It is difficult to explain why it is that people of the same sex should be able to marry. It is more difficult to explain this to the die hard believers of the idea that the sanctity of marriage should be between a man and a woman. Our country was founded around the basic freedoms that should be extended to all people no matter race, nationality, gender or sexual orientation. If we argue the matter of law, “The Supreme Court has declared that marriage is a basic civil right, older than the Constitution itself. When civil rights are at stake there is no such thing as deserving them; they are intrinsic to our very way of life” (Gannon. par 1). Since marriage is a civil right then it should be extended to all, no matter the circumstance, anything other than that is discrimination. There are many reasons that we, as Americans, can argue that marriage should only be between a man and woman; however, in doing research on this subject one would find that there are also many reasons that people should be able to marry who they love. The Bible states that homosexuality is an abomination, a sin in the eyes of God, but there are many other sins far worse. History shows that marriage is for procreation and since same sex couples cannot repopulate then there is no point in the union. “Marriage, however, is no longer (if it ever was) primarily for the conception and raising of children. It is all about the closeness and companionship of two people” (Gannon. par 6). I choose now to look for the reasons that people say same-sex marriage should not be allowed and show you why these are weak arguments when held against all that we as Americans hold dear.
One argument from people that oppose same-sex marriage is that they are not discriminating against gay people because they don’t have the ingrained right to marry. Marriage should be an institution of one man and one woman and all others would be a danger to society at large. Recognizing same-sex marriage would mean redefining the legal right of marriage (Dailey. par 2). This argument has many flaws since discrimination occurs when someone is denied an advantage or opportunity under prejudice. Throughout history marriage has been recorded to be between one man and one woman; however, “once upon a time, not so long ago, marriage was considered a contract between two men [...] women were treated as property, and their consent was not required for marriage to be legal” (Gannon. par 9). Gay rights are the same thing as civil rights. Civil rights are positive legal entitlements for all people in the United States. It is the right of equal treatment for all. There are no people in America that should not have these rights extended to them. This would mean that “Gay Rights” are not special rights, they are freedom, the universal right of all citizens. (Bond. par 27). One even may argue that since civil rights have been fought for by so many, it would make them more precious than anything. Discrimination occurs when one says, “you are not like me and therefore you do not have the right to enjoy the things that I do.” Marriage is a civil right and should be treated as just that.
Those who use the tactic of religion will argue that the Bible states that it is a sin, or even go as far as to call it an abomination in the eyes of God. “Because homosexuality is a sin, we should not encourage homosexual relationships by recognizing their unions” (Sullivan. par 6). In the Bible it does in fact state that homosexuality is a sin, so for the God-fearing Christian it would be their duty to stop such sinful and abominable acts. In theory this is a good argument; however, there are flaws in the argument itself. Although the Bible does state that homosexuality is a sin, there are sins equally bad if not worse and also called abominations. Within these sins are adultery and murder, which in itself are far worst than homosexuality. Neither of these abominations are used to restrict marriage (Gannon. par 3). If a murderer can marry from a prison cell then a homosexual should be able to marry the person that they are in love with. They have never broken a law that is punishable by death. Furthermore if a person who has already proven they are incapable of being faithful to a spouse can remarry then it should not be a problem for a same-sex couple to marry. There is not one state in our great Nation that requires a religious service to be married, this is a civil affair. As much as people may want to believe that their religion should have something do with the laws of our country, all religions are not the same, which is why the separation of church and state is in place.
One more common argument for the ban of same-sex marriage is that marriage is for procreation. It is said that, “Marriage is the foundation of our society, insofar as it involves the getting and rearing of the next generation” (Gannon. par 9). The argument also goes on to state that a two parent, opposite sex, household is more stable than that of a same-sex couple. Hearing this it may sound understandable and even logical at first. As previously stated, marriage is no longer mainly established for the concept of having and raising children. Many opposite sex couples today do not want to have children, even though they are biologically capable and they are still allowed to marry. The Supreme Court has ruled that couples have the right to decide when and if they want to have children at all. It is not the right of the state to tell them that they have to. Furthermore the argument that a two parent, opposite sex, household is a better environment to raise children in is very misleading. In theory the idea that a mom and a dad raise happy kids sounds great, but in reality, this still does not guarantee happiness in childhood. Nor does it mean that the child will be safe. No man or woman in this country has ever had to obtain a license proving that they can be a fit parent. That being said, this argument does not succeed in its goal to persuade (Baird, Rosenbaum 194).
Marriage is a civil right. There must come a day when the old ways of the world with all of its judgement against the homosexual community and their right to marry ends. In researching this topic many will find that homosexual rights are just as important as the rights that the black community fought for in the 60’s. It is incumbent on us as Americans, to realize that not letting same-sex couples marry is discrimination (Bond. par 7).
Love is a right that all people should have. The ability to commit to one person because of love is the right of all people, and no person has the right to take that away. It is hard to be different in a society of old ways and thoughts. The belief that God does not love those who are homosexual is not a pleasant one. If God did not want this to take place then homosexual men and women would not be on this earth. They are here and have the ability and right to love who they want to. All of this boils down to one question. Are they hurting you? No, no-one is hurt by same-sex marriage so there is no reason to take away the rights and privileges that should be afforded to the homosexual community.
Baird, Robert, Stuart E. Rosenbaum Same Sex Marriage The Moral and Legal Debate. New York: Prothemus Books 1997
Bond, Julian. "Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Discriminates Against Gays." Opposing Viewpoints: Discrimination. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Mesa Community College. 19 Apr. 2009 [pic]
Dailey, Timothy J. "Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Does Not Discriminate Against Gays." Opposing Viewpoints: Discrimination. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Mesa Community College. 19 Apr. 2009
Gannon, Heather Ann. "Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Allowed." Opposing Viewpoints: Family. Ed. Karen Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Mesa Community College. 19 Apr. 2009
Sullivan, Andrew. "Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Would Strengthen Marriage." Opposing Viewpoints: The Family. Ed. Auriana Ojeda. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Mesa Community College. 19 Apr. 2009.