In a Nutshell
1. Denying them is a violation of religious freedom (civil and religious marriages are two separate institutions). 2. Marriage benefits (such as joint ownership, medical decision-making capacity) should be available to all couples. 3. Homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle nowadays with most evidence strongly supporting biological causation. 4. Denying these marriages is a form of minority discrimination. 5. It doesn't hurt society or anyone in particular. 6. The only thing that should matter in marriage is love. 7. The number of child adoptions should increase since gay couples cannot pro-create (although some might see an increase in gay adoptions as an argument against same-sex marriages). 8. It encourages people to have strong family values and give up high-risk sexual lifestyles. 9. The same financial benefits that apply to man-woman marriages apply to same-sex marriages. | 1. Most religions consider homosexuality a sin. 2. It would weaken the definition and respect for the institution of marriage. 3. It would further weaken the traditional family values essential to our society. 4. It could provide a slippery slope in the legality of marriage (e.g. having multiple wives or marrying an animal could be next). 5. It confuses children about gender roles and expectations of society, and only a man & woman can pro-create. 6. The gay lifestyle is not something to be encouraged, as a lot of research shows it leads to a much lower life expectancy, psychological disorders, and other problems. | Overview/Background
Traditionally in this country, marriage has been defined as a religious & legal commitment between a man and woman, as well as the ultimate expression of love. Homosexual relationships are increasingly gaining acceptance in this country; however, these couples have not been permitted to marry. Some states have considered a new form of commitment called a "civil union", which essentially is marriage without using the word "marriage". Many politicians have said they are against gay marriage but think it should be left up to the states to decide. However, the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution says that if one state makes a law, other states must recognize it. Thus, if one state allows a gay marriage and that couple moves to another state, the other state must recognize that marriage. This in effect allows one state to make same-sex marriage legal in the entire country. Many politicians are calling for amendments to their state constitution or the U.S. Constitution. Many areas of the country such as San Francisco have performed marriage ceremonies in defiance of the law. Lost in all the legal battles and political maneuvering is the basic question "Should we allow gay couples to legally marry?" Yes
1. Denying them is a violation of religious freedom (civil and religious marriages are two separate institutions). The main reason for denying marriage to gay couples is that all major religions consider homosexuality a sin; however, the First Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that a person's religious views or lack thereof must be protected. Marriage by the state is a secular activity; the government cannot start making laws just because a religion says they should. What's next, should we make taking the Lord's name in vain a criminal activity because Christians consider it a breaking of a commandment? 2. Marriage benefits (such as joint ownership, medical decision-making capacity) should be available to all couples. Marriage is more than a legal status. It affects many things in society such as tax filing status, joint ownership of property, insurance benefits, and agency law. It affects critical medical decisions. For example, if one member of a gay couple that has been together for 20 years gets critically ill, visitation may not even be allowed since the other...