When The Right is Wrong:
Gay Marriage Should be Legalized
Should gays be allowed to be legally married and have that marriage recognized on a national level? This is an issue that is making headlines across the country and is the topic of conversations on Capitol Hill and Facebook forums, alike. Those who oppose gay marriage give a vast amount of reasons that range from the conservative to the crazy, from the religious to the ridiculous. However, these reasons do not give anyone the right to prevent taxpaying, law abiding citizens from participating in what many see as a staple of western civilization? A vast majority of people who categorize themselves as Christian and/or Conservative cite biblical principles as sufficient reason for denying gay people the privilege of becoming legally married, while others fear what psychological damage can be done to children. There are also others who believe that if gays are allowed to be legally married, that this could lead to legalized rape, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality. Other people who oppose gay marriage agree with former President George W. Bush, that “marriage between a man and a woman are the pillars of western civilization” and cite that to allow the meaning of marriage to change would bring down God’s wrath upon the United States. They also believe that children would suffer, that the traditional family would be destroyed, that public schools will embrace homosexuality and teach it to children, that adoption laws would become obsolete and children would grow up without a mother or father, which would inflict irreparable damage on the child. Some who oppose are afraid that their religious freedoms may be lost. To some, these reasons may seem outlandish, bigoted, unfounded, and just plain idiotic, but for those who oppose, they are valid and are seen as a threat to a lifestyle in which they find comfort. However, just because someone believes something, doesn’t make it true, and a person’s moral values or beliefs should not dictate another’s civil right that are unalienable and endowed to us by merely being human and a citizen of this great nation. There are many questions that need to be answered because this is an issue that is not going away.
Fig. 1. Percentage of Americans For and Against Same-Sex Marriage (1996, 2013) Twenty years ago, gay Americans settled for living their lives in secret. They relegated their existence to living in the shadows, drawing as little attention as possible. But today, more gay Americans are speaking up and demanding equality in the workplace, in society, and in marriage. America is split down the middle when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage. CNN reports that a recent gallop poll shows that those in favor of gay marriage have a slight edge over those who oppose. In 1996, only 32 percent of Americans were in favor of same-sex marriage, but recent polls show that number has climbed to 52 percent (see fig. 1.) This number reflects an expanse in tolerance and demonstrates that people are evolving. It also shows that more people no longer believe that a person’s life should be dictated by someone else’s moral standards. (Stark) Gay Americans are contributing members of society. They have normal lives; they raise and support families, contribute to their community, sustain employment, and pay taxes. Should their rights be taken away simply because of their personal sexual preference? Should gays have their rights dictated to them by people who aren’t affected by their personal home life? Gay Americans deserve to get married and have it recognized federally simply because they are citizens. Those who wrote the Declaration of Independence said it most eloquently when they penned these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”, and...
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