University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
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.
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. .