The LGBT "I do"

March 23, 2012
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A gay couple puts the finishing touches on the tuxedos and waits anxiously for the final moment. One of the men stands at the altar waiting for his groom-to-be. The other man walks up the aisle and the minister marries the couple into a twisted view of holy matrimony. This is the scene that will soon become very common if the debate for same-sex marriage is not addressed. The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community is fighting for equality in everything from politics to the holy union of marriage between a man and a woman. Although we need to treat the LGBT community with equality, the right of marriage belongs solely to the heterosexual couples.

Marriage: Noun, the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. (Random House Dictionary). This is the standard dictionary definition of the term, marriage. In order to discuss the topic of same-sex marriage, one must know that term and define the term. According to this definition, it is proven that there is never to be something akin to same-sex marriage. This definition states that there is to be a man and a woman in order for a marriage to occur. To support the side against same-sex marriage, I will look at the debate from scientific, current and religious, and political points of views. These will break down the argument into the three main parts where the debate takes place.

William Buffie gives valuable insight into the scientific side of the same-sex marriage debate. He explains that the LGBT community suffers a higher rate of health related issues than the heterosexual community. All of these health problems are defined as minority stress. He brings to the reader’s attention that “One only has to consider the rash of recent teen suicides resulting from antigay bullying to begin to comprehend the magnitude of the public health problem faced by this country and its LGBT sexual minority” (Buffie). While it is distressing to think that there are LGBT teens committing suicide, this does not give due cause to grant the LGBT community the right to marry. Yes, they should have similar health benefits, but marriage is to be strictly between a man and a woman. Furthermore, there is scientific evidence that states that there are permanent health risks that are damaging when consenting to sexual intercourse with someone from the LGBT community. While the most obvious of these is the transmission of STD’s and AIDS, participating in anal sex for a long period of time results in the destruction of the sphincter muscle resulting in “chronic anal leakage” (Buffie). This is yet another reason why the act of same-sexual intercourse proves that there should not be marriage among the LGBT community. Marriage naturally results in increased sexual intercourse, thus an increase in the health risks for the LGBT community. Although the emotional benefits are apparent, the physical risks are just as legitimate in this debate.
While the health problems associated with the LGBT community are apparent, the majority of Americans do not view that as a valid enough reason to believe that this behavior is not acceptable. According to recent Gallup polls, in 2010 there was a majority consisting of 52% of the general public that agreed that homosexuality is morally acceptable (Rauch). One can conclude from this data that the majority does not know, or refuses to acknowledge the health risks associated with same-sexual intercourse. This also completely reverses the argument that the LGBT community is the victim minority. As explained in Rauch’s editorial:
This change is a watershed in gay-straight relations, and it brings a disorienting political role reversal. It is the condemnation of homosexuality, rather than homosexuality itself, that will be increasingly stigmatized as morally deviant. And it is the opponents of gay equality who will insist they are the oppressed group, the true victims of civil-rights violations. Indeed, they have already developed, and are vigorously marketing, a "gay bullies" narrative. (Rauch)
In other words, since the majority of Americans now see homosexuality as normal behavior, those who oppose same-sex marriage will be shunned as the group that is morally wrong. This creates a societal, religious and political shift in the entire debate. It will no longer be about whether or not homosexuality is immoral, but focus more clearly on the pressing issue of same-sex marriage. While the liberal majority of America now supports the LGBT community, it could potentially backfire in that the conservative minority can now claim to be the victim minority and will do what it can to make that apparent. As an example, when leading anti-gay marriage opponent, Maggie Gallagher was presented with the results of the Gallup poll, she stated that “The poll reflects not true public sentiment, but gay activists' success at intimidating and silencing" (Rauch).

The religious view of same-sex marriage is also changing from the traditional church view. The traditional view can be found in Genesis 2: 23-24:
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh (New International Version).
In other words, this explains that marriage is to be between a man and a wife. The Bible does not say that a man will leave his mother and father to unite with another man, but a wife, or woman. Clearly, the church does not support the side for same-sex marriage. This puts the church alongside the conservative minority of Americans who share this same belief. Similarly to the social shift, the church is also shifting its view to accept homosexuality. According to the ELCA (The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), sexual relations among people of the same gender can still remain faithful to God. The Lutheran church has decided that, as Christian, we must accept people and love our neighbors because it is not our job to condemn fellow Christians and humans (ELCA). I agree that what happens behind closed doors is none of my concern, and that we should treat the LGBT community with the same equality that we have given the heterosexual community. However, marriage is still to remain between a man and a woman. The Bible clearly states this, and as part of the religious view, it is mandatory to remain faithful to the Biblical teachings.

Many people obtain their information and opinions about same-sex marriage from politicians who speak out about it. One person that many Americans look to for a position is the current president, Barack Obama. However, our president has not said one way or another about his position. When he first began his presidency, many people thought that he was against same-sex marriage, however in a recent public statement, he is quoted to have said, “I think what you're seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers, and that they've got to be treated like every other American” (Stolberg). Many people now believe that he has taken the stance to support same-sex marriage. Similarly, Republican Senator, Theodore Olson, also supports equality for the LGBT community. He feels that gay marriage promotes the values that conservatives prize most (Olson). Olson brings up valid points in that the arguments against same-sex marriage are illogical. He states that tradition (we have always done it this way), pro-creational marriage (gay marriage would not diminish the number of kids heterosexuals could have), and that it harms heterosexual marriage are the main arguments used by the opponents of same-sex marriage (Conant). On these I agree. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that homosexual marriages will diminish the population or harm the heterosexual majority. However, when taken into consideration with all sides of the debate, marriage should still remain for the heterosexual couples.

Marriage: Noun, the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. (Random House Dictionary). By using the standard definition found in the dictionary, one can conclude that marriage belongs to heterosexual couples. However, many in the LGBT community believe that marriage should not be denied them. When deciding on whether or not to allow the LGBT community to marry, one must consider the scientific, current, religious, and political aspects of the debate. Based on these four views, there is more evidence suggesting that marriage is to be a union between a man and a woman and not between members of the same sex. As radical as it may be, I think that everyone who has an opinion on this debate needs to take a step back and look at the whole picture. It is clearly stated that marriage is between a man and a woman, both in society and the religious view. Scientific evidence suggests that there are also benefits if we can treat the LGBT community with equality, and many politicians agree with this fact. Might I suggest a complete reevaluation of the entire argument? Using the definitions, facts, and opinions of various people, it is clear that the LGBT community is to be treated with the same equality as the heterosexual majority, but marriage is to remain solely with the heterosexual majority.

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AHandfulOfDust said...
Apr. 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm
Things to consider: A "higher rate of health-related issues" is irrelevant to the right of marriage. You argue that because marriage leads to more sex, marriage should be denied in order to protect LGBT persons. Please remember that this STDs are also transmitted in heterosexual sex, and that "chronic anal leakage" is an issue that arises from anal sex, which I am given to understand generally requires involvement of men. What about lesbians, then? In addition, smoking is a known risk for healt... (more »)
adrinn replied...
Aug. 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm
Thank you for your comment. If i do ever rewrite this for a class, i will keep it in mind and rework my arguments, but to be completely honest, i dont agree with what i wrote. i chose the side because most everyone i know takes that side, and you are right in that the argument really does just boil down to religion. thats sometimes the only thing people have to hold on to so thats why this argument is really hard to do. so, again, thanks for the comment and i will remember it if i ever have to p... (more »)
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