By Veronica Lange
Texas Government 2306, Section 56427
One of today’s most controversial issues is the subject of same-sex marriage. There is much opposition toward same-sex marriage for a variety of reasons, most consisting of moral, religious, and family unit views. Even in the wake of these views and the increasing intensity of the fight against same-sex marriage, there is much support for the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Rulings on court cases and civil rights laws are some examples of the support of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Part of the reason there is so much opposition and argument surrounding this subject is the perceived advantages and disadvantages of same-sex marriage.
There are many reasons that those against same-sex marriage have for being in disagreement. One of the biggest reasons given against it is religious in nature. Conservative Christians are historically opposed to sexual relations that are not of a reproductive nature. A common citing of biblical scriptures, such as Leviticus 18:22 which states, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination” (King James Bible), is also often used to give an answer for their resistance (LaSala, 2007). Another reason that some oppose same-sex marriage is the fear that it will harm the family unit, namely children. It is thought that traditional marriage between a man and a woman is healthier for children. The structure of same-sex couples raising children is often closely associated with that of single parent homes (Wolf, 2013). A notorious study used to display this thought process is the study done by the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business, otherwise known as the Booth study. This study illustrated that children in homes of married parents do better than single or cohabitating parental homes (Ford, 2012). Conservative groups use this study to indicate that a child in a fatherless home does not do as well as those in a home with a married mother and father, thus, in their views, a home with two mothers and no father or vice versa would still face similar issues. Another argument against same-sex marriage is that if it were to receive approval then those who view it as morally wrong would be forced to endorse approval of something entirely against their personal views. Both sides of this issue cry out against ones personal beliefs being pushed on another. Just as supporters stand against conservative Christians pushing their views against same-sex marriage, anti same-sex marriage advocates stand opposed for the very same reason. As with any argument, there are two sides of an issue. The question of constitutionality of same-sex marriage has those that oppose but also those in favor.
The most popular position for same-sex marriage activists is the civil rights angle. The nation’s constitutional tradition is that marriage is a fundamental right. In the case of Zablocki vs. Redhail, the court determined that the right to marry is a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause (Fried, 2006). The matter of this case was to question the constitutionality of restrictions of interracial marriage. Within this case, the court has already recognized the right to marry as a basic right lending weight to the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. The issue of racial discrimination was approached in a very broad manner in this case and in the instance of gender preference, a similar approach may succeed. Another argument for the constitutionality of same-sex marriage is the benefits that married heterosexual couples enjoy. These benefits include spousal insurance coverage, inheritance of spousal assets like Social Security and pension, rights on decisions over the health of a spouse when incapacitated as well as visitation of spouse in medical care. Married couples also retain the right to not be forced to testify...
References: Ellis, Blake. "Gay Marriage Boosts NYC Economy by $259 Million in First Year." CNN Money. Cable News Network, 24 July 2012. Web. 5 Aug. 2013. <http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/24/pf/gay-marriage-economic-impact/index.htm>.
Ford, Zack. "Focus on the Family Distorts Another 'Fatherless ' Study to Oppose Marriage Equality." Think Progress. Center for American Progress Action Fund, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 3 Aug. 2013. <http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/01/06/399180/focus-on-the-family-distorts-another-fatherless-study-to-oppose-marriage-equality/>.
Fried, Charles. Modern Liberty: And the Limits of Government. New York: W.W.Norton, 2006. Print.
LaSala, Michael C. "Too Many Eggs in the Wrong Basket: A Queer Critique of the Same-Sex Marriage Movement." SIRIS. N.p., Apr. 2007. Web. 3 Aug. 2013.
Wolf, Richard. "The Voice against Gay Marriage." Siris. N.p., 22 May 2013. Web. 3 Aug. 2013.
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