Same Sex Marriage: a Human Right?

Topics: Same-sex marriage, Marriage, Civil union Pages: 8 (2283 words) Published: September 28, 2008
In today’s society there are many controversial issues that people must take a stance on; one of the most controversial is same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is a marriage between two people of the same gender, and many people believe it can have a negative effect on children. However, many people believe it should be allowed because it is based on the same basic principle of hetero-sexual marriage: that two individuals desire to formally live together and have legal rights and privileges, regardless of sexual orientation. While there are people who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage due to religious beliefs, the possible adverse effects on children, and personal morality, there are many people who believe it should be legalized because every person is created equal and should have the right to the same legal benefits and privileges as well as the opportunity to marry whomever they choose. Benefits and Privileges

The desire for same-sex marriage is based on the same principle as hetero-sexual marriage; the desire to live together, to start a family, and to be recognized as a couple. It is human nature to want to be loved and to love someone else; that desire does not change with the gender of the individual someone falls in love with. Regardless of sexual orientation, people should not face discrimination from others, including the government. In the Marriage Resolution, by the Marriage Project of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, it is stated, "Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice, RESOLVED, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage."

Since every person has the same desire to find someone to love and marry, same-sex couples should be allowed the same rights and privileges as hetero-sexual couples. There are over 1,400 benefits and privileges given to hetero-sexual couples by state and federal governments. Same-sex couples should be given these same privileges. These benefits include medical insurance, life insurance, and tax credits and exemptions, among others. Same-sex couples that are not recognized as a couple do not receive the same consideration that hetero-sexual couples receive. For example, Kate Flemming and Charlene Strong had been in a relationship for over 10 years and had held a commitment ceremony to honor their love for each other. During a tragic moment in which the basement of their home flooded, Kate was trapped and she remained trapped until emergency medical personnel were able to remove her limp body from the home and begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When Charlene arrived at the hospital to be with Kate, she was informed that because she was not the official next of kin, she would have to gain permission from Kate’s next of kin to see her. Kate and Charlene had discussed Kate’s desire to not be kept alive through artificial means, but the staff at the hospital doubted the validity of Charlene’s right to make those decisions. Fortunately, for Kate and Charlene, their families were supportive of their relationship and allowed Charlene to make the decisions regarding the remainder of Kate’s life. (Labella & Singh, 2008). Constitutional Law

There are laws that protect against age, race, and gender discrimination, but there are few laws on the books to protect same-sex couples from discrimination based on sexual orientation. For example, in the United States military, there is a policy of “Don’t ask…Don’t tell”; meaning a person may be a member of the military and be gay, but only for as long as no one knows. Soldiers who are homosexual or bi-sexual must conceal their sexual orientation if they wish to remain in the military. That policy could be equated to the racial discrimination African-Americans faced in the past. While constitutional law allows for hetero-sexual couples to join in...
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