of same-sex couples is also an important factor. Rauch estimates the number of children being raised in gay households to be around half a million. If society cares about marriage only for the sake of children, this is a large enough number to mean that, it ought to care about the many thousands of children in gay households. Children now being raised in gay households, feel left out because they don’t feel like a family since their parents are not permitted to be married. This is why many people feel that legalizing same-sex marriage will have no negative effect on society, and can in fact have a very positive effect on society. A great solution to the same-sex marriage debate would be to privatize marriage. Marriage contracts should not be written by the government, rather they should be written and agreed upon by the parties involved, and they should be enforceable by law. Lawrence Stone a historian noted for his work on marriage writes:
"In the early Middle Ages all that marriage implied in the eyes of the laity seems to have been a private contract between two families. ... For those without property, it was a private contract between two individuals, enforced by the community sense of what was right." (qtd Boaz) According to Lawrence Stone, marriage was always a contract between two individuals or two families that was created by them and enforced by the community based on what they felt was right or wrong....
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