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In Macklemore’s song “Same Love” he states: “America the brave, still fears what we don’t know”. (Haggerty) This song was written to raise awareness and tolerance to all types of people, especially the LGBT community. Like any other fight for human rights, there is always some resistance to change, simply because people fear new ideas and believe that they will jeopardize their ways. Clearly, this is not the case. There are several countries on the globe that have legalized same-sex marriage at a national level: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales), and Uruguay. (CNN) Same-sex marriage should be legalized in the United States of America for various reasons based on the grounds of human rights, relieving social and economic stress, and the real American way.
America is a country that loves to boast about its personal and religious freedoms; the ideology that being gay is a choice is quite a hypocritical belief for an American. We choose who we associate ourselves with, what colleges we go to, and what life we want to live. Likewise, dating and marriage are conscious choices that we can control. No matter how hard one may try to convince themselves, being gay is most certainly not a choice. Everyone is born with different characteristics that others are not. For example, some have a “short fuse,” some are organized or good leaders, and then there are some who have different sexual preferences. Additionally, hate crimes are rampant against those who are openly gay. Who would willingly choose to become a second class citizen, prone to death threats and abuse? There is even biological proof that shows that homosexuals are, in fact, justified in their desires. Researcher Simon LeVay did a brain study in 1991 on sections of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the body’s homeostatic systems such as sleep and emotional activity, taken from deceased homosexuals and heterosexuals to compare them. What he found was that one cell cluster in the hypothalamus was “reliably larger” in heterosexual men than in women and homosexual men. (432) Therefore, more than enough proof is available to show that loving the same gender is not a choice from both a physical and emotional perspective.
It is clear that the movement towards legalizing gay marriage is only growing; many states have already legalized gay marriage. (Gay Marriage ProCon) It is quite evident that gay people are being accepted by society significantly more each day. If same-sex couples can gain the same rights and responsibilities that heterosexual married couples have, then there will be a great relief for the economy, families of gay couples, and most importantly, society as a whole (atheism.about.com). For couples that are not legally married, it is extremely difficult for partners to support each other and make important decisions, especially in medical emergencies. Even though these burdens should fall into the hands of one’s life partner, they are often left to other family members, which results in an unnecessary amount of stress and financial struggles. If the family can rely on their family member’s spouse, then they will be relieved of anxiety about their finances and their loved one (atheism.about.com).
Among many benefits that are only applicable to married couples, military benefits are the perfect example. The United States permits any military couple, including same-sex couples, to have military benefits as long as they are legally married in a state where the marriage is recognized (nolo.com). It is unfortunate for homosexual people that have a partner in the military, because if they do not live in the right state, they may have to move just to ensure that they can have the same rights as any other military couple. This is a clear and concise example of why this issue should be decided upon by the Supreme Court. Judge Judy made her stance on the gay marriage issue quite clear in an interview. “To me, if you are a good citizen, you pay your taxes, and you work, then you should have all the rights and responsibilities of everybody else.”(The View) Judge Judy also stated that she has performed same-sex marriages and she further explained her beliefs on whether or not she thinks the issue should be voted upon at a federal level. “I’m a girl that doesn’t believe in big government; however, I think in this case, that’s not an issue that should be left to individual states to decide. That is a position that the United States of America has to take with regard to its citizens, so I don’t think the state-by-state constitution is working.” (The View).
One of the greatest controversies surrounding gay marriage is the religious aspect. Those who oppose gay marriage often argue that marriage is a sacred institution, and all of the rules stated in the bible by God regarding it should be followed. Allowing the same gender to marry is one instance that, supposedly, violates many of God’s rules and if broken would upset him tremendously. For example, referring back to the biblical story of the anguish of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are prime examples of why Christians believe this. These cities were allegedly destroyed for their shameless sin and, more commonly, because of the abundance of homosexual affairs. However, looking more closely, they weren’t just destroyed because of the homosexual relations involved, but rather, because of an accumulation of many sins throughout the corrupt cities, a fact that many conveniently tend to forget in an argument. Furthermore, our society is much different than it was 2500 years ago. There is a numerous amount of other rules in the bible such as, in Ezra 10:2-1, interracial marriage is forbidden and, in Deuteronomy 22:11, we are not to wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. (NIV) More importantly, there are specific rules about marriage that we do not follow today either. Deuteronomy 25:5-6 states:
5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. 6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel. (NIV)
Clearly we don’t follow these rules today; so why, in our modern culture, would we allow interracial marriage and widows marrying outside the family, but not allow gay marriage? The logic is inconsistent. Besides, even if people use religion as their only reasoning against gay marriage, there is still a separation of church and state in America.
Another argument against gay marriage comes from the idea that that the main purpose for marriage is to raise children. Those who are against it believe that same-sex parents are not suitable to raise children. Denying children the chance to have a “mom and dad” also denies them the chance to grow up in a normal environment where they will not succeed in life. This claim is absurd, as there is no psychological evidence that a child having two dads or two moms affects them in a negative way. The American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all endorsed the legalization of same-sex marriage to provide a stable framework for families. (Lipp) Moreover, legalizing gay marriage would only make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt some of the 100,000 children in the United States looking for a home. (Gay Marriage ProCon) This would give them a stable home that they would not have otherwise. This results in a “win-win scenario” for both sides. Finally, what makes a difference in a child’s life is the love they receive, not what gender it comes from. There are plenty of children who grow up in today’s society with just one mom or one dad, and there aren’t laws forbidding that. The same principle should be applied for having two of the same gender.
There are many well-known reasons behind the counter-arguments for gay marriage, such as religion and procreation; however, there are many reasons that are not as well-known because they are so ignorant and almost laughable. The following are some of the most absurd counter-arguments that there are. According to one organization known as the Family Research Council, Gender roles would go out the window in all marriages…and this would be bad?
“If same-sex civil marriage is institutionalized, our society would take yet another step down the road of de-gendering marriage. There would be more use of gender-neutral language like “partners” and–more importantly–more social and cultural pressures to neuter our thinking and our behaviors in marriage. But marriages typically thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical ways and are attentive to the gendered needs and aspirations of their husband or wife. For instance, women are happier when their husband earns the lion’s share of the household income. Likewise, couples are less likely to divorce when the wife concentrates on childrearing and the husband concentrates on breadwinning, as University of Virginia psychologist Mavis Hetherington admits.” (FRC)
The information here clearly is plausible; gender roles would, in fact, become less significant. However, this fact has been warped to make it sound as though women like to just stay home and raise children and depend on their man. If the general public is more accepting and gender-neutral, then people will perhaps be less sexist. Why is it that a bad thing? Perhaps it is a good thing to “neuter” this ignorant thinking. Another biased counter-argument against gay marriage claims that this legalization of same-sex marriages would “undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage” (FRC). This is simply another stereotype that homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals. Clearly, the opposing side of this great debate has a lot of negative claims, but no evidence to support them. For example, the Family Research Council claims that “Men who are married earn more, work harder, drink less, live longer, spend more time attending religious services, and are more sexually faithful”. However, the words that follow are just more claims that have no evidence to support the initial statement. “It is unlikely that homosexual marriage would domesticate men in the way that heterosexual marriage does. It is also extremely unlikely that the biological effects of heterosexual marriage on men would also be found in homosexual marriage. Thus, gay activists who argue that same-sex civil marriage will domesticate gay men are, in all likelihood, clinging to a foolish hope.” (FRC) There were no facts mentioned in their claim at all, as they use the word “unlikely” as opposed to “impossible”, because none of it can be proven.
The legalization of same-sex, marriage is one of the many controversial subjects in our culture and society today, but the arguments against it plainly do not hold up to careful examination. In regards to the use of the bible for arguments against gay marriage, Camille Beredjick states, “…we must guard against attempting to use ancient texts to regulate modern ethics and morals, especially those ancient texts whose endorsements of other social institutions, such as slavery, would be universally condemned today, even by the most adherent of Christians.” (Friendly Atheist) Putting all arguments aside, the gay agenda is just to be happy, and nothing more.
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