Gay Rights: An Oxymoron
A monumental moment in the gay rights movement was when the state of California passed Proposition 8, a bill of legislature that solidified a ban on gay marriage. Also referred to as “Prop H8 (Hate)”, millions of Americans were shocked to learn that even in the liberal state of California, bigotry seemed to prevail. Comedian Jon Stewart remarks “Recently, the highest court in South Africa handed down a decision ordering the country’s parliament to extend marriage rights to all gay couples. So just to reiterate, America is now less progressive than South Africa.” In spite of being politically incorrect and crude, Stewart makes a valid point. When did the land of the free become the home of don’t disagree? As American’s we are guaranteed the right to think and feel however we choose to, but to the extent that one may act on these feelings is depressingly limited. The highly inflated argument for the ban on gay marriage is a profusely politicized and religiously charged debate. To say that same sex couples should have the right to marry because they are just as deserving as opposite-sex couples seems to be a cheap and flimsy argument, because it implies the possibility that same-sex couples may not meet some arbitrary standard. It is an unquestionable truth that a ban on gay marriage infringes upon the American principles of equal protection and equal opportunity.
A major aspect in the argument to ban gay marriage is that it invades the religious sanctity of marriage as an institution. This might prove true if marriage in America was a strictly religious entity. From the east coast to the west coast, you will not travel through one state that mandates a wedding ceremony to honor any specific religion. In America you are not required to hold a religious service to legally wed, and it is because of this that marriage is a civil affair (Miller). In any state a judge or a civil servant may perform a marriage ceremony. In some states a marriage certificate can be acquired by signing an official document administered by the clerk at any court of law. When two people make the decision to spend their lives together and marry one another, there is no mandate by law that this union is to be performed under an ordained minister or in any religious context. Those who believe that same sex couples should not be allowed to marry because of their devout religious conviction often fail to extend this fervent passion of religious standards towards other wedding ceremonies. For example, murder is the same degree of sin as homosexuality as defined by the Bible, yet we allow convicted felons to marry (Miller). From those who oppose same sex marriage, the same force of resistance should meet these murderous felons by logic. The hypocrisy in the religious argument against gay marriage is one of the ultimate debunking factors for debates on this issue.
Some who oppose same sex marriage argue that matrimony is for the purpose of procreating. Obviously only opposite sex couples can conceive children with one another, and in that, homosexual couples cannot take part in what is considered to be one of the major foundations of society. Because homosexuals cannot reproduce they have been exempted from the very institution that has a direct correlation to procreation. This argument may posses some merit if marriage is or ever was for the sole purpose of creating families and making children. It is now widely agreed that marriage only needs to consist of two individuals that seek companionship. Many heterosexual couples now get married with every intention of not having children. Should these people be instantaneously denied marriage or have a mandatory divorce? After all, aren’t they defeating the argued purpose of marriage by the procreation standard? But this decision to not reproduce is honored and protected by the Supreme Court ruling that couples have a right to decide if and when they are to have children (The Right to...
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Miller, Karen. “Same-Sex Marriage .” Opposing Viewpoint Resource Center. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2009. .
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