Marriage has come a long way since it was first adopted in America. Marriage was first used for property protection, financial and political gain. Now however, people are more about being in love and devoted to a significant other. In past American history, with our laws; it had been illegal for a same sex marriage. Gay marriages should be legalized in the United States, because everyone deserves happiness.
There have been many attempts for people to get a marriage license, but have been denied because they were gay. Loving v. Virginia was case when the Supreme Court’s decision was declared as “The freedom to marry as long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Gays looked as this as a promise to be able to enjoy their personal rights (Lahey 16). The Loving decision gave hope to the gay community in guarantees to equality.
Two early attempt cases that really started off the same-sex marriage were the trials of Baker v. Nelson and Singer v. Hara (Cabaj 131). The argument in the Baker case was based on constitutional guarantees of due process and Singer was based on equal process. Due process was the state’s denial of a marriage license by diminishing the freedom of a person to marry whom they want with the limits of basic material requirements (Cabaj 132).
When the Baker case was taken to the Superior Court it was expected that the judge would dismiss the case, but the argument was made that by the definition of marriage was that it was a heterosexual union (Moats 116). Both cases used equal process because people were being denied marriage, when under the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection was stated. In the end of both cases neither were accessed marriage license. Hawaii Supreme Court stated that the denial of same-sex marriage would be presumed constitutional unless that state could prove that it could lead to state interest and order.
What is the real harm in same-sex marriage? Everyone should have the chance to marry anyone they are in love with, and want a future to share. Homosexuals are out for the same thing heterosexuals are looking for in a marriage; personal intimacy, close relationships and social acceptance Vermont had allowed civil unions (which was just like a marriage license), and people from all over the United States filled for the application.
The civil unions were made in 2000, but by 2003, 3,579 civil unions were accounted for, and only 625 came from Vermont. The civil unions have become a legal issue in the other states, because couples wanted to separate, but Vermont only allowed their residents to dissolve the civil union. Judges in other states did not approve of the dismissal of the civil unions, since they were not in favor of the idea in the beginning (Moats 245). Some gays did not like the idea of civil unions, because they wanted a marriage like any other person was granted.
They saw the civil unions as a way to make the gays not protest as mush as they did, and keep quiet. Many of the people that did pass the civil union act were threaten by the people who opposed the idea. In Vermont there has been no proven evidence that society or the values of the people have been harmed (Moats 264). People do not pick their sexual orientation, and they are born the way everyone else is with the same rights and privileges any other American receives.
Gays are discriminated all of the time, and nothing is being done about it. African Americans were first brought to the United States as slaves, but they have come a long way since then. They have the same rights as any white person living in the country. Homosexuals come in all types of color and should not be treated as a second class citizen. Legalizing marriage would only make marriage better off because then people are not forced to marry someone they have little attraction for, and sometimes bring innocent children into a stressful position.
Having gay marriages would decrease the divorce rate, because then people would be happier with themselves and who they choose to love. How is it far to them they are not attracted to the opposite sex, and are treated different for that? Who says it is wrong for someone to love another person of the same sex? You can not fight who you are in love with, it is a feeling everyone should be able to find in another person. Isn’t happiness a key ingredient for a healthy marriage?
There are many obvious benefits to a homosexual in a same-sex marriage. One benefit is gays would receive full legal equality (Rauch 55). They would receive the same rights as a man and woman marrying. Homosexuals would have the ability to put in law the love and compassion they share for each other. Gay people want to be able to spend the rest of their live wit that one special person and the legalization of gay marriages would allow for that to happen.
They want the simple things in life such as living together, caring for another when they are sick and eating dinner every night with that other person. A new level of social acceptance to the gay community is a benefit to the marriage. The couple from a gay marriage benefit like any straight couple: having someone there for you when you need them. No one wants to go through life lonely. When a homosexual asks for marriage they are looking for a different and better kind of life, but really a better kind of love.
Gay couples are not in a relationship for just sex, but more for love and affection. Many heterosexuals think that a homosexual’s relationship is based on sex. A benefit to heterosexual society of gay marriage is the fact that the commitment of a marriage means the couples are discouraged from having sex with multiple partners. This has the advantage of slowing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (Rauch 72). Heterosexuals benefit from gay marriages because gay couples can not have babies of their own they will adopt, or have custody of a child from a previous marriage (Rauch 74). Legalizing same-sex marriage will only strengthen the meaning of marriage, and banning same-sex marriage will weaken marriage. Marriage is for everyone and each one is unique.
The Constitution states that everyone is born with equal rights. So why can’t homosexuals share the same rights as heterosexuals in the experience of marriage? People of any sexual orientation should be able to choose who they want to be with. The Government may not approve of same-sex marriage but they should no deny it. Gays are also American citizens with all the same rights. The Fourteenth Amendment states that the law can not deny any persons of equal protection (Sullivan 107).
Again, why are the courts denying marriage between same-sex couples? The government does not allow gay couples to file their taxes as a joint, and must file as single taxpayers (Burda 47). Same-sex couples do not benefit from the federal guarantee of payments to a surviving spouse, former spouse, unmarried children, or children that are disabled before age two (Burda 98). They also do not receive joined benefits under Medicare. Government benefits are not able to gay couples, but able to heterosexual couples.
There are many arguments against same- sex marriages. Some people believe that marriage should be shared between just a man and women. Others believe that a gay couple can not raise a child normally. Gays are very capable of raising a child just like anyone else. Child molesters are allowed to marry, and bring children into the world, so why can’t a gay couple raise a child when the only thing they will do for the child is show love and commitment.
People say that gay relationships are immoral, but to who? The Bible says it is immoral. The freedom we have we can choose what religion we want, and in some religions same-sex relations are celebrated, and not sinned. Another reason why people say same-sex marriage should not be legal is because they can not produce offspring, and continue a generation, but gays do not need to worry about that because there are many babies in the world looking for a good home to go to.
Now, in reality the real reasons for why same-sex marriages are not legal: uncomfortable, offends religion, unnatural, betray, repulsive, and recruitment. Some people are just uncomfortable with same-sex couples, usually called a homophobic. Gays are normal people and should be treated like that. America has religious freedom and everyone has their own views on different situations and not all religions are at a disagreement with gay couples.
Some people think that it is unnatural for the gay couples to act the way they do. Men believe that when gay men act feminine it betrays their masculine traits they should have. Straight people think it is repulsive to see affection of gay couples, but gay couples also think it is repulsive to see straight couples’s affection. For some reason some people think that gay people go out and look for straight people to make them gay. Someone can not make another person gay; sexual orientation is inborn and can not be changed. Having a fear of being ‘recruited’ is just silly to even think about. Homosexuals should be treated better and not stereotype as second-class citizens.
Many homosexuals decide to have a family together, and many adopt since they can not produce with each other. There are many children that are put up for adoption and/or put in foster homes, and now there is a shortage of places to put these children. Now, a lot of gay couples adopt these children to give them a healthy and happy life. There have been proven test showing that same-sex couples turn out to be great parents. Giving a child a loving and nurturing home is how a child should be treated, and gay couples have the ability to treat the child like any other parent would (Drucker 42).
There is no evidence that children living in a gay home are less intelligent, suffer problems, less popular, or having a low self-esteem. The children of the homosexual families grow up happy, healthy and well adjusted as if they would in a heterosexual family. If a same-sex adoptive couple separated there are three scenarios that can bee looked at; when both parents are legal parents, when one partner is the legal parent but the law grants some rights to the nonlegal parent, and when the law denies nonlegal parents all rights.
When both parents have legal custody over the child they are treated as if they were married because then they handle custody and visitation rights and need to work out through the parents. In the other cases the court says how the child will live with the parents. Many gay parents feel that their children and their parenting will be harder than it really is because of their sexual orientation. Many of the parents are feared about what their neighbors will think of their actions about having a different lifestyle than the social norm. Same-sex parents need to raise their child with gender awareness to live a open minded lifestyle (Brill 107).
A number of leading health and child welfare organizations, however, have found that same-sex couples should be able to adopt and raise children. They include the Child Welfare League of America, North American Council on Adoptable Children, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers (Drucker 117).
A child being raised by same-sex parents does not cause the child to be homosexual. The parents are aware that there will be many expressions of sexuality, but they are usually more concerned with the personality and personal goodness of a potential mate that they are with their partner’s gender (Drucker 198). Girls that are tomboys and boys that play with dolls don’t necessarily grow up to be gay or a lesbian. For the most part homosexuality is more of an issue for out of the family then the members of the family.
Gays and Lesbians have the same equal rights as anyone else in America. We have been born in the United States and instantly granted natural rights. Gay or straight everyone should have the same opportunities and not be denied something they dream for. Allowing same-sex marriage will decrease heterosexual divorces and increase the love people feel for each other because they can be with someone they truly want to be with.
The United States holds its head up high when it comes to our constitution and what it stands for, but in reality not everyone is treated equal. It is not right for people to be denied something that they are and not have the same rights as any other person because they did not live like the social norms. America varies in everything from race, religion, and sexual orientation, and everyone needs to be treated as if they were not second class citizens. The pursuit of happiness is in our constitution and for gays and lesbians they should be granted their happiness also, for they are also citizens of this country and need to be treated like they are.
Brill, Stephanie. “The Queer Parent’s Primer” USA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2001.
Burda, Joan M. “Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples.” USA: ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section. 2004.
Burns, Kate. “Gay and Lesbian Families” New York: Greenhavens Press. 2005.
Cabaj, Robert P. “On the Road to Same-Sex Marriages.” USA: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. 1997.
Drucker, Jane. “Families of Value” New York: Plenum Press. 1998.
Lahey, Kathleen. “Same Sex Marriage” Canada: Insomniac Press. 2004
Moats, David. “Civil Wars, a Battle for Gay Marriage.” New York: Harcourt, Inc. 2004.
Rauch, Jonathan. “Gay Marriage” New York: Times Books Henry Holt and Company: 2004.
Sullivan, Andrew. “Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con” USA: Library of Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication Data: 1997.