Position Paper: same Sex Marriage
As time goes on, laws and our society changes gradually. If America were to stay the same and never change, imagine where we as a society would be. Over the course of the years, people fought for their civil right’s. From 1954–1968, African American’s protested and earned their freedom after slavery ended in the Civil Right’s movement, fighting Jim Crow laws. Another passion filled movement is the Women’s Right’s movement, which began in 1848 and is still developing to this day. In this struggle for equality, women fought for their right’s to work, vote, and have the same opportunities as men. The same sex marriage movement is up there with these other powerhouse events in history. What all three of the movements have in common is that they are all being fought to obtain the right of equality and freedom. Denying gay and lesbians the right to marry the person they love is discrimination. Just like not letting African Americans use the same water fountain or not allowing women the right to vote. Banning same sex marriage is discrimination and classification of human beings based on value.
On the 26th of June, 2015, the Supreme Court favored with a 5-4 decision to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 of the United States. Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was a pivotal swing vote in the case. He stated “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law, and the constitution grants them that right”. (Chappell 2015). This decision was made in regards to the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. Furthermore to give some background on the case, there were many other cases in different states leading up to the final case that got taken up to the Supreme Court. States like: Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Suits were filed in Federal District Courts, claiming that respondent state officials violated the 14th amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another state given full recognition.
The petitioners included fourteen gay men and women who’s partners were deceased. The 14th Amendment clearly states that people have equal protection under the law, and the rights of the citizens residing in each state. The amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage is lawfully licensed and performed out of state. A civil union was the compromise made with same sex couples. The union basically had all of the same benefits that a real marriage offered without the label of “marriage”. We are willing to give them the compromise of marriage without the title itself. People are so against same sex marriage that they want to rip away the liberating word of “marriage” that these couples want. Same sex couples just want to have equal rights just as straight couples do. There is no difference between a straight couple and gay couple, except for the gender of the two people. If they are in love, then let them celebrate that love by eloping.
In 2009, the American Medical Association officially recognized that excluding sexual minorities from marriage was significantly contributing to the overall poor health among same sex households compared to heterosexual households. Sexual orientation stigma and discrimination are at least associated with increased physiological distress and a generally decreased quality of life among gays and lesbians. A U.S. study that surveyed more than 36,000 people aged 18-70 found that homosexuals and bisexuals were far less physiologically distressed if they were in a legally recognized same sex marriage than if they were not. Depriving the LGBTQ community the benefits of marriage is not only discrimination, but it also put them at a disadvantage them by: restricting their citizenship, hindering their mental health, and it can disenfranchise them from various cultural, economic, legal, and political aspects of their lives. Living in areas where same sex marriage was banned showed mood disorders were up 36%, multiple mental health conditions were up 36%, and anxiety disorders launched up 248% higher.
The research shows that not accepting same sex marriages as they are, can effect the individuals health and well being. People are selfishly choosing to discriminate against sexual minorities while it doesn’t affect their lives at all. The legalization of same sex marriage actually does more good than harm. If same sex couples felt as included as straight couples, then instead of having an unhealthy mindset, they can focus on more important things like making money, and helping our economy. We need to accept homosexuals for who they are, and treat them as equally as any other person who wants the same things in life.
There is the old time argument that marriage is meant to be for procreation. The institution of marriage houses and supports distinct aspects of human life such as: sexual relations, love, conversation, and procreation; however, marriages can exist without any other traits. Countries like Iran and China promote prearranged marriages in which, more often than not, is not based on the aspect of love, but rather based on withholding power between families. A forced marriage is an unhappy partnership, although we allow the people to wed anyways. There has also been marriages granted to sterile people, older folks, and very irresponsible individuals. If gays and lesbians have a connection and are in love, then we should let them be banded together even if they cannot procreate. We allow straight couples to get married even though they may not want to have a family. Why let a couple get married without the intention to procreate, but deny same sex couples on the basis of that argument? Adoption is one of the biggest factors in why we should let same sex couples marry.
A survey from CBC stated that 2% of straights couples get divorced per year opposed to 1% of gay and lesbian couples. It’s a proven fact that many same sex couples form relationships that are more stable than many heterosexual relationships, thus giving adopted children a more secure emotional home. Same sex partners had to work a lot harder to become parents, so it is very likely that they would be mores committed guardians, and this would help the adoption rate increase. A loving adoptive family, homosexual or straight, is better than the foster care system. In 2017, a total of 194,377 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years. Assuming that most of these women did not plan to have a child and are in school, a better solution would be adoption rather than trying to raise that child themselves. A baby would grow up in a better environment with same sex parents then a teen mother with the father possibly not in the picture. The child would be growing up in a financially secure home and would have unconditional love. A 2013 study in Australia recorded that children on average scored higher on tests than those with heterosexual parents. No matter what sex you are, having or raising a child is based on love and being a consistent, responsible caregiver.
Many Christians are against same sex marriage. The passages in the Bible that condemn same sex marriage are located in the old testament. Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman for its an abomination”. Jesus does not mention anything about the topic in the new testament. The Bible also has no genetic research to back up its claims of calling the topic “an abomination”. Research shows that an individual cannot help what sex you are attracted to and this develops even before birth., so you cannot turn a person gay. This trait is programmed into one’s being their whole life, and in some cases takes time to develop all the way. For example, if a parent were to expose their son to toys traditionally made for girls, like dolls, it would not cause their son to be attracted to other boys. Biblical writers thought that people who were gay or lesbian committed the “sins” of lying with the opposite sex to rebel against God’s order. When in reality they weren’t trying to upset God or anybody else. They just felt attraction, and then fell in love as heterosexual couples do. The famous quote is “Love God, love your neighbor”. How can one love their neighbor if they are taking away their right to love, their happiness, and their mental state? And if God really did create all people, then is it not true that he made them gay in the first place?
People have the right to think, say, and write whatever opinions they may have. If they could take a step back and really look at a gay man or lesbian woman for what they are, rather than seeing a sin, then society would function better. Same sex couples want what heterosexual couples want. They want to be loved, give love, make a living for their families, and be treated equally. When change is wanted and needed, it is fought hard for. Rosa Parks said “no” to a white man on the bus. When Congress passed the 14th and 15th amendments which gave voting rights to African American men, Susan B. Anthony opposed the legislation because it did not include the right to vote for women. In other countries it’s still a crime to be a homosexual. In America on the other hand, astounding progress that has been made. Pete Buttigieg is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and is running to be the next, and first gay president of the United States. When you look up his name, rather than his campaign or his work as Mayor popping up, there are news articles that talk about his sexuality. One’s sexuality does not determine who you are as a person. Although great progress has been made over the years regarding same sex marriage, there is more to come. Banning same sex marriage is discrimination and classification of humans and we as a society will simply not let that happen. Every person, regardless of race, age, gender, or sexual preference, is a person regardless, and at the end of the day deserves the same rights and equality as one another.
- Advantages of an LGBT Adoptive Family. Lifelong Adoptions.
- Hertz, Frederick. Divorce & Marriage Rates for Same-Sex Couples. Huffington Post. 23 Jan. 2013. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/divorce-marriage-rates-fo_n_1085024.
- Obergefell v. Hodges. Oyez. 12 Apr. 2019, www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556.
- What Causes Sexual Orientation? Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ learn/sexual-orientation-gender/sexual-orientation/what-causes-sexual-orientation.
- Anderson, Ryan. Evidence Is Clear on the Benefits of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. World Economic Forum. 25 Aug. 2017. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/evidence-is- clear-on-the-benefits-of-legalising-same-sex-marriage/
- Chappell, Bill. Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States. NPR. 26 June 2015. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/26/417717613/supreme- court-rules-all-states-must-allow-same-sex-marriages.