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Marriage for All
It’s only the Beginning
The gay rights movement is just getting started. One of the most discussed topics of gay rights would most likely be the subject of gay marriage. Very few states in the U.S. (Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, District of Colombia, and New York) allow gay marriage (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force). While the U.S. had a constant struggle to get gay marriage passed federally, countries like Denmark have allowed gay marriage ever since 1989; other Nordic countries have allowed it since the 1990s (Sterling). Theoretically, gay marriage should be a federal law. Unfortunately in the U.S., it’s not that simple, because anti-gay marriage proponents are many and think they are right. However, their reasoning is not sound politically or civilly.
Many Americans seem to still be appalled by the thought of gay marriage. The answer that many of them that are for gay marriage get is “It’s just wrong,” but why? The arguments against marriage are the nontraditional aspect of gay marriage, the welfare of the children of gay parents, and are largely based on the religious definitions of marriage. These arguments don’t quite work. One: we have broken many traditions in the past, such as polygamy, interracial and interfaith marriage. Two: children of gay parents are exactly the same as straight parented children. “It’s all about how they are raised,” says active Mormon T. Bishop, “some people are good parents some are not, and it goes for both sides” (Bishop). It’s understandable that people could be wary of gays or lesbians who have children; many people say that it is unnatural, because it requires artificial insemination. But plenty of straight couples have to have artificial insemination too. Local residents of Palisade Colorado, Piper, Chance and Isabel Davis wouldn’t exist without artificial insemination. Should their parents not have been allowed children because it’s “unnatural”? Gay couples can’t have children “naturally” and neither can some straight couples, so it wouldn’t make sense to deny people the right to marry because they can’t have children. Three: our country’s law system does not allow religion to interfere with government. Therefore the religious beliefs of one group should not take precedence over another group. And that’s exactly what happened in California November 2008.
In 2000 the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage should only be for heterosexual couples; this was called Proposition 22. Later in 2008 the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional. It was revoked. But later in 2008 people for Proposition 22 (religious groups led by the Mormon Church) raised nearly $50 million dollars, and the California Supreme Court passed Proposition 8 which again only allowed heterosexual people to marry. Later in the year 2008 California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional (Cowan). None of that would have happened if religious groups wouldn’t intertwine their religious beliefs with their political stand points.
Even as an active Mormon, Bishop seems to realize this. He stated that gays or gay marriage doesn’t affect his life or family, and that it really can’t hurt his religion either (Bishop). That’s all that anyone else against gay marriage needs to understand. It’s understandable that people would be wary of gays or gay marriage because their beliefs give the impression to, but it is not understandable that they would go to the extreme of enforcing their beliefs on political aspects.
In smaller and less liberal communities, where gay marriage will definitely not be accepted, fewer gays and lesbians will be willing to be open about their marriage. A local Grand Junction lesbian couple, Ellen Peake and Rosie Kroger, along with most gay people in Grand Junction are not publicly out, because of Grand Junction’s conservative nature (Kroger and Peake). While in Denver, gays are welcomed. “It’s not as comfortable here as Denver” (Kroger and Peake). As an example of how uncomfortable it is in Grand Junction, Ellen Peake and Rosie Kroger are pseudonyms. The interviewees asked that their real names not be given because their employer has no protection from sexual orientation discrimination standards. Therefore if their employer decides to they could find grounds to fire them because of their sexual orientation. If they decided to take a case to court they would have no way to say that their employer had violated their rights, because they have no rights in that area.
Gay marriage really is about civil rights. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our country, and denying gays marriage is taking away their right to pursue happiness, and the government has no right to decide for people how they should live their personal lives. Not only are there more reasons for gay marriage, but they are more logical reasons. Denying people the civil right to pursue happiness contradicts our Constitution. As long as people are not violating the law or hurting other people then they should be able to marry because the government has absolutely no right to bar people from living their lives the way they see fit.
No matter how many people decide that gay marriage is bad, by not allowing people to marry is just like not allowing interracial marriage. There is no reason for gay marriage to not be legal, because it cannot hurt anything. America is always changing, from believing in witchcraft, slavery, and segregation to eating raw eggs and smoking in public places; America can allow people who are not straight to marry happily without the nation’s collapse.
Bishop, T. Interview. 29 November 2011.
Kroger, Rosie and Ellen Peake. Interview. 24 November 2011.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "Relationship Recognition for Same-Sex Couples in the
U.S." National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 28 June 2011.
Sterling, Toby. The Global View Of Gay Marriage. 2007. 16 November 2011
The Mormon Proposition . Dir. Reed Cowan. Warner Brothers, 2010.