Gay Marriage

June 4, 2009
By Rebecca Newcomb BRONZE, Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Rebecca Newcomb BRONZE, Hillsboro, New Hampshire
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine a world where there is no marriage. Would that be so bad? If only civil unions and domestic partnerships were available leaving only limited legal rights that tie you and your lover together, would that be so bad? When your lover is hospitalized but you are not allowed to see him or her, when your lover dies and you can’t collect his or her pension, would that be so bad? Is this the kind of world that children should grow up in or that adults deserve to live in? These questions may just be something for you to cogitate over, but to some people, it is a reality.

Gay couples in America have been fighting for years to have the same marital rights as straight couples. Having been denied hospital visitation rights, legalized documents certifying the validity of their relationships, and the equality that they, as American citizens, deserve, the push for the United States Constitution to legally permit these unions is stronger now than ever before. Married couples are given many benefits that circumvent domestic partnerships and civil unions, such as an estimated 1,138 federal rights and up to 300 state-level rights that accompany a marriage license. Not only the gay community would benefit from the legalization of gay marriage; children and even society as a whole would improve based upon the approval of gay marriages across the United States.
The first thing to benefit from gay marriage would be the institution of marriage itself. Some argue that gay marriage is slandering the sanctity of a holy union between a man and a woman, and that it ruins the institution of this union; however, heterosexuals just as often—if not more often—damage the name of marriage by entering into holy matrimony without serious consideration and forethought. The gay community is blamed for the desecration of marriage, but there are many threats to marriage, such as substance abuse, selfishness, and greed, which has led to the destabilization of it over the years. Gay couples have been fighting for years to receive the same basic rights that are handed to heterosexual couples along with their marriage certificate, and with half the marriages in the United States ending in divorce, the odds are grim. If gay couples were entering marriage on a whim and had no interest in serious relationships, then why would their struggle for equality be so strong? When there are other options, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships, why would they go to the very few states that allow gay marriage if their intent to commit to each other wasn’t serious?
The second thing that would benefit from gay marriage would be the children from these unions, whether adopted or otherwise. Though only 10 states allow for gay couples to adopt, there are at least 10 million children in the United States who have at least one gay or lesbian parent. The most important thing for children is to be raised in a loving home by committed and loving parents. Many times, you can hear about some parent abusing a child, but how many times do you hear about a gay parent abusing a child? If a gay couple puts up with all the legal restrictions and boundaries they encounter on the way to adopting a child, they have to be serious about that child and must be willing to love and care for that child.
People who are against gay couples raising children say that these couples encourage dysfunction within the family household and that both sexes are needed to raise the child right. But in a 1995 study, the American Psychological Association found that children raised by gay parents are not disadvantaged in any way compared to children raised by heterosexual parents. It is seen in many studies that these children don’t lack in any emotional or social development, such as attachment, self-esteem, moral judgment, behavior, intelligence, likeability, popularity, gender identity, and family warmth. These studies show that there is no harm to the children of gay parents. More children are harmed by divorces and separations than they are by having a gay. Since divorces and separations are only offered to those who can get married, wouldn’t it seem that straight couples are emotionally and socially harming their children more the gay parents?

The third thing that would benefit from gay marriage would be society as a whole. Society should encourage all unions, both gay and straight. Unions should be accepted as two people who are in love and ready to make a commitment to each other. Marriage is the key to a healthy society, but why must the door be locked to some couples and not others? America is supposedly the epitome of freedom and liberty; however, this country is denying couples the basic right of marriage and consequentially denying them essential human rights. It is the job of the government to uphold and protect its citizens, but all men are clearly not created equal when two people in love are denied their right to fulfill their dreams of marriage.

Gay marriage would also help stabilize the gay community. Many conservative and religious figures view gays and lesbians as promiscuous, and fear their sexual habits as a danger to the virtue of marriage. Gay men and women have not been given the chance to fight against this stereotype. They are not allowed to marry, are essentially named as second-class citizens, and therefore are not given equal attention and rights as other Americans. Being denied the right to marry forces the image of promiscuity upon them without giving them a fair chance to fight back. Gay communities, up until recently, have had to live in secrecy; everything about their lives and about them as people seems clouded behind an image of mystery. Many persons have misinterpreted the actions and voices of the gay community as a threat to society in general. These misinterpretations lead some others to follow blindly in the steps of those who are against gays and their marriages. There are many people out there who are not educated about gay rights and only see the gay community as how they are portrayed on TV.

Civil liberties and voting issues have been ongoing battles for the last 50 years. During the Civil Rights era, African-Americans, Hispanics, and women fought for what they believed to be their constitutional rights. As we progress into the future, we may be encountering a movement similar to the suffrage movements of the past. The door to gay marriage should not be closed and locked in the faces of those deserving American citizens. Places outside the United States are open to the idea of gay marriage; it is only a matter of time before the marriage issue can no longer be ignored, shoved in a closet, or compromised. Though gay rights activists have made great strides in the past on other issues, gay marriage, as a whole, is a relatively new issue, just coming to the forefront of many Americans’ minds during 2002 when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. This country may not be ready to accept gay marriage completely as of yet, but in a recent poll, over 40% of Americans are for the legalization of gay marriage. Gay marriage is about civil liberties and Constitutional rights. The issue isn’t going to go away and like the chant goes, “We’re here, we’re queer. Get used to it.”

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This article has 2 comments.

on Sep. 30 2009 at 9:12 pm
AmandaLee143 SILVER, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Always Believe :)

i absolutely love this ;)

really good job !

JessiGibs said...
on Jul. 23 2009 at 2:28 am
JessiGibs, Lancaster, Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments
i love it! great job. we need more people like you to stand up and say what needs to be said and to make people listen.


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