Arguments for Gay Marriage in America
In the United States, same-sex marriage has been a controversial issue for many years where 17 states practice it while 33 others have banned the practice. It is an issue that has undergone resistance from various circles. Some arguments leveled against it include the fact that it goes against the traditional definition of marriage, it is immoral as it goes against religious beliefs (Duara, 1). It can be noted that there are over 100 groups in America, which support gay marriage one of them being the Democratic Party, which has been indispensable and influential in the fight for gay rights. Apart from this, gay marriage has received a lot of support as according to the Gay Rights Movement, gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexual couples. Therefore, this paper will argue that gay marriage is indeed a civil issue and therefore is a right that can be exercised by any individual if they choose to.
The United States’ Democratic Party, of which the president belongs, supports the right for all individuals and families to have equal protection, respect, and responsibilities under the law. Additionally, it also supports equal treatment of same-sex couples and argues that they should be given an equal opportunity to marry without government interference. Additionally, senators Joe Donnelly, Bill Nelson, and Heidi Heitkamp recently joined the 50 pro-gay senators in the Democratic Party stating that denying these individuals the right to marry would be going against their freedoms. They base their arguments on the fact that all citizens have a right to equal treatment, which is clearly stated in the constitution (Rauch, 193). This implies that just like all other American citizens, gay people in the society deserve the opportunity to live happy and free lives with the partner of their choice, and denying them this chance is also denying them a constitutional right of freedom and association.
Furthermore, gay marriage has recently been introduced in certain states such as in Utah where district Judge Robert Shelby refused to block his ruling thereby making it legal in the state. It was reported that he made his ruling under the reality that, by banning same-sex marriage, he would be violating the right of gay spouses to equal protection and due process under the law (Dobner, 1). This case reveals the idea that the issue of same-sex marriage has brought with it legal intricacies, which even after being challenged in court have been proved to be valid concerns. Additionally, the ruling in essence adds weight to the fact that this is a civil issue that should be treated like any other, such as the right to vote or the right to freedom of speech.
In addition, American society is currently changing and becoming diverse and individuals need to change with it in order to appreciate culture. At this point, one can see that the introduction of gay marriage does not corrupt the American tradition, but adds new culture thereby making it more diverse and richer. In line with this, refusing same-sex couples the right to marry is equal to denying a person their rights on the basis of their cultural background. This amounts to discrimination, which is denying a person their rights. Therefore, banning of gay marriages is a form of discrimination which is a violation of rights.
Conversely, anti-gay groups such as Americans for Truth about Homosexuality often state that gay marriages in America will corrupt marriage institutions (Debate.Org, 1). This is despite the fact that divorce has always been in existence. The number of divorces has been increasing at an alarming rate because, in the 1960s, only around 28% of the population got divorced (Rauch, 106). This analysis makes it ostensible that the marriage institution has always been experiencing a crisis and individuals in the society are doing nothing to protect it. However, there is no substantive proof that gay marriages are likely to follow the same trend as heterosexual ones, on which the data is based.
It is apparent that most debates against gay marriage revolve around religious factors. For instance, some religious associations, such as the American Family Association, refuse to offer services to same-sex spouses as they believe that these institutions are immoral and undermine the objective of human sexuality and marriage, which mostly aims at producing children. Nonetheless, it can also be argued in this case that marriage is also intended for companionship and therefore gay couples have the right to enjoy this too. Moreover, people who engage in gay marriages can also adopt children and therefore contribute positively, even from a religious perspective. Religious views also influence individuals’ views on the basis of their exposure and affiliation to religious people and practices, and not necessarily objective views against the matter (Olson, Cade & Harrison, 342). This may cause a religious bias against gay marriages. Instead, they argue that same-sex marriages often lead to psychologically stable and productive lives, and as a result of this, citizens eventually lead happy and comfortable lives.
Likewise, there are pro-gay groups that claim gay married couples are better off because most privileges, which go with marriage, include ways to help couples support one another. This implies that by marrying, gays usually support each other, and therefore have a higher chance of being more productive in the community. Additionally, individuals who enter into gay marriages often end up adopting children thereby helping control the family planning issue. For instance, most gay couples usually need children and as such, they often approach child care organizations so that they can seek children to adopt. This means that by legalizing gay marriages, the government will essentially be reducing the cases of homeless and malnourished children.
There have been various arguments leveled against the recognition of same-sex marriage as a civil right. One of these is that pro-gay legislation has been applied as a measure to satisfy particular interest groups while ignoring the effect that this may have on the rest of the population (Lax & Phillips, 4). Some arguments also claim that the support for same-sex marriage is a result of political pressure that is not necessarily founded on any rule of law. However, considering that this issue has undergone the legal process several times, which has led to its eventual legalization in some states, such arguments do not hold. It therefore should be recognized as a civil right whereby individuals are free to choose whether to practice it or not.
From this analysis, it is evident that gay marriage has been a sensitive issue in America as most individuals supporting it believe that the gay population deserves an equal share of the American pie, which has been established by the constitution. It has been shown that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue that needs to be treated with the same commitment as other civil rights recognized in the constitution. Furthermore, it is apparent that gay marriages do not affect the marriage institution or religion and should, therefore, be accepted in every American state. In addition to this, individuals should be given the freedom to choose whatever religion and culture they want to practice so long as it does not conflict or violate other people’s rights. The examination also proves that the introduction of gay marriages could strengthen the economy as individuals will lead productive and psychologically stable lives. Additionally, it has been established that the non-acceptance of same-sex marriage has led to a lot of discrimination and suffering in American society, which is unfair treatment of citizens who are equally entitled to enjoy their citizenship, although within the legal bounds.
Debate.Org. Gay Marriage Debate: History and Debate of Gay Marriage. 2013. Http://www.debate.org/gay-marriage/ Accessed on February 21, 2014.
Dobner, Jennifer. Gay Marriages Proceed in Utah as Judge Refuses to Block Ruling. Thomson Reuters, 2011. Http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9BM00Z20131223?irpc=932 Accessed on February 21, 2014.
Duara, Nigel & Jonathan Cooper. Oregon Won’t Defend Gay-Marriage Ban in Lawsuit. ABC News, 2014. Http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/oregon-defend-gay-marriage-ban-lawsuit- 22603097 Accessed on February 21, 2014.
Lax, Jeffrey Richard, and Justin Huhtelin Phillips. Gay rights in the states: Public opinion and policy responsiveness. Columbia University, 2009.
Olson, Laura R., Wendy Cadge, and James T. Harrison. “Religion and Public Opinion about Same‐Sex Marriage*.” Social Science Quarterly 87.2 (2006): 340-360.
Rauch, Jonathan. Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. New York: Henry Holt and Co, 2005. Print.