February 7, 2010
Ms. Linda Leeson Oldenburg
Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy made a strong statement and many enemies when he was quoted in The Providence Journal saying: “I see the policy of opposing same-sex marriages or unions, whatever you call it, as bigotry or discrimination” (Corkery, 2003, p. A.01). Many consider marriage to be a union between a man and a woman; while others believe marriage to be about love, friendship, and commitment between two individuals, not their gender. Many countries allow same-sex marriages, while some are so against it that they will sentence the individuals in same-sex relationships to torture and death. There are no laws stating that a Christian and a Jew cannot be wed. Homosexuals should be given the same freedom as everyone else. Serial killers and child molesters are allowed to get married while in prison, why are law-abiding homosexuals not given that same benefit? At one point in history, it was illegal for interracial marriages. If society can move beyond the senselessness of being against interracial marriages; why can it not progress against same-sex marriages? Banning same-sex marriages is a form of discrimination. A lot of gays and lesbians just want the freedom to and opportunity to be married. Same-sex marriages should be allowed because the views of marriage have changed throughout the years; many countries and states are allowing same-sex marriages; saying no is a form of discrimination; and because marriage should be about love and commitment between two individuals not based off of gender and religion. The meaning of marriage has changed drastically throughout the years. Arranged marriages for convenience were more common than for love. Larry Peterson, Ph.D., a professor who chairs the Department of History at North Dakota State University, states: “In 1600, marriage for almost all Europeans and Europeans in America was primarily an economic arrangement negotiated between families in which family considerations of status, future economic stability, and prosperity were the most important considerations in selecting a potential spouse. From the 1690s to the 1870s, “wife sale” was common in rural and small-town England. To divorce his wife, a husband could present her with a rope around her neck in a public sale to another man (Peterson, 1997)”. Many people today would think these examples to be cold, unfeeling, and even barbaric. Even if there solution to divorce was cheaper, it was still a very cold and unfeeling process. Women had little to no rights at all. But times have changed and views on marriage changed again in the late 1930s to 1995. According to Peterson (1997), “As late as 1930, twelve states allowed boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 12 to marry with parental consent. By 1995, most Americans consider the primary purpose of marriage to be a commitment to emotional and psychological support between two individuals” (Peterson, 1997). The timeline below indicates the timeline give by Peterson (1997):
As we can see by the timeline, the views of marriage have change drastically over the years. These are just a few of the different ways the views on marriage have changed. We, as a society, need to ask ourselves: Why are we fighting something that was actually blessed in the 5th-14th centuries? Why fight it? A lot of gays and lesbians just want the freedom and opportunity to get married. In 2004, the first same-sex marriage was legally made in America. Not only have the views on marriage changed through-out the years, but the laws allowing same-sex marriage has changed. Many countries have changed there laws regarding same-sex marriages. In some countries and states, same-sex marriages are allowed and in others they are punished. For example, in “Iran, the punishment for same-sex relations are death, prison, and torture; while in Spain, same-sex marriages are legal”...