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Legalizing Gay Marriage in the US Essay

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Updated: Mar 28th, 2020

Introduction

Debate on same-sex marriage commonly referred to as gay marriage has been a topic of contention in the United States of America, with such concerns being whether to recognize it or not. Whether or not to legalize such a union continues to remain a subject of debate within the civil rights, social, and political circles. Gay marriage, according to Herek, is the spousal union between two individuals who share the same biological configuration or gender (610).

While proponents of gay marriage continue to advance their grievances, controversy looms large on how to appease the competing privileges between marriage rights and other freedoms, such as religious rights and family freedoms among others. Proponents of same-sex marriage hold that legalizing gay marriage is among the steps that would guarantee total human freedoms (Herek 611).

The rising support for gay marriage recently has been viewed largely as a drift towards social security for most families in many parts of the world. Just like in any other course that defines human endeavor, gay marriage has withered several opposing views that weighs down heavily on its realization.

Claim

Same-sex marriage should be recognized by federal law in the United States because same-sex marriage is currently not accepted in all states. Much recently was the ratification of gay legislation by some nineteen states, on 22, 2014. These had included Illinois, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut, Maryland, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, Iowa, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, Utah, Michigan, and the District of Columbia.

These states have taken the bold step to legalized gay marriage; however, the Illinois ruling will only be effective as from June 1, 2014. This should not raise eyebrows, given that the Illinois authorities have shown greater commitment to this wave of change. It is expected that more states should fall into the fray and emulate these states who have yielded to these developments witnessed of late (Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage par. 4).

Alongside these developments, some eight Native American domestic jurisdictions are expected to give marriage certificates for gay duos in the coming weeks. The state of Oregon has not been so left out in the initial developmental stages of these changes. Currently, its authorities have recognized gay marriage executed in other states. For many who might have doubted their commitment, this serves as the tip of the iceberg.

In addition, homosexual people do not have equal opportunities and benefits like anyone else. Opponents of gay marriage contend that Homosexuals in the United States should not enjoy equal opportunities and benefits like anyone else.

Debate is currently raging as to whether or not to allow gay couples, for example, to adopt children, and public opinion seems divided along ideological lines, with most people in dire objection of child adoption, their reasons being pegged on various assumptions, such as children adopted under these family outfits would lack clear precedence to family concept.

Gay couples should be given equal opportunities that benefit them just as it happens with the heterosexual couples. There is completely no evidence to show that children brought up under the patronage of same-sex parents will always have a problem coping up with the society as alleged by the opponents of gay parenting (Bidstrup par. 12).

Moreover, homosexual people face constant discrimination in today’s society. Marriage laws that do not recognize or permit same-sex marriage should be abolished in all the states that are yet to acknowledge the fact that gay rights are human rights and need to be respected. It is outrageous that in this century and age, transgender and lesbian individuals continue to experience discrimination from serving in various public duties such as in the military due to their sexual orientation.

People with these traits should not be marginalized merely because of their sexual orientation, the authorities should be mindful of what they are capable of bringing in various capacities, especially in public service, and these could only be realized under a uniform legal duty which pins this case only the federal law is capable of providing (Bidstrup par. 10). Gay people, like all other Americans, have every right to adopt and look after their children without the slightest fear of victimization or discrimination by the state.

All over the world, several children need a loving parent and a safe home. It is unfair for homosexuals to be discriminated and denied adoption rights, especially because of these assumptions. Furthermore, it must be taken as a consideration that restricting individual rights based on the sexual orientation of such individuals is a discriminatory act and unconstitutional.

Opposition 1

The most popular argument against same-sex marriage is that it destroys the family spirit and kills family consciousness. As such, they contend that gay marriage is deprived of human attributes, illogical, and against the ethics of humanity. Human ethics, from a historical perspective, has held great value for the marriage of different gender.

The composition of a family, according to this argument, has to contain different genders. From this reasoning, any union that is of the same gender fails to promote the family consciousness and spirit. Religious leaders have been on the forefront in the fight for the abolition of gay rights based on these assumptions.

Rebuttal

While this is not true, theoretically, it makes a mockery of logic. How does giving more people who want to get married the go-ahead to destroy family spirit? This is a pathetic fallacy. If anything is to go by, the foundations of gay marriage uphold the belief that couples who have shown the purpose for their commitment should take to the aisle and commit their pledge before the law and the church.

In addition, if the church and the conservatives of yore were honestly apprehensive with protecting the institution of marriage, the sound step would be to champion the abrogation of divorce laws. However, for naysayers, the reasons discussed below should make them begin thinking seriously about the need for same-sex marriage. Much of the studies that have been done on this area hold that individuals who enter into a marriage commitment live longer than those people who opt to stay single.

Numerous studies hold that marriage has a very close connection to both to emotional and physical wellbeing, and the choice of marriage depends upon the couple’s psychological composure (Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage par. 2). Public health experts and psychologists all over the world have long deliberated on the validity of longevity among married people.

Some people hold the belief that lifelong commitment to marriage provides the necessary physical and emotional confidence and nurturing that all social animals such as humans need the most. According to Kurdek, human beings thrive best under companionship and camaraderie, which only marriage could offer; this commitment is expected to add an extra 10-15 years to an individual’s life (885).

Many studies in recent circles have demonstrated that individuals who relish gay marriage and commit to it naturally live longer than even the couples who are heterosexual. In addition, heterosexual individuals who enter into marriage several times and shift their marriage partners throughout their lifetime show increased mortality rates, just like individuals in a long-term dysfunctional marriage.

This data is a proven fact that the viability of a long-term relationship is partly made of sound mental wellbeing and emotional stability regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation. In line with this position, psychologists have argued that marriage essentially helps in solidifying an already unwavering commitment.

Opposition 2

One seemingly outstanding, yet unfounded reason for stifling same-sex marriage is that it violates natural law. Very well, it might, but does natural law itself not violates gay marriage? This obtuse assumption is based on the idea that sex between married couples is meant for procreation. Therefore, any sexual intercourse that is not intended for the sole purpose of procreation is sin (Herek 612).

Nevertheless, if this assertion were to hold, then, why is it that other mammals such as dolphins, ungrudgingly participate in fun lovemaking, and no one makes noise about it. Research shows that homosexuality has existed for many centuries in over 20,000 species (Altman 322). This phenomenon is so widespread that it would be insane to be said to have the capacity of violating the natural laws. Actually, homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, must be viewed as part of nature.

This fact has been proven further by brain assessments that establish the foundations of heterosexual and homosexual individuals. Perhaps the proponents of same-sex marriage ought to step up their argument and ask the conservatives of yore whether homosexuality does hurt anyone. Today, in most parts of the United States, same-sex marriage has been legally recognized within most federal jurisdictions (Frederick par. 12).

Opponents of gay marriage hold that the aspects of laws that govern marriage in America are currently decided upon by the individual states. In addition, it is upon the states to decide on a gay ruling. The opponents hold that the law should not be modeled to allow different states to decide upon the marriage status of the American citizens.

In a way, such individuals postulate that legalizing gay marriage in the whole of America would be a drift towards national chaos and backwardness. These individuals argue that gay rights are not human rights and do not necessarily need to be acknowledged in the United States of America.

Rebuttal

If two people of the same gender find it satisfying to stay together in a marriage, there is no issue of violation of natural law. With constant changes in the 21st century, everything is prone to change, natural laws included. If such unions do not interfere with the lives of other people in American society, there is no reason to oppose the idea per se.

To achieve some sense of uniformity in America regarding gay rights, it would be necessary for the federal government to act as the sole oversight authority in matters that concern marriage rights (Bidstrup par. 8). Surveys that have been conducted in the US attribute this drift to its increasing appeal to a large population of young adults who view gay marriage as an idea for the generation.

The history of the US has never had the opportunity to give gay marriage its rightful inference; the American authorities seem to believe that gay marriage will either weaken or demean its institutions of marriage by giving a loophole to high divorce, or its likelihood. However, support for same-sex marriage has gravitated over the years with most nations of the world-, embracing it within their legal structures (Kurdek 885).

Since the beginning of the new millennium, over 20 nations across the world and other jurisdictions have recognized the validity of the same-sex marriage. Media coverage and study on public opinion over gay marriage has been on the rise in the US. For example, polls in the US since 2000 have been indicating that the majority of the people show great support for the legalization of same-sex (Herek 612).

Between 2010 and now, support for gay marriage has gathered a lot of weight with public opinion ratings showing support at a high of 50 percent. For more than a decade, this support has been galvanized steadily with proponents of same-sex marriage speeding up its legalization in various nations that are yet to recognize it. Consequently, Washington, Maryland, and Maine became the pioneering states to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote on November 6, 2012 (Araiza 375).

While in the state of Utah, a federal court has recently reversed a ban imposed on gay marriage within the state. Today, such marriages are commonplace following that momentous ruling, which some ill-advised state attorneys have since been planning to petition (Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics par. 8).

On 14, January 2014, a federal court in Oklahoma made a bold step when a judge ruled that a law limiting marriage rights to predominantly heterosexual couples encroaches upon the American Constitution, giving yet another edge to the proponents of gay marriage in the US. Still, on the developments in the state of Oklahoma, Judge Terence Kern while giving his ruling stated that the court would give prior notice concerning the enforcement of this ruling.

While this means that the ruling may not necessarily open the floodgates for gay unions in the state of Oklahoma in due course, the court ruling delivered a clear judgment on its assurance to further constitutional amendments. Based on the developments that surround this court ruling, the state of Oklahoma is expected to be among the states that have shown total commitment to the recognition of same-sex marriages in the US (Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage par. 5).

The case in the State of Texas is almost similar to the one in Oklahoma. Here, a Federal Judge had initially initiated a ban on gay marriage at the beginning of March; the ban is currently awaiting the appellate of the District Court of Appeals early next month in New Orleans. If this appeal succeeds, then Texas is likely to be among the states that seek to legalize gay marriage in the US.

Opposition 3

Many religions in the world including, Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, and Islam, debate on gay marriage, let alone the consideration for same-sex marriage is regarded as an outright sin. These religious groups believe in marriage in which two partners are of different genders. Christianity, for instance, holds that marriage should follow the ones in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve’s union and Abraham and Sarah’s union. Marriage should be for giving birth and siring children.

Any form of marriage that does not conform to the outlined principles is sinful. The history of the US has never had the opportunity to give gay marriage its due; the American authorities seem to believe that gay marriage will either weaken or demean its institutions of marriage by giving a loophole to high divorce, or its likelihood.

Rebuttal

Within the constitution of the US, there is an amendment of the separation between the church and the state, and this is where the clergies seem to be missing out. Under these considerations, it should be clear that marriage is not necessarily a gift from God and that the church should not meddle into this private affair. In a marriage set-up, therefore, one constant stands out: love. Of course, there are other numerous factors, which are equally important in marriage, but all those factors derive their foundation from love (Herek 612).

The religious groups have to understand the need to allow liberalism in the 21st century. If couples of same-sex marriages help in the bringing up of other children in the world, the religious groups must give credit for their productive role in American society. Gay and lesbian couples can provide the missing links for such children such as parental love, care, education, and monetary support.

In the same vein, an adopted child is expected to come to the aid of the parent at the time of need, such as during sickness and old age. It is clearly outrageous to think on the narrow lines that a child under gay parents would be deprived of a better life because the law sanctions such families (Koppelman 23).

While numerous jurisdictions in the United States of America have legitimatized gay marriage through civil litigation and popular vote, some six states in America prohibit gay marriage by statute while 29 others prohibit it under their constitutions (Herek 612). Recently a poll piloted by the NBC and Wall Street Journal showed that 53% of respondents were in favor of lesbian and gay partners to be given the go-ahead to get married. Only a paltry 42 percent voted in disregard for this course.

Pew Research Centre also projected similar findings with a high of 70% of the millennial showing emphatic support for same-sex marriage (Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics par. 10).

These figures already show a popular inclination towards the much-expected changes within the US. Among the tools that support gay freedoms, but which majority of the American public conspicuously deny is the First Amendment of the Constitution, which states that an individual’s religious beliefs or perhaps a lack of it thereof are well within the protection of this noble course (Tasker 226).

Conclusion

While gay marriage should both be recognized and legalized, there are still cliques of people harboring different views. Whilst this is not wrong at all, the worry has always been their persistent reaction to opposing same-sex marriage. Others only portend the fear of the unknown, while the rest opines that the future of the children raised under same-sex parenthood may compromise their psychological wellbeing. As of now, gay marriage, in essence, should be legalized with the rapidity it requires.

Those opposing the union should be much concerned with their own lives. If a gay marriage does not interfere with their rights, there is no need of opposing it. Evolution will always continue to embrace the world in even much greater overtones. As human beings, we should always be ready to accept the necessary changes that transform the world around us.

Works Cited

Altman, Matthew. “Kant on Sex And Marriage: The Implications For The Same-Sex Marriage Debate.” Kant-Studien 101.3 (2010): 309-330. Print.

Araiza, William. “The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality, and Rights.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 19.2 (2010): 371-379. Print.

Bidstrup, Scott. Gay Marriage, The Arguments and The Motives. N.p., 2012. Web.

Frederick, Susan. Same Sex Marriage Laws. Web.

Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics. 2013. Web.

Herek, Gregory. “Legal Recognition Of Same-sex Relationships In The United States: A Social Science Perspective.” American Psychologist 61.6 (2006): 607-621. Print.

Koppelman, Andrew. Same sex, different states when same-sex marriages cross state lines. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.

Kurdek, Lawrence. “Are gay and lesbian cohabiting couples really different from heterosexual married couples?.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66 (2004): 880-901. Print.

Tasker, Fiona. “Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and their Children.” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 26.3 (2005): 224-240. Print.

Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage. 2012. Web.

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