Writing Project three

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Jennifer Evans
Professor Poyner
English 111
Same-sex Marriage Legalization
The legalization of same-sex marriage is fought strongly by both sides. Those against same-sex marriages fear legalizing them would diminish traditional marriages, along with having other concerns. The main view of those for same-sex marriage legalization is that they see it as a right to gays and lesbians. The question is which side is right? Would the legalization of same-sex marriages take away from traditional marriages or is it a right not being honored? The question of same-sex marriage brings with it the question why. Is it important for same-sex marriages to be legalized considering that same-sex couples can live in cohabitation even in the states where same-sex marriages are illegal? These are a few of the age old questions pertaining to the issue of same-sex marriage legalization. While many American’s view on marriage is that they are between a man and a woman, there are still several who believe same-sex marriages should be legalized. In the views of Americans who are for same-sex marriage legalization the right to many is not an individual right but a right to each couple. “I argue that the right to marry is fundamentally, not an individual right, but a couples collective right” (Williams, 589). Those against same-sex marriage view the right to marry as an individual’s right. Therefore they see same-sex couples as having the same individual right as heterosexual couples, to marry a member of the opposite sex. “One cannot marry by oneself; and thus cannot exercise the right to marry by oneself” (Williams, 593) Thus the right to marry should be viewed as a collective right of a couple rather than an individual right. Does this mean that same-sex marriages should be allowed? Many people see both sides of this issue, and still yet others have no opinion. “Jeremy Garrett has recently defended a view he calls “marital contractualism” which applies Nozick’s general defense of the minimal state to the institution of marriage” (Williams, 590) While defending his idea of “marital contractualism” Garrett proposed that the government’s involvement in marriages should be focused completely on the contracts and upholding them to the value of the law. This would make marriages between couples freely partaking in the contracts and keep the governments involvement at a minimum. Those fighting to legalize same-sex marriage argue this should allow any person of any race, gender or cultural background to marry any other willing person of any race, gender or cultural background. Those who wish to legalize same-sex marriages could use relationship-specific investments to argue their point of view. “Marriage encourages relationship-specific investments because it reduces uncertainty about the relationship’s future and provides insurance against the risks of investment” (Lau, 974). They could explain given the right to marry the person of their chose could boost the couple’s security level. With the added security in their relationship’s future these couples could be more likely to invest in large purchases together, i.e. a house or other large investment. Those against same-sex marriages or relationships could argue that the individual’s in these same-sex relationships could make the same big investments on their own or in a heterosexual relationship. Many businesses in the United States already offer same-sex couples the same benefits as different-sex couples. The number of businesses recognizing same-sex couples is growing across the United States. “Currently, thirty-eight states have passed legislation in response to passage of DOMA that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and does not honor marriages between same-sex couples from other jurisdictions” (Barkacs, 35). The realization that more and more businesses are supporting same-sex couples and at the same time numerous states are passing laws defining marriage between a man and a...
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