Argumentative Essay on Gay Marriage
Marriage: the ceremonial binding of two people into one couple. Historically marriage has been the institution were a man and woman join together in the promise of love. Now days the traditional view of marriage is being changed by gay and lesbian couples demanding the same right to love, honor, and cherish their partners as heterosexual couples have. This argumentative essay on Gay Marriage will explore both sides on the debate of gay and lesbian marriages.
Historically, marriage was seen as a religious and civil union that brought together a man and woman for the purpose of joining family and community interest. Love may have been a part of choosing a mate but not the only factor. Also, a purpose of marriage was to provide a socially sanctioned place for sexual relations. Over time society has came to believe that love is the only reason to marry. Following the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s few people see sex as only being confined to the marriage bed. With these shifts in why to marry, what we expect from marriage has also changed. No longer is marriage a union that is based on the future and welfare of the community. Modern American society has privatized its view of marriage. Society sees marriage as an institution whose contours are plastic, whose purpose is to provide emotional satisfaction to the person concerned, and whose terms are negotiable and revocable. Marriage, traditionally limited to unions between men and woman, in its modern state is slowly beginning to include the idea of same sex couples. When love becomes the primary driving force to marry not the need to set up your own family then marriage can be open to any forms of partnerships.
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Currently a same sex couple cannot marry in the United States. A few states such as Vermont have same sex marriage laws that allow gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions, a formal ceremony is performed by a civil servant and the couple receives a piece of paper, similar to a marriage license, saying that they are committed to each other. A civil union is not recognized as legally binding by any state other then the state wear it was performed in. Also, civil unions afford none of the rights to same sex couples as marriage does to heterosexual couples.
While same sex marriages are not legal in the United States, Canada allows them. Over the summer the Canadian federal government decided not to contest the ruling of three provincial courts that had all came to the conclusion that denying homosexuals the right to marry violated Canada’s constitution. Canada, following the Netherlands and Belgium, is the first country in the western hemisphere to give full-fledged martial rights for gays and lesbians.
But how likely are same sex marriages to occur in the United States? Currently there is a case before the Massachusetts' State Supreme Court to determine if banning same sex marriages in that state violates civil liberty laws. Despite general tolerance of outed gays and lesbians and same sex civil unions, the country as a whole does not seem ready for full fledged same sex marriages. Less than 40% of the American population is in favor of same sex marriages. In 1996, then President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same sex marriages and allows states to refuse to recognition of them. Current President Bush has gone on the record as saying that marriage is a union between man and woman.
Current popular opinion does not hold with same sex marriage. Even if Massachusetts allows same sex marriages to take place, federal law allows for other states not to recognize the unions made in Massachusetts as being legal. For same sex marriage to happen in America each state would have to recognize that marriage is no longer a contract between a man and woman to share a life together put a contract between any two people to commit to a life long partnership.
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The American dream, one of freedom and equality, is held highly in the hearts of every citizen in the United States. With the “American” dream in mind, most will say they support equal rights for homosexuals. But if you ask these members of society if they are for gay marriage then the support of gay equality comes to a stop and majority of Americans vote for the Constitutional Amendment, which bans gay marriage. Americans do believe in providing equal rights to the gay community, which include no toleration of discrimination in jobs, rights protecting gays from indecent actions, rights allowing same access to housing, rights allowing advancement in government, and so on and so forth. However, the concept of gay marriage is still not considered an “equal right” to American people. A huge misconception is the idea that gays have a choice to whom they can feel attracted to. Just as heterosexuals cannot” choose” who they are drawn to, neither can homosexuals. Opposition movements promote that homosexuality is preventable. They believe living as a homosexual is not as easy as it is portrayed in media.
How can a member of the straight community say that homosexuality can be changed, or even if homosexuals can be happy or not. What about the research that has been proven that homosexuality is genetic? No one would ever choose a life that is faced with prejudice and discrimination. Even if its ethnicity, religious beliefs or homosexuality. The same assumption of choice leads to the accusation that homosexuality is all about sex, which is called sexual perversion. Again, the truth is that homosexuality is multi-faceted. Homosexuality is more about the love and affection than it is sex. Sex, in a committed relationship is about expressing love. This is true whether it may be in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. Being gay defines who that person is and makes up his or her identity. Very few straights can comprehend this. Instead, heterosexuals use their beliefs support for what “normal” should mean.
The most repeated cases’ opposing gay marriages is the idea that it is immoral, but the “immoral” label is only based on religious perceptions. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Religion is not, supposed to be the basis for our country’s laws according to the first amendment. Nevertheless, most of the individuals against gay marriage try to stress their religious beliefs onto others and make those beliefs into laws. Not everyone is religiously inclined to the same morals and beliefs. The gay community is simply fighting to be free from religion in determining the laws of the country. The opposition believes marriage should be between man and a woman; otherwise, the marriage would be untraditional. The anti-gay community also believes same-sex marriages would threaten the basis of marriage. I strongly disagree with this argument because no evidence can support this allegation.
How does giving a person the right to marry threaten marriage? Why is the right to get married only given to the heterosexual society? Courts recently say there is no reason why gays should not be allowed to marry realizing the American principles of human rights. The reasoning behind such laws and beliefs seems more like direct prejudice rather than an overwhelming reason worthy of denying people their civil rights. All in all, much of what the straight community believes to be true about gays is based only on stereotypes. There are those who assume gays are promiscuous and are unable to form long lasting relationships. I believe these stereotypes are extremely inaccurate. Even though unstable and sex-based relationships exist in both the gay and the straight communities, they are usually among the younger generation and only represent a small percentage.
Gay marriage is defined as a legal union between members of the same sex. Ten percent of Americans, the size of the gay community, are denied the right to marry. The individuals representing this group want what every heterosexual has, the right to legally marry their life partner. As a country we need to move away from false reasoning, whether it may be based on ignorance or prejudice. Every person needs to be allowed the civil right to wed his or her life partner. Our society must live up to the quota of the American dream. The Pledge of Allegiance states “liberty and justice for all” and so should every citizen in our country.