||[Nov. 28th, 2005|10:36 am]
There are many controversial issues facing the United States and her people right now. One of the biggest current issues is same-sex marriage. There is a large group of people who are for the legalization of same-sex marriage, but, at the same time, there is also a large group who oppose it. Even with the large group of people opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage it should be allowed, in the name of the equality our great nation boasts having.
Same-sex marriage should be allowed because, for America to claim that all have equality we can not refuse any right to a group of people for being different. When looking at this issue it is easy to see that it all comes down to equality, as was pressed in the opening paragraph and will be pressed throughout this essay. We can not claim that we promote equality with such a gross example of inequality staring us in the face.
Any way you look at this argument you must see that it is discrimination to deny same-sex couples this right. If we were to make the argument against same-sex marriage not a cry for same-sex couples seeking this right but a cry uttered by a racial minority the issue would not have risen. Immediately we would have seen the clear discrimination in the issue and the problem would have been fixed. We all agree that discrimination is wrong and we must see that there is no difference between discrimination by race or by sexual preference and by using this knowledge we can not deny same-sex couples the right to marry while claiming to be an equal nation. So, we must choose which is more important, our discrimination or our claim to equality, and, remember, if you choose discrimination it could be you who feels the weight of the discriminatory tide next. Of course, it is not as easy as asking people whether or not they choose equality or discrimination in an issue such as this. We must watch how they act and listen to what they say to know their answer. Many naysayers on this issue raise a number of questions and seem to speak truth but they’re vision is clouded here and to know the issue we must look at the arguments raised and counter them with truth. However, before we counter the opposing arguments we will raise questions each of us must ask ourselves before we can argue for or against same-sex marriage.
The first of which was originally raised by openly gay Massachusetts representative Barney Frank and is, "When I go home from today's work and I choose because of my nature to associate with another man, how is that a problem for you? How does that hurt you?" How does it hurt anyone? Truthfully, as is obvious, it does not hurt anyone. We must also ask ourselves if we should allow this issue to be raised. To deny a same-sex couple the right to get married, which is a solemn institution used to bind two loving, consensual people together, is a hair away from denying them the right to love each other and we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to walk along the edge of that knife. Can we allow the government to metaphorically step into our homes and tell us who we can and can not love? The answer is no, we can not. We can not give the government that kind of power. For our country to stay the great nation that it is we must hold onto our freedom and we must protect the freedom of others because if their freedom is taken, what is to stop the government from taking ours? With these questions raised we must now counter the arguments of that opposing same-sex marriage with the truth. We must stand against the opposition and show them what they can not see in their blindness.
When looking at the arguments of the opposing side to same-sex marriage you immediate notice weakness. They seem to raise real issues and they speak as one would expect but they do it blindly and without looking one might miss how they’re arguments are wrong. One of the “big dogs” is religion, which does raise a well-thought out and good argument against same-sex marriage off the field but on the field which this issue is fought, politics, religion can not be used to. In our constitution there is a wall separating state and church and with this wall the argument against same-sex marriage raised through religion is effectively thrown out of the battle here. So, though people can be against same-sex marriage for reasons of religion, they can not deny same-sex couples the right to get married for religious reasons.
There are those who claim that for equality the right to marry does not have to be granted. However, the very idea that things can be equal without equal rights is, perhaps sadly, laughable. For equality to exist there must be equality of rights. By denying the right of marriage to one group of people you have destroyed the concept of equality. A religious establishment can deny same-sex couples the right to a ceremony but denying the right to get married under the establishments of the law is, as was stated before, destroying the idea of equality.
There are also people out there who would have us believe that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is not a form of discrimination and is not a violation of same-sex couple’s civil rights. Again, however, this is another argument that is wrong and is, again sadly, laughable. These people who claim that it is not discrimination to deny these couples the right to marry claim that for an issue to be one of civil rights, discrimination must be against a group based on race, however, if we were to ask them whether the genocide of the Jews during the holocaust was caused by discrimination and they would surely agree that it was. They would have us believe that a difference in sexual orientation is not that same as a difference of race. However, we can not be blind to this gross inaccuracy. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry is just as wrong as denying the same right to Blacks or Native Americans and, as such, can not be allowed. Discrimination is the unfair treatment of a group based on prejudice and whether that prejudice is based on race or sexual orientation it can not be allowed.
Another sickeningly laughable reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry is the idea that homosexual couples can not raise a child. However, if we are to deny homosexual couples the right to marry for this reason we must also deny any and all single parents the right to have children because, if a homosexual couple can not raise a child then neither can a single parent. If we are to believe that two functioning adults of the same sex can not raise a child of the opposite or even of the same sex how are we to believe that one adult can? Ask yourself this question and surely you will see why this argument holds no water.
Others argue that by allowing the right of marriage to same-sex couples we are changing the definition of marriage and destroying the very core meaning of what marriage is. They claim that by allowing same-sex marriage we are changing the definition of marriage to mean a legally recognized “friendship” and by doing this we are opening the doors to a number of problems. One such problem is that by legally sanctioning a “friendship” as marriage we are allowing someone to get married to a friend merely for the legal benefits. They raise the question of what is to stop strangers from getting married, from taking advantage of this “new” definition of marriage merely for some misbegotten gains. They go on further to ask why not allow polygamy and polyandry? They try and use the claim of discrimination against those in favor of same-sex marriage by saying that denying those who are polygamous and/or polyandrous the right to marry we are discriminating against them. However, our laws state that marriage is between two people and homosexual couples are not asking for a drastic changing of our laws, they are merely asking for equal rights under them.
There are also those who claim that marriage is supposed to be a human relationship ordered toward reproduction, claim that procreation is the “end” of marriage. By taking this idea into effect, we must then deny the right to marry to anyone who is barren, or to couples who are too old to procreate. Why stop there? If marriage is a relationship ordered toward reproduction perhaps, shouldn’t we also break the bonds of marriage when a couple gets to old? What about when one wife chooses to close her fallopian tubes or a husband decides to get a vasectomy? They are no longer able to procreate and by this definition of marriage they can not come to such an “end.” Perhaps we should go so far as to deny the sale of contraceptives to a married couple because, again, that would keep them from reaching the so called “end” of marriage. Here, again, ask yourself these questions and you will clearly see that this argument is laughable.
Many opposing gay marriage claim that a civil union is good enough for “separate but equal.” Included in this idea of civil union in some manner is President Bush, saying that he might favor some kind of “contract” for gay couples. However, the past has shown us that separate but equal is not equal because separate denotes unequal. The only way for real equality on this issue is to make things equal and allow same-sex couples to get married.
Though these arguments are untruthful and sometimes even hurtful we must see that there is some truth in them. One truth is that allowing same-sex marriage will change the institution of marriage. Not in the ways that naysayers claim it will but by allowing same-sex marriage to happen we are changing it. Also, a same-sex couple may have trouble raising a child, but everyone does. No body is perfect and everyone will make mistakes. There is no same-sex couple out there that will raise a child perfectly but there is also no heterosexual couple out there that will, nor is there a single father or mother, but all of these families will do their best, and though they will make mistakes they will fix them, they will make it through the hard times and the good times and in the end, the child will be as best as he or she is meant to be.
There are many issues that face the United States right now and though many of them are needed and are important and need true, timely discussion there are also those out there that do not require so much time. There are those that do not need a million questions and a thousand court cases to figure out the right way. Same-sex marriage is one such issue. In this issue there is only one question, do you want discrimination or equality? So, ask yourself this question and it will be immediately clear that there is only one answer, yes to equality and yes to same-sex marriage.