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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

Imagine finally finding the person you believe you can spend the rest of your life with which you can spend the rest of your life. Dating or even living with that special someone that you have found and at last having them ask the big question “Will you marry me?”rings.bmpbut legally not being allowed to participate in the ceremony of marriage as many others do everyday. Not because there's no love between you and your partner, but because you and your partner are the same sex. Many individuals believe that same sex marriages should not be legalized and those individuals also find the idea of same sex marriages disgusting, but who are those individuals to say whom you can and whom you cannot love? The relationship between two individuals is special no matter where you come from, who you are, or what gender you are. So why is it that only heterosexual couples are legally allowed to get married everywhere and homosexual couples not? This repetitive issue affects the way many Americans live their life and it shouldn’t be that way. That's why I propose same sex marriages should be legalized.


Participation in the ceremony of marriage has been a battle fought by many different races and genders over the years. It was only after the civil war that African-Americans were allowed to marry in all areas of the U.S. Also, it was only after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that mixed race couples could marry anywhere in the U.S (Religious Tolerance.com). The battles which occurred promoted equality among the United States and also created more acceptance of diversity. Not everyone is the same. Not everything you do will be understood by most, but marriage, the vow to commit to spend the rest of your life with another whom you love and cherish, shouldn’t be limited to those who are only heterosexual. Yes, there are many factors you should take into consideration when bringing this issue up. The issue of children will one day play a role in marriage as well as religion playing a major factor in the decision to legalize same sex marriages, but these issues at hand are not as extreme as others make it out to be. The reality of it all is that same-sex marriages are as equally important as heterosexual marriages.


Children are the biggest issue at hand when discussing the topic of same sex marriages. Same sex parents face the biggest prejudices ever. The idea that their children will not be raised the same way or will in fact turn out homosexual themselves is just a way to make people believe that homosexuality is causing harm on society. Others believe that children of gay and lesbian parents will not be as mentally stable as children of heterosexual parents. For a third argument many believe that children of gay and lesbian parents are more prone to being teased as a child. According to a research information provided by the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin, after performing a meta-analysis the results summarize the available information comparing the impact of heterosexual and homosexual parents, using a variety of measures, on the child or children. The analyses examine parenting practices, the emotional well-being of the child, and the sexual orientation of the child. The results demonstrate no differences on any measures between the heterosexual and homosexual parents regarding parenting styles, emotional adjustment, and sexual orientation of the child or children. In another study done by APA Public Interest Directorate, “results of research to date suggest that children of lesbian and gay parents have normal relationships with peers and that their relationships with adults of both sexes are also satisfactory.” Yes children might be more prone to being teased, but if many children are teased in general. If children didn’t tease them for that I’m sure they would come up with plenty of other things to tease other children for. It’s just a thing children do. Many children grow up in homes with only one parent around and in some situations it is considered the “norm”, but those individuals aren’t criticized anymore. They’re not judged on what their IQ is or how mentally stable they are. It’s honestly just about how good your parenting was when you were raised. If homosexual parents can provide the same parenting heterosexual parents can, what is the big difference?


Same sex marriage and religion is another discussion in which may raise eyebrows in a discussion. Many different religions have a different intake on their opinion of same sex marriages. For example, Mormons have been in a situation similar to the ones of homosexual couples. For many years Mormons battled for acceptance of their alternative lifestyle. In the Mormon religion polygamy is commonly accepted and not questioned, but in the eyes of many other Americans who are not of the same religion their actions seem to be quite outrageous (Mormons, Polygamy, and Same-Sex Marriage (Book Notes: Divided by God). After facing countless battles for others to view their alternative lifestyle as one of the norm, Mormons finally gained the acceptance of many, but now when asked to accept another form of alternative marriages they are against it. It seems kind of awkward because Mormons would know first hand the trouble that homosexual couples are going through. No not everyone is Mormon, so individuals would have to take a look at other religions to see their reasoning. In reality the Bible has no control over American law, and shouldn’t prevent homosexual marriages from being illegal.


The argument of same sex marriages seems like a clear cut case. Why should two willing adults not be allowed to marry while other adults in similar situations have no objections to their marriage? Equality during marriages is not just an issue for today, but has been one of the past. The illegality of marriage between whites and blacks in the 1960s back then was considered non-“traditional”, but nowadays interracial marriages are considered just as “traditional” as marriages between people of the same race. If homosexuals want to make such marital commitments to one another, and to society, then why should they be prevented from doing so while other adults, equivalent in all other ways, are allowed to do so (Equal Rights: The Case for Gay Marriage)? Many individuals agree that everyone should be treated equal regardless of race or gender, so why should sexuality be excluded from equal treatment. Though civil unions are now allowed, civil unions are not fair and do not have the added benefits of marriage.

In the United States today about 1,400 rights are associated with marriage. Some examples of those rights are joint adoption, joint parenting, benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare and spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home (Legal and Economic Benefits of Marriage). Those benefits are just the start of a long list of more, which are associated with marriage. Individuals who are willing to protect the rights of homosexuals agree that they should be treated equally, but when the subject of marriage appears into the question their minds quickly change and don’t believe it is the same. This brings up the argument of civil unions being equal to marriage. That statement is completely false. In a civil union there is no guaranteed joint responsibility to your partner or to children in areas, which include child support, debts to creditors, taxes, etc. Also, special economic privileges and other benefits (including special rates and/or discounts) given by private employers and institutions are only made available to married couples. Therefore social and economic benefits and responsibilities of marriage are denied to homosexual couples that cannot marry (Legal and Economic Benefits of Marriage). The image below (provided by www.eccopac.org/Laws/Graphics/MarriageMap.GIF) shows the states which allow civil unions and other laws for homosexual rights. map.bmp


In Belgium and the Netherlands full legal rights to wed have been given to homosexual couples. Canada has also taken action to make their country one that experiences the way of life for others. In Canada there are harsh repercussions for anyone who decides to go against the countries wishes of acceptance. Churches teaching that homosexuality are faced with harsh sanctions and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Clergy could face criminal charges if they refuse to perform a marriage of two homosexuals. Parents who want their children to "opt out" of classes that promote homosexual behavior could also face criminal charges. Educators, even those teaching in Christian schools, could not refuse to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum (The Aftermath of Gay Activism and Marriages in Other Countries).


Nowadays it is tradition which plays a major role in the beliefs of our society. Traditionally marriage is only for heterosexual couples, but that’s just another stupid excuse. Many years slavery was a traditional institution, but after realizing the evils of that way of being society conformed and removed forms of slavery (Bidstrup). Individuals today are constantly trying to find the easy way out to not legalize homosexual marriages because people are afraid of change, but our society has changed so much within the last couple of decades, why should we stop now? We’ve legalized interracial marriages, we’ve come to accept polygamy in the Mormon religion, but we’ve failed to accept that homosexuals should be able to marry. Preventing these marriages from occurring is a huge form of discrimination against the gay and lesbian community. “We’re people, human beings, American citizens,” said James Stewart, a retired teacher from Dania Beach. “It’s an old clichéd line, but you know what? If we’re going to pay our taxes, we deserve every right that should be granted to every American citizen.” The truth is they are American citizens who have a right which every other American has. Discrimination seems like the perfect way to explain that sort of behavior. Not only do they have to face the challenges brought on to them through everyday life, but they have a government who is making their lives harder by not allowing them to participate in this act.


It seems as though society in general needs to try to control something they don’t understand. The rights of many in the past have been not given to those just as equal them. That doesn’t seem fair and neither does withholding the right of marriage to American citizens who are just as equal as other American citizens though their lifestyle choices are different. What many individuals such as myself don’t seem to understand is how can so many individuals be supportive of gay rights in all other aspects except marriage? That statement makes it appear as though homosexuals are accepted in the eyes of everyone else in every other aspect of life not including marriage and parenting. For all homosexual couples around the world the increasing support for the legalization of same sex marriage will hopefully eventually lead to the decision for the government to legalize it. Homosexuality may not be common to many individuals, but it is a way of life for many people around the world. Legalizing same sex marriages would benefit these individuals in so many ways especially, economically and socially. Having same sex marriages legalized would help these people become more widely accepted. flag.bmpThe picture along the left, provided by Google, is an image of the homosexual pride flag, a flag which shows their unity to stand up for what they believe is right. The arguments in this paper have shown the different concerns many individuals would have if the legalization of same sex marriages occurred, but it still stands that it is a right of every American citizen to be able to get married, so why should that change because your preferences are not the same as others? Proposing the legalization of same sex marriages is a step in a new direction for the entire world, but that step is needed for the acceptance of all same sex couples.


Works Cited


Balz, Dan. "Feingold Backs Legalizing Same-Sex Marriages." Washington Post 5 Apr.

2006. 15 Apr. 2006 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-



Bidstrup, Scott. "Gay Marriage: the Arguments and the Motives." 15 Apr. 2006



Burrell, N, and M Allen. "Comparing the Impact of Homosexual and Heterosexual

Parents on Children: Meta-Analysis of Existing Research." PubMed. 17 Apr. 2006 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9010824&dopt=Abstract>.


"Calif. High Court Asked to Block Gay Marriage." MSNBC. 25 Feb. 2004. Associated

Press. 15 Apr. 2006 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4251510/>.


Cline, Austin. "Mormons, Polygamy, and Same-Sex Marriage (Book Notes: Divided by

God)." About. 10 Apr. 2006. The New York Times Company. 17 Apr. 2006



"Research Summary on Lesbian and Gay Parenting." APA Public Interest Directorate.

American Psychological Association. 17 Apr. 2006 <http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html>.


Robinson, B A. "Homosexual (Same-Sex) Marriages--All the Sides to the Issue."

Religious Tolerance. 16 Apr. 2006. 16 Apr. 2006



Robinson, B A. "Legal and Economic Benefits of Marriage." Religious Tolerance. 10

June 2001. 16 Apr. 2006 <http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bene.htm>.


"The Aftermath of Gay Activism and Marriages in Other Countries." Experience in Other Countries That Have Legalized Gay Marriage. 18 Apr. 2006 <http://www.straight-talk.net/gay/international.shtml>.


"The Case for Gay Marriages." The Economist. 24 Feb. 2004. 17 Apr. 2006


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