Gay Marriage

Topics: Same-sex marriage, Marriage, Homosexuality Pages: 8 (1276 words) Published: October 19, 2014
Homosexuality is everywhere today. It has become an increasingly

prominent issue as you can see in books, on television, in the media, and as we have

most recently seen, in politics. Given this trend of greater acceptance of gay

marriage, the issue of whether to legalize same-sex marriage comes about naturally.

Massachusetts has led the way by legalizing gay marriage. Responding to this

example, some states have taken steps towards accepting gay, while others are

considering laws and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage within state

borders. Recently, another controversy has risen, who should deal with the matter:

individual states or the federal government?

“Legal steps toward changing marriage laws to include same-sex couples

began in 1993 with legal challenges at the state level in Hawaii. This challenge failed

and was soon followed by the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 that

defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman and supports

states’ rights to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage across state lines. In 2000,

the Vermont state court upheld the rights of same-sex couples to equal benefits,

resulting in legal protections for civil unions” (eric.ed.gov). This breakthrough was

thought to start a revolution, with other states following in Vermont’s footsteps, but

this was not the case. Instead the debate only grew larger and larger, with many

controversies arising.

“Those opposed to same-sex marriage state that by allowing this act,

marriages everywhere will lose their honor and validity” (Kurtz). Opponents argue

that marriages between a man and a woman would lose their importance, if the

definition of marriage is expanded to include same-sex couples as well. The test of

time has proven this fear pointless. For several years, Germany, Spain, and the

Netherlands have allowed gay marriage without any signs of damage to

heterosexual couples. “Social life in these countries continues unchanged and no

dramatic increases have appeared in the divorce rate” (Dilanian). One cannot argue

that the so-called traditional marriages in Europe between a man and a woman have

been made less valuable.

A second controversy of same sex marriage is that it meddles with religious

beliefs, therefore is bending society’s views of morality. Several religions strictly

don’t allow any type of partnership with the same sex and many opponents object to

same-sex marriage on purely religious grounds. Opponents often claim that

extending marriage to same-sex couples will ruin the accepted purpose of marriage.

Cultural, religious, and traditional understanding can depict this. Religious beliefs

are important factors when determining right from wrong and what is morally just.

Many people use religious beliefs to choose a side in this ongoing battle because of

this reason. Individuals find themselves torn between their religious views and what

society needs.

Many argue that marriage is basically a religious ceremony. Because of this

many feel that legalizing gay marriage is sacrilegious. They feel that same-sex

marriage is an unjustified imposition of the state into what is necessarily a religious

matter. Because of religion's traditional role in blessing marriages and presiding

over wedding ceremonies this is understandable, but it's also incorrect.

Others wanting to ban gay marriage claim that allowing such marriages will

taint America’s family values by encouraging gay couples to raise families. Some

state that a child raised in a household with two parents of the same sex will create

problems psychologically and sociologically for that child. “How the child will cope

with this is a very important aspect of the debate. Once again, real life reveals that

these concerns lack foundation: gay couples have...
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