Hello 45th President of the United States,
Although I won’t be voting in the 2016 election, our political system and the future of our country are both very important to me. One major issue in our country that is frequently debated is gay marriage. Even after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, many people are still calling for the outlawing of gay marriage. There are plenty of arguments for both sides of this issue. In my opinion, gay marriage should always be legal in the United States. I have many valid points to backup my opinion, and I hope you take them all to heart.
First, many people claim that gay marriage should be outlawed because it violates their religion. While it’s true that their religion may frown upon gay marriage, I do not believe that this is a valid reason to outlaw it altogether. Under the 1st Amendment to our Constitution, all citizens are granted the freedom of religion. This also grants anyone the right to not practice a religion. Just because one religion frowns upon gay marriage does not mean that it should be outlawed for everyone. Does passing a law because of a certain denomination’s religious beliefs not violate both the separation of church and state, as well as a gay individual’s rights under the 1st Amendment?
Many supporters of outlawing gay marriage claim that legalizing it violates their religious beliefs and their rights under the 1st Amendment. This could not be further from the truth. Legalizing gay marriage only allows homosexual individuals to marry. It does not require that anyone become gay or marry someone of the same sex. Because of this, the legalization of gay marriage does not restrict or violate the freedoms of non-homosexuals. On the other hand, outlawing gay marriage does violate the rights of certain individuals. It gives homosexuals fewer rights than heterosexual citizens.
Secondly, it is often claimed that marriage should result in procreation. Many opponents of gay marriage believe that it should be outlawed because no children can come from the union. While it’s true that marriage often results in children, this is not guaranteed or required. If we go with the reasoning that marriage should only be legal if children can be born, this would also remove marriage rights to another group: the infertile. If marriage is only supposed to create children, does that not suggest that anyone incapable of having children should not be allowed to be married? When this is suggested, it is often quickly criticized. People claim that it’s different, as infertility is normally caused by something outside of the person’s control. They can’t help it. By that argument, however, gay marriage should not be outlawed. Nobody chooses to be gay. Why would anybody in today’s world? Would someone really choose a life of criticism and ridicule?
A third argument occasionally heard against gay marriage is that people do not want to see homosexuality become the “norm.” Their primary concern is that a child having gay parents, as well as seeing homosexuality displayed more commonly online and on television, will influence children to be gay. There is little evidence to back up this claim. As I’ve already stated previously, homosexuality is not a choice. It is the way someone was born, and it cannot be changed. The one major argument against this concern of “normalizing” homosexuality is quite simple. Most of the homosexuals living in our society today grew up seeing only straight couples on television. They primarily saw straight celebrities. They usually only saw straight friends. The people who could be denied their right to marriage because of the fear that their lives could influence young children did not have a gay influence growing up. They grew up in a world where who they were was not normal. These people grew up believing they were alone, and they still are gay. While certain aspects of our lives may be influenced by celebrities we idolize and programs we see on television, sexuality is not one of them.
Lastly, some people would claim that gay marriage should be outlawed because it ruins the sanctity of marriage. If those arguing such are referring to divorce rates, their data is flawed. According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Law, the average divorce rate for homosexual couples was 1.1% annually. If you look at the divorce rate for heterosexual marriages, it is 2% annually. If you expand this data to include every legally recognized form of same-sex couples, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, the separation rate only rises to 1.6%. This percentage is still less than the annual divorce rate of heterosexual marriages!
Now, let’s say that those arguing about marriage’s sanctity weren’t referring to ending in divorce. If we look back at the heterosexual marriages of some well-known celebrities, we can see some interesting statistics. The famous singer Britney Spears was married to a high school friend for 55 hours. Celebrity Kim Kardashian had a $10 million wedding, and it lasted 72 days. Larry King was divorced eight times! Kelsey Grammer ended his 15 year marriage over the phone. I truly cannot understand how some people can claim that gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage, but the heterosexual marriages I listed do not.
Gay marriage should not be classed any differently than marriage between straight couples. Marriage should never be about what someone’s gender is. The only thing that should matter in any relationship is that the two people being joined together truly love each other. Why should anybody have the right to tell another human being who they can or cannot love? Are we not all equal citizens? Should we not all be guaranteed the same rights? Someone else’s opinion should not matter. If someone wants to marry a person of the same sex, let them. It will not affect anyone else unless they let it. It’s not their life. Live and let live. You’re welcome to disagree with someone else’s way of life, but they are not below you. They are a human and deserve to be treated as such. I believe that it's important we preserve everyone's right to marry who they actually love and not who someone else thinks they should love.