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Marriage and Individuals

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Marriage and Individuals
Anna
English 101.01
November 9, 2011
Marriage and Individuals
“No matter what language people speak-from Arabic to Yiddish, from Chinook to Chinese-marriage is what we use to describe a specific relationship of love and dedication to another person” (Wolfson 90). In the essay “What Is Marriage” by Evan Wolfson, he argues that marriage is a very important custom to our society from both social and spiritual aspects of life. Wolfson believes that as long as two people are in love whether if it is same-sex or opposite sex, couples have the right to be married. The government should permit and support same-sex couples to be married and become financially and socially stable. Likewise, Author Andrew Sullivan of “My Big Fat Straight Wedding” writes about his perspectives that everyone should acknowledge and treat the gay and lesbian people with respect as a human being.
Both authors have some similar perspectives on the same sex marriage topic; one of them being sociological views and the matter of same-sex couples. In addition, both Evan and Andrew believe that family and friends who support and understand gay couples have a major positive on same sex marriage. Both authors discussed that many gay or lesbian children are being raised in a non-gay environment and that has a negative impact on the lives of children. The differences between Wolfson and Sullivan’s viewpoints are that Sullivan emphasizes the individual citizen, and Wolfson emphasize the importance of same-sex marriage. Some people are still ignoring the fact that our society is changing and evolving rapidly. Same-sex couples have been suppressing their voices throughout many decades, and now they are ready to fight for their freedom and the right to be married.
In both essays, Wolfson and Sullivan expressed that same sex couples have been mistreated by our society, especially on the right to be married. According to Wolfson, “No matter how long they have been together as a couple, no matter how committed and loving their relationship…lesbians and gay Americans in this country are excluded from the legal right to obtain a civil marriage license and marry the person they love” (94).Wolfson’s statement is very true, according to “The Gay Marriage Center” there are only six states that allow legalized gay marriage. Approximately 47 percent of people oppose the idea of gay marriages. Similarly Sullivan wrote, “What California’s court did, then, was not to recognize a new right to same-sex marriage. It was to acknowledge an emergent cultured consensus… for many, a constitutional outrage” (104). Sullivan believed that it was unfair for California not to recognize same-sex couples. Both writers had the same perspective that society does not accept the concept of same-sex marriage because majority of the people believe that it’s not “normal’ and it is “wrong.”
Without family and friends supporting and accepting same-sex couples, many same-sex couples might not be so open or show who they truly are today. Most people believe that families are essential building blocks to form a community, and a strong social structure arises from that community. In his article, Wolfson stated, “I never doubted that my parents loved me and would love me, even if and when they found out I was gay” (Wolfson 99). Wolfson is fortunate to have this pure and unconditional love from his parents, but there are also others who have received rejections from their loved ones. Likewise Sullivan had the same inclination. “At that first post-engagement Christmas with my in-laws, I felt something shift. They had always been welcoming and supportive. But now I was family. I felt an end-a sudden, fateful end-to an emotional displacement I had experienced since childhood” (Sullivan 104-105). From these two passages, both writers portrayed that families and friends can have a significant impact on same-sex couples by giving them confidence to be their true self. Wolfson and Sullivan have the same view; countless gay adolescents are being raised in a non- gay environment and that has an enormous impact on them. According to Wolfson, “… gay kids grow up in the nongay world- raised by nongay parents; surrounded by mostly nongay siblings, friends, relatives, and teachers; exposed to nongay images and expectations everywhere, from church, television, and popular music” (Wolfson 99). Gay children who are raised in a hostile environment and by nongay parents are more likely to suffer from depression, social awkwardness and suicidal thoughts (Wing). Similarly, Sullivan talked about how many gay people of the next generation are raised in straight families; they question where they stand in their family lives and history. This can put tremendous pressure and stress upon them because many gay children are afraid of being rejected by their own family and peers.
Sullivan focused more on the individual self than their sex. “The individual citizen posited by the court is defined as prior to his or her sexual orientation. He or she exists as a person before he or she exists as straight or gay” (Sullivan 103). Sullivan clearly stated that if people could see lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex (LGBTI) as individuals and as human beings, then the equation would change. At the same time, Wolfson emphasized that gay and lesbian couples want to have the right to be married. “In fact, we want marriage-the same freedom to marry, with the same duties, dignity, security, and expression of love and equality as our nongay brothers and sisters have” (Wolfson 100). Wolfson talked about how a marriage license could grant them the full legal responsibilities and protections that government provides for married couples. Marriage can have tangible and intangible elements. For example, marriage can allow couples to access health care and medical decisions for families, as well as social security and other government benefits. Also, “marriage is a social statement preeminently describing and defining a person’s relationships and place in society” (Wolfson 91). Both writers have different styles, but they both have common opinions of same-sex marriage. They talked about society’s view of same sex couples. In addition, both Sullivan and Wolfson believe that family and friends influence have a major effect on same-sex couples. Also, both authors discussed that many gay or lesbian children are being raised in a non-gay community because in their living environment most gay or lesbian children feel isolated and different. Even though both authors agree that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, Sullivan focused more towards the individuals self and Wolfson had more emphasis on the importance of same-sex marriage. Both writers provided facts and examples to back up their opinions. Wolfson and Sullivan both agree that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry. Our society is changing and evolving rapidly day by day; traditions are being questioned and are in the process of adjusting itself to the way we live. Little by little, same-sex couples are emerging and protesting their freedom and rights to marry.

Works Cited
Sullivan, Andrew. "My Big Fat Straight Wedding." Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen and Bonnie. eds. Lisle. Rereading America. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 102-105. Print.
The Gay Marriage Research Center. n.d. Web. 7 November 2011.
Wing, Nick. Huff Post Politics. Huff Post Politics Inc, 25 May 2011. Web. 9 November 2011.
Wolfson, Evan. "What Is Marriage." Cullen, Robert, Gary Colombon and Bonnie.eds. Lisle. Rereading America. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2010. 89-101. Print.

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