Rhetoric and Composition
November 24, 2012
Love is Equal
Federal and state governments have an obligation to protect the rights of individuals. The general population may feel that they are doing their job, but in the issue of same-sex (gay) marriage this is not the case. As recently as the 1970s, homosexual marriage was considered a crime in most states in America and such laws were ruled unconstitutional in only 2003. America is the land of the free, where citizens can fulfill their wildest dreams. People can get the job they desire, choose to pursue an education or not, or even choose to join the military. In a land where we are presented with all this freedom, why is it that there are laws preventing love between the same genders? Nowadays it seems more individuals are comfortable with themselves and are making it known that they are gay, unlike in the past where these individuals remained behind closed doors. However this does not mean that homosexuals are no longer discriminated against; the topic of homosexuality certainly still creates constant controversy in our nation. Without the protection of our government and laws, same-sex couples are not just denied the right to get married, but also all the rights that come hand-in-hand with marriage. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is an ideal on which our nation was founded and we see this in the Declaration of Independence. It states, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 1776). According to HumanRightsCampaign.org, one of the largest organizations advocating for civil rights in the United States, there are over 1,000 rights of heterosexuals that are denied to homosexuals. That does not seem to support the Declaration of Independence that states that, “all men are equal.” Everyone has different interpretations for the word “happiness”, and everyone is entitled to be happy in a way that goes along the lines of their definition. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what makes someone happy. Happiness comes in many different forms. Individuals are born with certain likes and dislikes; our happiness isn’t always a choice we make. For homosexuals being with the same sex is what fulfills their personal need for happiness. Being gay does not define that person it is simply one characteristic that they have. The love one man or woman might have for another person of the same sex is the same love a different man may feel for a women. A major reason gay marriage was looked down upon for so long was because of the religious ideals tied to the institution of marriage. According to the Catholic definition, “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together” (http://www.catholiceducation.org). The idea that homosexuality is wrongful behavior derives from religious beliefs; however America is supposed to have separation of church and state. The First Amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Why in this one case are millions of people denied their rights to just love another person due to other peoples’ beliefs? If the church shouldn’t govern the state, same gender marriage shouldn’t be such a prevalent issue in America. In the past, interracial marriage was illegal in the United States. Interracial marriage also used to have very similar arguments against it. However, now it’s legal and happens often. They were both considered “unnatural” for marriage. It used to be thought that interracial marriage would lead to “unhealthy children, perhaps mentally retarded” (http://www.law.virginia.edu). Gay marriage is thought of as...
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