Gay Marriage in Society
Same sex marriage is probably one of the most controversial topics today. Traditionally, marriage has not only been defined as a legal commitment, but also as a religious commitment between a man and woman, one that shows the ultimate expression of love and passion. Today, homosexual relationships have been becoming more prominent as the years go by, and now it is being accepted county-wide. Despite this, they still have been almost forbidden in a way to marry. There are a few states that have established a new form of commitment called a “civil union,” which is essentially is marriage, but still people shy away from referring to it as “marriage," avoiding the word all together to the point of giving it its own name.
Politicians have their own views on it to gain the people’s votes: some are for it, and some are against it. A big issue politically is the “faith and credit” clause in the Constitution itself, which states that if one state makes it a law, all others must recognize it. For example, if a gay couple gets married in a state that allows same sex marriage and later moves to a new state, that state must recognize that they are indeed married. This actually would mean that legally, one state’s law makes gay marriage legal for the entire country. So, we are at a stand-still. Lost in all the legal battles and political chaos is one basic question: Should we allow homosexual couples to marry?
There are so many arguments out there on the pros and cons of gay marriage. Many are biased on both sides, but others still hold quite a bit of strength on the topic. Beginning with the pros, my first point is that to deny them marriage is a violation of religious freedom, and freedom in general.
The main reason for denying gay marriage is that some people believe that it is a sin. However, the first amendment of the Constitution states that a person’s belief and religious view, or lack thereof, is to be protected. This is our religious freedom. Marriage by the state is a secular activity, and the government cannot make something illegal just because a religion says they should. If the government did so, something as silly as taking the Lord’s Name in vain will become a felony, and to have another God will become a criminal act. The point is, if we want to call gay marriage an abomination and forbid it from happening, you are taking way rights of freedom. They are still people.
Another pro to allowing same sex marriage is that adoption rates will raise as time progresses. The desire to start a family with the one you love reaches beyond just heterosexual couples, and since homosexual couples cannot procreate themselves, it will increase the desire to adopt. Since there are so many children without a home and a family to call their own, this is a good thing. Although, some will argue that raising children in that kind of environment can be confusing to them. Yet, there are many studies that state that it’s no more confusing to an adopted child raised by two men or two women than an adopted child raised in a heterosexual family. This is what they grow up knowing, this is who they love as a family, so why would it be confusing? This, as well as all other benefits of marriage, should belong to all couples. This brings me to my next point.
Marriage is so much more than just a legal status. Along with it comes joint-decision making when it comes to medical and legal situations. It also affects many things in our daily lives as a society, such as filing for taxes, ownership on property, and insurance. We have all been to a hospital at one point in our lives to visit someone who is ill. Think of this scenario: A gay couple has been together for more than 30 years. One of them gets very ill and is admitted into the hospital. Denying them marriage means that even visitation may not be allowed because the other is not considered a “spouse or family member.” Now, what if, God forbid, it’s a serious medical issue? Who decides if surgery is done or not? The other has no voice on what happens to their partner. It is completely unfair to deny these privileges simply because they are not married in the eyes of the state. Homosexuality has been around long enough, and is widely accepted nowadays, although they are still considered a minority.
Denying them marriage is minority discrimination. Yes, some believe that this point is pushing it a bit, but you know what, it is the absolute truth. Homosexuality is still considered a minority. For too long has homosexuality been considered as a “deviant sexual behavior.” There is a lot of evidence out there suggesting that it is actually biological. America was founded on the belief that although the majority rules, the minority should still be protected. This is why the Bill of Rights exists, as well as equal rights amendments. Denying homosexuals the right to marry is just like denying Hispanic or black couples the rights to marry. The only thing that should matter in marriage is love.
The main reason heterosexual couples get married is not just for the establishment of a legal status. It’s not just for the joint filing of taxes. It’s not just for the protection of each other in medical decision making. It’s because it is the ultimate expression of love, passion, and devotion. It is the commitment that says “I am so in love with you that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to share with you all of life’s ups and downs, despite all others. I want to be at your side until I breathe my final breath.” Should it really matter that the couple isn’t what society is used to? Some people will argue that living wills and other legal contracts that can give homosexuals essentially the same rights as a married couple. However, if that is the case, why don't all heterosexual couples use these legal maneuvers instead of getting married? Let’s face it. There’s so much more to it.
One belief is that to allow same sex marriage, it would damage the definition of the institution of marriage. Did you know that over 50% of marriages end in divorce nowadays? This is already causing enough damage to the respect of the institution of marriage. Some people believe that to throw the legalization of same sex marriage into this would cause even more damage. A law allowing gay marriage would increase the number of joke or non-serious marriages for the sake of saving on taxes. Doesn’t that already happen? People get married on a whim in Vegas all the time, so why would a law allowing gay marriage make a difference?
One issue that doesn’t pertain to the religious side of legalizing same sex marriage is that allowing such could create a chain reaction, a slippery slope if you will, on things that can be legalized as far as marriage goes. Though same sex marriage may not hurt anyone, it could mark the beginning of a chain of ideas that could, in the long run, destroy the whole idea of marriage. For example, if someone wants to marry his dog, why shouldn't he be able to? What if someone wants to have more than one wife or husband, or wants to marry his blow-up doll? Of course, these ideas may seem a bit crazy, but keep in mind, all it takes is a few activists to open the door. It won’t matter if 95% of the population disagrees with the policy, one judge can interpret the case the way he or she wants to, and they can impose a law on everyone. A perfect example of this would be how two judges in California declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because of the words “under God." If the decision hadn't been overturned, it would have prevented millions of children from being able to say the pledge every morning, despite the fact that more than 95% of Americans disagreed with the decision.
There is one point that it seems no one thinks about. After all my research, not once had I seen it, but knowing how cruel society can be, it very well could be possible: the legalization of same sex marriage can open the door for an increase on hate crimes toward homosexuals. There are many people out there commonly known as “homo-phobes”. My only fear about the legalization is that this could be the final straw for the extremists out there, and could mean that so many more innocent people are injured or killed based on the sole fact that they are homosexual.
Where I Stand
Now, what is my position on this matter? As I’m sure you are well aware from the things previously mentioned, I firmly believe that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be allowed to marry. My Great-Uncle and Godfather is one of the greatest men I know. He proudly was a member of the United States Air Force, and he served his country well until he was honorably discharged. He also serves his church as a pastor, helping at every single event held at the church, and is a devout Christian. I also learned a few years ago that he was homosexual. That changed nothing about who he is. He is still my Godfather, and I love him the same. I am now engaged to a wonderful, loving man, and it breaks my heart to know that, although he is in as much love with his partner as I am with my fiancé, he cannot legally marry, yet I can. It’s unfair. Also, being a singer and performer, I am constantly surrounded by other performers, and a good percentage of the males are homosexual. They are still amazing people, capable of the same love and affection that heterosexuals are. What makes them so different from the rest of us?
Although I am a devout Catholic-Christian, I see no sin in these people. Some people want to quote the Scripture and say that in the Bible it says that God hates homosexuals, and that being gay is a sin. I don’t believe this. I have read the Bible cover-to cover, and not once does it mention anything on God’s position on this matter. How dare we sit there and attempt to put words in His mouth? If someone wants to go down that route, the Bible DOES say “you shall not pass judgment, lest ye be judged.” I am a firm believer that when it comes to relationships and marriage, there are only four things that matter: respect, trust, honesty, and love. I don’t believe that things like age or orientation should really be an issue. Age is just a number, and if you love someone of the same sex rather than the opposite, as long as you hold to those four things, why does it matter? I have seen so much love and compassion between every single couple that is really in love with each other, gay or straight.
Some are saying that marriage would become meaningless if same sex marriage was legal. My response? To put it bluntly (and somewhat sarcastically), it would be such a shame to see the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55 hour long marriage be destroyed. Lets face it, how on earth can we make it any worse? The celebrity world has already torn it to shreds with the meaningless, love-less marriages! Our most recent example would be the whole thing with Kim Kardashian! We all knew that one was fake to begin with! Look at what happens on a regular basis in Las Vegas; they have express weddings and drive-thru weddings for God’s sake! So tell me, if the heterosexual community has already torn the sanctity of marriage apart with meaningless marriages, how is it that a marriage based on love is wrong because it’s between two men or two women?
A dear friend of mine loved his partner so deeply, so purely, that he gave up everything to be with him, and his partner did the same. Against all odds, through a tremendous amount of sacrifice, they found a way to make it work. How is it that such love is a sin? Why is it that if it is not between a man and woman, it’s no longer considered love? If someone is in love, true love, I think they should be allowed to marry.
A big fear that some parents have is that with the legalization of same sex marriage, it could encourage their children to be gay. Could it happen? Its possible, but not probable. People create their own identity based on many things, one of which is their environment. However, the truth is, it's up to us on what we allow to change us.
This topic is something that I am very passionate about. I see the damage of not having made a decision is causing to society. The fact that we as a country have not decided on this matter is causing more problems than if it was legalized! Just look at the things the Westboro Baptist Church is doing. They hold their signs up saying that America is damned to hell, and that its all because of the homosexual community. If America is damned to hell, I’m sure that is not the reason. Of course, things like this will never go away, there will always be those that want to protest one thing or another. It seems that that is human nature.
The legalization of same sex marriage WILL NOT do the damage they think it will. Our children will not become gay because they see it in their environment. To say that would be the same as saying that our children will become tall if they are around tall people. It will not be the gateway to crazier marriages, because a dog, nor a blow-up doll, cannot sign a marriage contract or other corresponding legal documents. It is not impossible to adapt to new social norms. We do it all the time, every single day, without even knowing it. To say that gay parents will raise gay children is the same as saying that straight people only raise straight children. It doesn’t work that way. The excuse that “they’re gay, they cannot produce children” should not be a factor on whether or not they can get married. What about infertile couples, and couples who are in the older community? They are allowed to get married, right? And then, there’s the idea of children needing a male and female role model in their lives in order to be successful. Lance Armstrong was raised by a single mother. He never knew his father, but he seems to have become successful, hasn't he? He's not the only one – Bill Clinton, Tom Cruise, and even President Barack Obama, were all raised by single parents. Someone raised by a gay parent? Actress and producer Jodie Foster was raised by a lesbian mother.
America was founded on the idea of equality. Yet we sit here now saying that someone is not entitled to the same things as another, all because of skin color, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. How did we lose that idea? What happened? We need to return to our roots. Homosexuals are still people, and it is wrong to say that they are not entitled to the same things heterosexuals are. They have the right to marry.