Gay Marriage argument Essay

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Gay Marriage argument Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2047

  • Pages: 8

Gay Marriage argument

The issue of legalizing gay marriage has always been a matter of great controversy in the United States. Many people believe that legalizing gay marriage is immoral and unconstitutional. “Untraditional,” “unlawful,” and “unethical” are some of the many terms used to describe gay marriage. Not all individuals feel this way. The issue has created widespread division both politically and socially.

Advocates strongly believe that gay marriage is a constitutional right, while the opposition claims it has too many social disadvantages. In present day society the number of peoples in support of gay marriage is higher than ever. One of the many advocates for pro gay marriage is Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry. Wolfson presents numerous arguments for the legalization of gay marriage in his article “Without Nationwide Gay Marriage, U.S. Government Discriminates.”

Using emotional, logical, and legal appeal, Wolfson presents his argument. Same-sex couples should be able to celebrate their relationships through the bondage of marriage just like heterosexual couples. Many same-sex couples want to marry and they should be able to since it is there human right. Evan Wolfson explains it flawlessly when he proclaimed “Marriage is an important moment in life when we make a public promise of love and dedication to the person we are building a life with, and ask our friends and family to support us and hold us accountable. Couples who have made that commitment in life should have the same commitment under the law; called marriage.”

It is unjust to rid taxpayer citizens of this right. It is societies norm that marriage should be between a man and woman, but it is not written anywhere within the constitution. It is a saddening injustice to discriminate citizens due to their sexual orientation. This is appropriately presented when Wolfson writes “Under the law, marriage touches every aspect of life, from birth to death, with taxes in between. Denial of the freedom to marry is one of the harshest inequalities inflicted on lesbian and gay families—discrimination by their own government…particularly in these tough economic times.”

The benefits of marriage should be extended to all individual during the present economic situation. According to Wolfson, Withholding from these benefits by preventing same sex marriage is a prime example of discrimination. There is no logical to reason to prevent gay marriage since it has been proven successful. “Gay couples share in the freedom to marry in six states and the District of Columbia; the sky hasn’t fallen.” Gay marriage has been proven successful in other parts of the world along with some of the United States. Same sex marriage is gaining more and more acceptance, yet it is discriminated against state and federal governments.

The Federal government targets homosexual couples through the enactment of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Wolfstan claims “DOMA harms married same-sex couples by withholding the more than one thousand federal responsibilities and protections accorded all other married couples.” Benefits such as social security survivor and health coverage are withheld from “married” couples. The constitution commands “equal justice for all” and Wolfson believes its time to abide by our nation’s written law.

Although Evan Wolfson presents valid points, there are many holes in his argument. The author disregards many aspects while portraying his own ideas. To begin with, why is it necessary to define a relationship with the title of “Marriage?” If two people of the same sex want to be in a relationship, why not just be together? The author claims that “Gay couples share in the freedom to marry in six states and the District of Columbia; the sky hasn’t fallen.” In the literal sense this statement is true, but what about the rise in divorce rates in the six states and District of Columbia? The sky hasn’t fallen, but there may be negative consequences to the legalization of gay marriage.

Wolfston also charges the state and federal governments with discrimination against gays. It is the government’s job to please the majority, and if anti-gay legislation will do that, so be it. If same sex couples are offended with state policies, why can’t they move to a different state or country? Wolfson mentions many appropriate points, but why doesn’t he mention any outside sources? Providing no information from experts in the fields or resources challenges the credibility of his argument.

Marriage is traditionally defined as a union between a man and a woman, not a woman and a woman, or man and a man. The legalization of gay marriage would cause social and economic perils that can’t be overlooked. In his article ”Opinion: Gay marriage should not be made legal,” Ryan Normandin presents numerous legitimate reasons as to why gay marriage shouldn’t be legalized. Many gay rights advocates believe that they have the right to marry whomever they want under the equal rights protection clause, but that is certainly not the case.

As Normandin explains in his article, “They claim that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees them the right to marry whomever they desire, including members of the same sex. To forbid this would, in their minds, be discrimination. But do all people have the right to marry whomever they want already, with the exception of same-sex couples?

No; states have laws regulating marriage, forbidding first cousins from marrying, brothers and sisters from marrying, parents and offspring from marrying, and people from marrying animals, inanimate objects, or multiple other individuals.” The legalization of gay marriage would open legal doors to other forms of relationships such as polygamous, incestuous, and other nontraditional relationships. By the logic of gay marriage, everyone has an equal right to marry whomever or whatever he or she pleases. It is only fitting that state and federal governments regulate marriage, he claims.

Traditional marriage is beneficial to the American government, which makes it appropriate for couples to receive tax breaks and numerous benefits. Ryan Normnadin explains it best when he literates “The rationale is that males and females, when married, are more likely to procreate, thus ensuring the continuation of American society. It is certainly to America’s advantage to have citizens, so there exists a compelling state interest justifying government subsidization of heterosexual marriage.”

Since traditional marriage is helping the United States procreate, it is in the government’s best interest to subsidize marriage that is increasing its number of citizens. Many individuals in favor of gay rights believe that happiness of same-sex couples is enough a reason for its legalization. Unfortunately, that is not the case since “happiness” is not a compelling enough argument when weighed against the drawbacks of gay marriage. One of the major drawbacks is that same sex couple can not nurture a child properly.

The well being of a child cannot be jeopardized for “happiness.” Although gay couples can’t reproduce, artificial insemination and adoption are some options. Although, these arguments do not prove a viable option because complications can arise. Normandin refers to University of Canterbury professor Bruce J. Ellis to prove this point. Professor Ellis’s research claims “greater exposure to father absence was strongly associated with elevated risk for early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy.” These are risks that can’t be taken lightly just to make lesbian couples “happy.”

There are also risks involved in parenting in regards male couples. The author also refers to Stanford psychologist Eleanor MacCoby who points out that “mothers, on average, may have somewhat stronger parental ‘instincts’ when it comes to responding to young infants.” It is of utter importance for a child to grow up with both a mother and father. According to Normandin’s beliefs, “Happiness” is not enough reason to harm the future of countless children.

Ryan Normandin presents a compelling argument, but there are flaws in many of his ideas. For example, the author compares gay marriage to incest and bestiality. Is it really fair to compare gay marriage to such formidable acts against nature? Bestiality and incest have far more negative effects then gay marriage, so it is not fair to compare them. They inability of gay couples to reproduce is another point Normandin brings about. Although this statement is valid, isn’t artificial insemination a tool that can help lesbian couples procreate?

What about the thousands of neglected children male couples can save? Lastly, the author quotes various professionals to point out that children of same sex couples will have complications due to an absent father or mother. Studies show that this maybe true, but what about family members that can fill that absent role present in same-sex couples? Can’t the grandmother or aunt provide maternal care to a child of a male couple? Why can’t a grandfather or uncle act as a fatherly figure for a lesbian couple’s child? Normandin provided a very compelling argument, but there are minor doubts to his ideas.

After analyzing both sides of the issue along with my prior experiences and knowledge, gay marriage should not be legalized. Both articles made valid points, but Ryan Normandin’s opinionative piece “Opinion: Gay marriage should not be made legal” changed my perception on this issue entirely. Viewing marriage as a governmental issue, not a personal one, made me realize that marriage isn’t only about happiness. Marriage between a man and a woman is beneficial to the government, therefore it is allowed.

Since same-sex marriage doesn’t pose benefits, such as procreation, to the United Sates or its citizens, it is either prohibited or highly restricted. Reproduction is required for the survival of any society and legalizing gay marriage would deem procreating unimportant. Gay marriage also causes dire consequences for the couple’s kids. I have witnessed my co-worker’s only kid, Marshall, with an absentee father figure. Due to a missing father, Marshall took part with the wrong crowd and disregarded all authority. I have also witnessed the psychological problems with kids who are missing a mother. My cousin, who has two mothers, is socially awkward and lacks basic conversation skills.

To ensure the full health of a child, they need both a mother and a father figure to provide motherly and fatherly instincts. Same sex households are not ideal environments for children. Another good point that Normandin posed was that the legalization of gay marriage would open doors to other kind of relationships such as polygamy. This would undoubtedly lead to further deconstruction of marriage and family. I also believe same sex marriage to have detrimental effects on society.

A news report I read claimed that legalizing gay marriage in Scandinavia is linked to the cause of population decline and higher divorce rates. Numerous researches state that homosexual relationships don’t last long term. The fact that Wolfson did not provide any outside sources was another factor that shaped my opinion. I believe that outside sources make an argument much more credible. Challenging cultural, moral, social values, the disadvantages of gay marriage greatly outweigh the advantages.

Works Cited
Normandin, Ryan. “Gay Marriage Should Not Be Made Legal – The Tech.” Gay Marriage Should Not Be Made Legal – The Tech. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 06 July 2011. Web. 08 Sept. 2013. . Wolfson, Evan. “Without Nationwide Gay Marriage, U.S. Government Discriminates.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 7 Oct. 2011. Web. 08 Sept. 2013. .

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Gay Marriage Argument Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Gay Marriage Argument Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1640

  • Pages: 7

Gay Marriage Argument

Two editorials were posted in the “New York Daily News” and “Times of Trenton” pertaining to the subject of legalizing gay marriage. Both articles argue the position against gay marriage and use the same focal point in their articles: the negative effects that legalizing gay marriages will have on children being raised by same sex parents. Also, both articles contain logical fallicies in their argument and use many of the same tactics to argue their point such as scare tactics, statistics, and quotes from people on the other side of the argument.

However, the “Times of Trenton” editorial is able to cover up these fallicies and present their side in a cleaner and more efficient way than the “New York Daily News” by making the statistics seem more credible, the quotes from the other side of the argument more persuasive, and the overall organization of their logic more rational. Unfortunately, the legalization of same sex marriage is a highly divided and controversial topic that our nation has been debating over since the day American was founded as a country.

While the movement persisted throughout the centuries, it was not until the turn of the millennium in the year 2000 that Vermont became the first state to allow civil unions for same sex couples. Since then, milestones have been made in the LGBT community as thirteen states have legalized same sex marriage and eight states recognizing same sex civil unions as of 2013. However, America is taking the matter at a slow pace compared to the thirteen countries that have already completely recognized same sex marriage—Denmark legalizing the practice since the late 1980s.

In fact, many states have taken a few steps backwards, such as California passing an amendment to overturn its previous decision to legalize same sex marriage along with 32 states adding amendments to ban same sex unions to their constitutions. However, the most recent polls show majority support for the legal recognition of same sex marriage, with supporters first achieving the majority in 2010. There is a general trend between supporters for same sex marriage with lack of religious fundamentalism, young age, higher education, and residence in the Northeast and West Coast.

Also, supporters come from mostly liberal and moderate political ideologies and the female gender. In opposition are mostly the South and Midwest regions, men, and conservative political ideologies. The defenders of opposite sex marriages generally argue against same sex couples raising children as well, generally basing their stance on outdated studies—many of which have been revoked by their own researchers. Both articles used research statistics to support their claim. The “NY Daily News” quoted a statement from Obama stating that children who grow up without a father are more likely to become destructive citizens of our society.

The article poorly executes the utilization of research in two ways: first they use Obama as a figure of false authority and fail to cite the origin of the research, loosening its credibility. Secondly, even if it is credible, the research overall is misinterpreted and a red herring to the argument. The research is only relevant to children who grow up without a father not directly to same gender parents—it could easily be possible that the research pertains to single parent households.

The author also sets up a straw man against Obama by stating “Obama is right. Children are better off with both a mother and a father. ” Firstly, it does not state anywhere in the quote given that Obama said children need strictly a mother and father, only that children without both parents present are more likely to end up in a poor situation. Secondly, even if the research was relevant with same gender families, it would only present a stance against children raised by two mothers instead of two fathers.

Not only is it a hasty generalization for the author to assume that this single study proves that marriage needs to involve a man and a woman, it is non-sequitur to believe that because children without fathers do not grow up well, that same gender situations where both parents are present will yield the same results. In the other article, the author uses research to support his claim slightly more efficiently—the first research study the author uses is cited and actually is directly relevant to same gender family studies.

The study showed that children raised by same sex parents are more likely to be homosexual, abuse drugs, be molested by their parents/adult figure, and participate in risky behavior. The average reader scanning over the article quickly would see the author stated where the research came from and automatically assume that it is credible. However, when the research was further investigated, it was found that not only was the study widely considered by scientists to be inconclusive. Even the author, Mark Regernus, stated in an interview that the study lacked enough foundation to make such a claim.

The article then declares there is an increase in people identifying as homosexual since 1994. The author then claims this increase falsifies the theory that people are born homosexual but instead is due to cultural factors encouraging same-sex behavior. The first mistake with this claim is that the author does not provide where this information originates. It is non sequitur to believe that because the culture is becoming more accepting of homosexuality, it increases homosexuality and debunks the theory that people are born homosexual.

More or less, this claim is a hasty generalization because the author does not consider possibilities such as culture changing to accept homosexual individuals giving people comfort and security to openly identify as homosexual. Both authors clearly stack bias evidence against homosexual behavior instead of providing or arguing against any of the available evidence that suggests being homosexual has genetic components or children from same sex families do as well as heterosexual parented families.

While the lack of arguing against evidence refuting their claims may seemingly strengthen their opinion, the blatant bias makes their argument less convincible to readers because it comes off as close-minded and opinionated rather than open and persuasive, especially to readers that support gay marriage. To strengthen their argument, both articles used quotes from the opposing side to argue their claim. Again, the “Times of Trenton” article uses this method more strongly than “New York Daily News”. The “New York Daily News” claims that the LGBT community supports the author’s thesis that gay marriage is based on a lie.

They first quote an author named Masha Gessen, a supporter of gay marriage: “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change. ” The author set up a straw man manipulating these words to make it appear that the LGBT community agrees with their thesis. Gessen, however, is not directly stating that gay marriage is based off a lie, but that it is a lie to say that the institution of marriage is not going to change as a result of legalizing gay marriage.

Then, the author quotes another gay marriage advocate named Judith Stacey repeatedly throughout the article essentially making evident her support for polygamy and that redefining marriage will hopefully give way to accepting polygamy. It is non sequitur and a hasty generalization to claim that if same sex marriage is legalized, it will instigate the acceptance and legalization of polygamy as well. It is also a red herring fallacy to distract the readers with irrelevant information on polygamy and somehow correlate it with the legalization of same sex marriage.

This pulls away the reader from the main issue of gay marriage and the main point the author is trying to make becomes vague to the reader. Furthermore, the credibility of using these people to represent the LGBT community is put into question. The author even states that these people are radical advocates, but the author gives the illusion that since these people support same sex marriage, the LGBT community is guilty by association and therefore shares the same opinions. The author also gives these radical advocates false authority, granting them authorization to speak for the LGBT community as a whole.

The “Times of Trenton” article uses a better source to support their argument: providing an article written by a gay man raising children. He says that Mainwaring can see why people oppose same sex marriage because “Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two days is to withhold…someone whom they desperately need and deserve. ” This quote is effective because it comes from a gay man who is actually raising children and giving his perspective, instead of radical advocates.

It persuades the reader that even if someone who is gay admits there is a problem with same gender families, then maybe it shouldn’t be allowed after all. However, this is using authority instead of evidence. If a gay man claims that children of same gender families are deprived of benefits that come with heterosexual parents, then it must be true because he’s gay and has children. While it is convincing, there is no substantial evidence to support that this is claim is applicable to all same gender families.

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