Friday, November 13, 2009

An objective look at gay marriage

By Talia Jae

This is a paper I wrote for a writing class. Its purely objective so
it does not have my personal opinion in it (although I'm sure you can
guess what it is). I don't agree with most of the opposition to gay
marriage but for the paper's sake I had to include it.

The idea of coming out as gay, lesbian, or queer is a very scary thing
for most homosexuals. In society today there is much controversy
surrounding the idea of men and women being attracted to anyone other
than the opposite sex. Families and communities are torn because of
this issue and many times ostracize individuals who dare to be
themselves. This leads into the issue of not only recognizing the idea
of different sexualities, but also recognizing the partnerships
between these people. Some feel that it is unnatural and immoral to be
homosexual, while others feel that everyone has a right to be
attracted and partnered to any person of any sex. Because of this, the
idea of gay marriage is a very charged issue.

There is a huge stigma around the idea of acknowledging these
partnerships and allowing them to have the same right to marry as a
straight couple does. Currently, there are only four states that
recognize same sex marriage and a few more that have repealed laws
allowing same sex marriage. One large factor that is influencing these
laws is the idea that same sex partners threaten the sanctity of
traditional marriage. The religious community feels that it will be
detrimental to society. Others believe that the love and commitment
between two people, gay or straight, has no effect on anyone else but
those two partners. The greater issue here is the idea of equality
between people of all sexualities.

The idea of equal rights for homosexuals has been supported and fought
for by people in the gay community as well as their allies. Those in
support of gay marriage rights have been fighting to pass laws in all
states that will allow gay couples to legally marry just as straight
couples have. They feel that someone should not have their rights as a
human taken away because of the person they are partnered with. If a
gay couple can legally be married then it gives them the right to make
medical decisions on behalf of each other. It will also allow them to
collect life insurance or pensions that one partner may have through a
career. The opposing side does not agree.

Some people in society don’t agree with the idea of gay marriage and
gay rights. They believe that gay marriage threatens the idea of
marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. There is a belief
that allowing homosexuals to marry will dilute the sacred union and
create more divorces. They feel that more people of any sexuality
being allowed to marry will create an idea of commitments being taken
less serious and cause more polygamy. This idea causes some to feel
that homosexuality promotes multiple partners versus a lifelong

With this idea in mind, gay marriage also challenges the model of the
nuclear family. Supporters of gay marriage believe that same sex
partners should have equal rights to raise children, this being one
partner’s biological child or a mutually adopted child. Not having the
right to legally marry affects a same sex couple’s ability to adopt
children. As of now, a small percentage of states legally support gay
couples adopting a child. Some states have made it illegal and others
are undecided. Communities in support of gay families adopting feel
that it would not be detrimental to the children adopted and that same
sex couples are just as capable of parenting as straight couples. They
also would argue that with the extremely high rate of divorced parents
and single parent households, society should not be concerned with a
same sex couple parenting children, married or not.

With the high rate of divorce, other communities believe that same sex
partners would only add to the strife of children growing up in broken
households. Their concern is that the rate of children being born or
adopted into single parent or unmarried households would destroy the
idea of a child needing a mother and father in the home. Marriage has
been slowly changing from a lifelong commitment to an expendable
commodity; divorce rates have steadily soared and unmarried parents
have become much more common. The opposing party feels that adding gay
parents to the list of changes would only harm children growing up in
these households. Keeping homosexuals from marrying and parenting
seems to be a good option in their opinion.

Marriage has drastically changed over the last 50 years. Divorce rates
are higher and children living in single parent households are more
common. People of all sexualities are fighting for their right to be
recognized as equal. The idea of one person taking another’s rights
away because of the person they choose to love seems unreasonable, yet
some feel it is what will save marriage and commitment. The issue here
is who is really affected by same sex partners and is it really
detrimental to society. Marriage and divorce is not new and neither is
homosexuality. It is not society’s place to tell someone who they can
and cannot love. There may never be a real answer as to who is right
and who is wrong but equality for all is undeniably necessary for all.
Both sides of this argument have one strong belief in common: They are
doing what they believe is right and best for society today.

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