Should Gay Marriage be Legal?
This letter has been written to provide evidence for why gay marriage should be legalized.
Dear President Obama:
Today, we live in a society more egalitarian than ever before; however, injustices still remain, and should be addressed. One such injustice is the inability of homosexual couples to marry, despite having the same rights as any American. Opponents claim that same-sex marriages are unnatural, and defeat the purpose of marriage, which, in their eyes, is reproduction. The unions are unholy, they say, and go against the rights of taxpayers. This letter has been written to address and disprove these arguments. Homosexuals should have the same right to marry as any other man or woman, for marriage is the right of all humans, as has been proclaimed by our justice system many times over.
On May 21, 2008, Glen Lavy announced in the Los Angeles Times “The movement for polygamy and polyamory is poised to use the successes of same-sex couples as a springboard for further de-institutionalizing marriage.” He believed that homosexuality would open the gateway to other, less desirable forms of marriage, and, as such, should not be instituted. However, by this logic, a homosexual has the same sentience and sense of being as an animal, and is viewed the same way in the eyes of the law. This fallacy is insane, for a homosexual is no beast, but a human, with thoughts and ideas as complex as ours. Meanwhile, an animal typically still serves to instinct, rather than reasoning, and would not understand the concept of marriage in the same way as a human, since it does not truly exist in the wild. Furthermore, a gender is not the same as a species, and does not make a person any more or less deserving of rights than another. The belief that supporting homosexual marriage is the same as promoting polygamy can also be countered, as it holds having several partners as being in the same regard as having the same gender as one partner. Marriage between a couple is tolerated when a man proposes to a woman, or when a woman proposes to a man. If the gender of one person was changed, e.g. a man proposing to a man, the relationship between the partners would not be any different than that of a man to a woman. However, as polygamy would have a man married to more than one partner, the relationship between the partners and the man would likely be less significant, since it would be shared with multiple people and be less significant in its meaning. As such, homosexual marriage should not be compared to bestiality or polygamy.
Another claim to why homosexual marriages should not be made legal, as can be read about in David Edward’s “Grow a Spine!” article on October 13, 2014, is that homosexual marriage is "inconsistent with nature and nature’s law,” as worded by Mike Huckabee. Homosexuality, in such cases, is viewed as unholy, and goes against the first amendment by forcing others to tolerate something against their religious beliefs. However, in this context, everything that is not viewed as kosher should be banned from the United States, since the consumption of products that are not of this category goes against the beliefs of Jews. Another argument, as portrayed in Peter Sprigg’s “The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage,”, is that taxpayers should not be forced to pay taxes for something that they do not believe in. The man states “One of the key arguments often heard in support of homosexual civil marriage revolves around all the government 'benefits' that homosexuals claim they are denied. Many of these 'benefits' involve one thing–taxpayer money that homosexuals are eager to get their hands on.” This argument is absurd, as not only would homosexuals not actually gain any money that members of straight couples wouldn’t, but, under the suggested circumstances, racists would not have to pay for programs to help grant equal rights to black people, misogynists would not have to pay for women to achieve equal rights, and an environmentalist who seeks cleaner sources of energy would not have to pay taxes on oil or electricity from coal plants. The government does not exist to solely support a taxpayer’s views alone, and needs the taxes in order to have a budget and function. And, while it would initially cost money to provide the right to marry--an estimated $596 in mandatory spending and $302 in discretionary spending, according to the 2009 Congressional Budget Office--not providing the right is goes against the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” held by the UN and multiple Supreme Court cases that have declared marriage the right of all humans. The religious beliefs of one group of people should not take away the rights of another. For this reason, texts like the Bible should not infringe upon the rights of homosexuals to marry.
Still others argue that the purpose of marriage is reproduction, and that giving the right to marry to homosexuals would ruin the significance and meaning of this definition of marriage. Publishers such as Dana Mack argue that the allocation of the right would move its purpose from reproduction to personal gratification. Furthermore, Napp Nazworth and other opposers fear that children need both a father and mother, as girls without a father and mother are more likely to engage in early sexual activity resulting in teenage pregnancies (according to Bruce J. Ellis’ “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?”) However, reproduction is still possible without marriage, and many couples raise a child without marriage, or worse, abandon the child. Meanwhile, homosexual couples are unable to gain the financial benefits of marriage to help protect a child, even if they adopt one. Further, they will have more difficulty adopting a child, since they cannot provide the same financial care for one. This leaves children to suffer without any parents, much less both a father and mother. Furthermore, the increase in risk of teen pregnancy may be partially due to same-sex couples being unable to explain the significance of marriage convincingly to their children, since the members of the couple would themselves are not permitted to be married. Moreover, since reproduction is not limited specifically to marriage, the latter’s main purpose could not be the former. Otherwise, teenage pregnancies would be impossible, since teens cannot be married, and, as such, could not have children. Since reproduction is not the purpose of marriage, and the significance of marriage would not be reduced if homosexuals could be married, the fact that same-sex marriages are not yet legal is unsettling.
There is no reason for homosexual marriage to not be legal. Freedom of religion (or from religion) is a constitutional right, and, as such, religion should not prevent homosexuals from having the same rights we have. Just as the United States of America has fought for equality for race, gender, and religious freedom, it needs to fight to protect the rights of an American to love and marry a partner of legal age and by mutual consent--hetero- or homosexual.
The freedom to choose to love another individual in a committed relationship should not be legislated by the government.
Laura Langbein and Mark A. Yost, Jr., "Same-Sex Marriage and Negative Externalities," Social Science Quarterly, June 2009
M.V. Lee Badgett and Jody L. Herman, "Patterns of Relationship Recognition by Same-Sex Couples in the United States," williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu, Nov. 2011
American Foundation for Equal Rights, "14 Supreme Court Cases: Marriage Is a Fundamental Right," afer.org, July 19, 2012
United Nations, ""The Universal Declaration of Human Rights," un.org (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
Glen Lavy, "Gay Marriage and the 'Slippery Slope,'" www.latimes.com, May 21, 2008
David Edwards, "‘Grow a Spine!’: Huckabee Explodes at GOP for Giving up as Gays Break 'Nature’s Law' of Marriage," rawstory.com, Oct. 13, 2014
Peter Sprigg, "The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage," Family Research Council website (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
Amber G. Marcellino, et al., "Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate H.R. 2517" www.cbo.gov, Dec. 17, 2009
Dana Mack, "Now What for Marriage?," www.wsj.com, Aug. 6, 2010
Napp Nazworth, "Kids Need Both Mom and Dad, Says Gay Man Opposed to Gay Marriage," christianpost.com, Jan. 28, 2013
Bruce J. Ellis, "Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?" Child Development, May 2003