In 2013, it boggles my mind that we are still messing up on basic human rights issues. Of course homosexual marriage should be legal. If the issue people have with gay marriage is that it is not in keeping with their religious belief, that shouldn’t matter because couples can be married through a civil authority on behalf of the government and not have to worry about representation from the church. Even so, couples should be able to get married in their place of worship if the clergy has no problem with it. If the matter is that it compromises the integrity of marriage, heterosexual marriage has been showing that its integrity isn’t very strong itself, with such a high proportion of marriage ending in divorce. With state amendments such as Proposition 8 in California and federal laws such as The Defense of Marriage Act, the idea that these documents are protecting marriage is misguided for the proposed shield that these laws will provide is only a sword aimed at civil rights. As obvious as it is that this basic right to marry the one you love should be granted to homosexuals based on being able to fulfill a feeling of love and happiness, it goes beyond that. Legally, gay couples are second class citizens. In all but 5 states, civil unions and same-sex domestic partnerships aren’t granted the same level of benefits that traditional marriages enjoy such as property inheritance, joint income tax returns, shared health care, and social security among others. Many couples have gone to other countries to be married and it’s an embarrassment to our nation that it has to come to that. The main reason for this amount of legal red tape is just thinly veiled bigotry. Since it challenges traditional norms and it is uncomfortable and different to certain people, it must be suppressed. Looking at politicians trying to appeal to bigotry, someone running for a position in a more conservative state generally won’t support gay marriage as it would usually spell campaign suicide. This sort of stance only steepens the uphill battle. You’ll hear statements trying to distract from the issue like “If we allow gays to get married, we’ll eventually let people marry dogs!” which is just an over –the-top straw man argument with no basis in reality. And to think people could be spending their energy on actual issues rather than trying their hardest to suppress the rights of others. The only reason the U.S. hasn’t made gay marriage legal yet is because it is content with disregarding the rights of the minority to protect the comfy feelings of the majority. Yet that attitude is not the attitude that protects rights, that is the attitude that protects politicians in elections and close minded people from accepting the fact that people of a LGBT background are the same as them on a basic level. We need to give homosexuals the same rights as everyone else. America needs to protect its people’s rights, not feelings.
With all that being said, here are the facts. In regards to the argument that gay marriages are less stable than heterosexual marriage, the numbers show that in states where gay marriage is legal, the rate of divorce is actually lower than states where it is illegal. And upon comparing the rate of gay divorce to straight divorce, the rate is roughly the same. (1) This shows that the sexual preference of a couple has no real influence on their likelihood of divorce. The defining factors in the integrity of a marriage have proven to be income, education, and age, not sexuality or even religious belief. (1)(2) Before we go into the state of gay marriages, let’s look at the integrity of straight ones. In America, as of 2009, the rate at which a marriage would end in divorce was roughly 1 in 2. Those numbers alone don’t bode well for the argument of superior marital strength for heterosexuals. To add some depth to those numbers, 20% of marriages will end in 5 years, 35% in 10 years, 43% in 15 years, and 50% in 20 years. In addition to that, most marriages end in divorce between the ages of 20-24 with
(1) http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/05/does_gay_marriage_affect_marriage_or_divorce_rates_.html -With statistics taken from studies done by the CDC. (2) http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/marriage-divorce-statistics - With statistics taken from studies done by the CDC. Excludes divorce data for California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, and Minnesota