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Tainted Love This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

Can you imagine not being allowed to marry the person you love? Well, this is precisely what same-sex couples are told every day in our country. Although the California Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal for homosexual couples to marry, Proposition 8 was recently passed by California voters outlawing gay marriage. The validity of this proposition is still hotly debated, and our generation may be the ones who will ultimately decide in future voting whether to overturn the same-sex marriage ban. In my opinion, same-sex marriage should be legalized because it is discriminatory to deny homosexuals the right to marry and because granting this right to same-gender couples is harmless to others in our society.

First of all, to ban homosexuals from marrying is to discriminate against them on the basis of their sexual orientation. Our country was founded on Constitutional principles that allow majority rule while protecting the rights of minorities. The freedom to marry the person you love is fundamental. To deny homosexual couples the right to legally marry is no different from denying marriage to Jews because they are not Christian, or interracial couples because they belong to different races.

In the U.S., a legal marriage grants couples many benefits not available to those who are not married. For example, married couples can own property jointly, receive their partner's life ­insurance and health insurance benefits, and be considered next of kin for the purpose of making emergency life-or-death decisions. Therefore, denying homosexual couples the right to marry discriminates against them in violation of the equal protection principles of our Constitution. It prevents homosexual couples from enjoying the legal benefits and privileges that heterosexual married couples take for granted.

Granting same-sex couples the right to marry does not in any way harm other people in our society. For one thing, it's no one's business what personal or love commitments others make. Additionally, many countries as different as Canada, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden have legalized same-sex marriage without any adverse consequences to the general population. Several states, including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont have also recently repealed their laws banning same-sex marriage, which has in no way changed the quality of life for heterosexuals in those states. So I ask you, will it bring harm to you if homosexuals are allowed to marry?

Opponents of same-sex marriage rely on their religious principles to argue against it; many organized religions consider homosexuality a sin. Yet they forget that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution explicitly prohibits our government from establishing a religion. This means that our government cannot interfere with our right to practice – or decision not to practice – a religion. Therefore, outlawing same-gender marriage because certain religions find homosexuality sinful violates the First Amendment right of individuals who choose not to follow those religions.

Another objection raised by opponents of same-sex marriage is that legalizing it would weaken the institution of marriage, implying that somehow marriage is more sacred when those entering into it are of different genders. However, these folks are a bit hypocritical in that they overlook the real risk to marriage: divorce, which is rampant in our society among heterosexual couples.

An even more common criticism of legalizing same-sex marriage is that it would further weaken the “family values” essential to our society. This ­argument forgets, however, that allowing homosexuals to marry in fact would strengthen the fabric of society by encouraging more couples to commit to building a life together and adopting children who may not otherwise be able find a home. In fact, it is love that keeps a family together, not preconceived notions of what family values ought to be.

Denying homosexuals the right to marry is discriminatory and violates the equal protection of law guaranteed to all by our Constitution. Our generation may indeed be called upon to cast a ballot to overturn the state bans against same-sex marriage. We should vote to overturn these bans to ensure equal treatment for all citizens consistent with our Constitution, and because everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, should enjoy the freedom to marry the person they love.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the October 2010 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.





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This article has 22 comments. Post your own!

ShelbyNicolex said...
Feb. 23 at 12:07 am:
I couldn't have said it better myself!  Like I say constantly- all the time- love is love, and love is blind. 
 
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YozoraK said...
May 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm:
I love your article and how you present it.  I'm just sorry that not everyone is as open-minded as you.  I always consider each side of a story despite what side I stand on.  So even though I'm always pro-gay (I'd be hyprocrital if I wasn't), I take the time to actually listen to the anti-gay side even though it irritates the crap out of me. Like I said, I love your essay, I'm gonna rate it, share it with my buds, favorite it, etc. You are someone I am gonn... (more »)
 
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greenbean_94 said...
Dec. 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm:
Homosexuals DO have the right to marry,.........someone of the opposite gender!  I think the reason this issue isn't addressed directly in the constitution is that our Founding father's never expected there to be debate over the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman. Homosexuality is a choice, as is everything else we do. If people just dicided that murder was okay or that they can't help it, should be legalize it? I only disagree, not hate. And I should not... (more »)
 
YozoraK replied...
May 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm :
Please explain to me how our sexual orinentation is a choice we make.  I don't quite get where you are coming from.
 
Cyber replied...
today at 5:33 pm :
Thank you, greenbean_94, for your flawed analogy. It doesn't matter if someone can't help but murder; murder (obviously) harms people. How the heck does it harm you if a chick marries a chick? I can't help but imagine someone seeing a rainbow and being all like, "NOOOOO! I'M MELTING!"
 
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allyouneedislove614 said...
Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:35 am:
I think you did an excellent job! I am a lesbian and engaged; it's a very difficult situation to be in when you have constant resistance. I am touched that you feel this way about this situation, and I hope people are challenged in their thinking because of your writing. Best wishes! :)
 
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swcricket98 said...
Jun. 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm:
I agree completely and whole-heartedly. Well done.
 
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SKCsuperfan said...
Aug. 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm:
This is an intriguing article. I live in Iowa with a married, homosexual aunt. She lives a very happy life and we would love her if she married a man. She is one of the coolest people you will meet and I am a better person because of her. I appreciate the support and talent you showed in your article! Keep up the great work!
 
cyberneticorganism replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 3:33 am :
1 star! you are a sick, twisted, perverted troll. I hope you get no comments.
 
SkcSuperfan replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 6:25 am :
Omg i am so sorry! Idont know where to put stars! Im new (obviously!) This def deserves 5 stars
 
Lirion replied...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm :
To cyberneticorganism, please remember that we are all humans, and that we are all equal. This includes homosexuals and those who would stand by them. Your comment ignores this fact and reduces these people to something less than human. They are not the only ones, though. You reduce yourself to a hateful, angry troll who has nothing better to do than put down others. Please grow up and learn to accept others as they are. Your comment only reflects poorly on yourself and shows your inferior chara... (more »)
 
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savetheplanet said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 10:05 pm:
I'm so glad that you wrote this!  It's well written with logic and emotion.  It gives an intelligent arguement as to why they should homosexuals should have rights. So thanks! :D
 
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callie15 said...
Mar. 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm:
i agree with you 110%! i understand that certain religions think that gay marrige is wrong, but that shouldn't stop homosexual couples from getting married. we are not all religious! it doesn't harm anyone, so why shouldn't we? great article, by the way. very well written. brava! brava! brava!
 
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Corkyspaniel said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 11:43 am:
This is logical, well-organized, and beautifully written. Congrats on getting published. :) Hopefully, minds can be changed by this.
 
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RunsForJoy said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm:
cool, keep up the good work, great article!
 
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TheMusicalFaery said...
Oct. 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm:
Wow, you have some serious talent! I love how this article was written so logically. You're right- banning same-sex marriage because of religious reasons is unconstitutional, and homosexual couples are no more harmful than heterosexual couples to the general population. I think that your article is extremely well written, and it's obvious that you feel very strongly on the subject and that you've given it a lot of thought. Thanks so much for standing up for what you think is right!
 
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Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm:
Well said! You reasoned your opinion with a convincing blend of logic and of compassion for homosexuals. Your points are all valid, and I admire your ability to see people in this accepting way. Thanks for writing!
 
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brooke said...
Sept. 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm:
rock on! stand for what is right!!!!!
 
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crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 20, 2010 at 10:48 am:
Wonderful, keep up the good work and let your voice be heard!! :-) A+
 
dkcalpolo89 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 1:26 am :
haha thanks for the positive grade!
 
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