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
“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
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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