Same Sex Marriage

Topics: Homosexuality, Same-sex marriage, Marriage Pages: 10 (4118 words) Published: June 8, 2005
Same-sex marriage There are many important issues discussed in public policy today. One of these issues is homosexual marriage. This is an important issue because it deals with a relatively large minority of the United States. This issue is put into many different lights. Those of morals, family values and religion; and those of equality, constitutionality, and right to privacy. The aspect with the most relevance is constantly left up to debate. Homosexuals are 'gay' due to a combination of factors. These factors are environment and society-the outside influences- and genetics. Hence, homosexuals do not decide their own sexuality, nor do heterosexuals. Therefore, homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals, one of these rights being marriage. If it is proven that there is indeed a gene that causes homosexuality, than we can draw a parallel between not allowing homosexuals to marry and not allowing blonds to marry. This is why it is of great importance to public policy whether or not homosexuality is predetermined. Some now believe that homosexuality is genetically predetermined by a gene on the X chromosome. If this is the case, then gays cannot decide their sexual orientation, for it is predetermined. Hence, not allowing those who are genetically inclined to prefer the same sex to marry leaves homosexuals with three choices. The first is to remain celibate their entire lives so as not to "live in sin"; the second is to marry someone they do not truly love or find attractive simply for the marriage benefits; the third and final choice is to live together with their partner and face the dirty looks of fellow citizens, simply because they are living together though they are not married. Marriage goes beyond the benefits, however. The institution of marriage is a very respected one, and holds much sentimental value for many people. If we look at the Declaration of Independence for inspiration, we read that all men are created equal. Does this exclude homosexuals? Many think so simply because they believe that marriage is not a right, but a privilege. This argument means that because gays are not going to bring a child into the world, they do not deserve the privilege of marriage. Those that oppose this argument see marriage in a different way. They believe that if you love someone, you have the right to bond yourself to them legally. There are many legal and economic benefits to marriage. Studies show that, generally, married couples are more economically stable. When Sandra Rovira's life partner died in her arms from cancer, her partner's company, AT&T, denied any and all death benefits to her. AT&T made it clear that if the law recognized homosexual unions, so would they. Twelve years earlier, Ms. Rovira and her partner, Ms. Forlini, formalized their relationship in a ceremony where the two women exchanged rings and vows. However, because this ceremony is not recognized by the government, Ms. Rovira was denied the benefits that would have been given to her if she was a man who had gone through the same ceremony. An AT&T spokesperson, Maureen Lynch, was quoted as saying, "If we have a benefit for spouses and you don't have a spouse, that doesn't mean we've discriminated... If you're single, you're not being discriminated against, you just don't have anybody who's eligible for that benefit."(New York Times, 1989) This woman was being discriminated against because she did not have the option of marrying her partner. If Ms. Rovira and Ms. Forlini could have obtained a marriage that was seen as valid by the law, they would have been able to share the following benefit with many married heterosexual couples. "By the simple public act of marrying, men and women achieve a substantial package of rights and duties which, collectively provide support and predictability to their marital relationship: 1) legal recognition of their sexual union, 2) legal enforcement of their mutual obligation to financially support each...

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