Rights and Love | Teen Ink

Rights and Love

March 16, 2009
By Lauren Stang BRONZE, Fountain, Minnesota
Lauren Stang BRONZE, Fountain, Minnesota
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Ours is a nation built on freedom and on principle. Every man and woman has a set of rights, rights that cannot be taken from him or her. These rights include, freedom of speech, and of press, allow us to bear arms, and peacefully assemble, and most importantly, the right to believe in whatever religion we choose. Why, then, are these rights and freedoms taken from a community within this great nation? No, this community isn’t the African American community or the women. Rather, I’m talking about the homosexual community and the ban on gay marriage.

We are a free nation, a group of free people. And yet our political leaders ban the homosexual community from bonding the same way the heterosexual community does. Why? There have been many arguments over the years as to why, but none of them truly make sense. I’m going to discuss a couple of these common arguments, and then by applying a little bit of logic, tell you why they make no sense at all.

Religious opposition is a key player in the fight against gay marriage. How? Freedom of religion is a right all American citizens have according to our first amendment. Why does the church play such a big part in demanding that gay marriage not become legal then? Through the years I’ve heard many ideas about this one, but there is one main idea. The church believes allowing the homosexual community to marry will ruin the sanctity of marriage. Has anyone recently spoken to Brittany Spears about her fifty-five hour marriage and asked her how she felt about the core beliefs of her ‘special’ union? Or has anyone looked at the fact that Atheists, Agnostics, Wiccans, and other non-Christ believers get married all the time? No to both questions. So why can these people marry, but gays can’t? In my opinion, not everyone needs to believe in the same religious ideas to get married. Not everyone needs to believe in the church to be bonded together for the rest of his or her life. Marriage is just as much about the love, compassion and honest devotion to a person as it is about the religious bond between the couple. Churches should not have so much authority and should not be allowed to ban homosexual marriage. I have never seen a homosexual stand outside a church and try to tell a church official that he/she could not run mass or give communion. I have never seen a homosexual try to direct congregations and try to tell people what to believe or not believe. So why do we give the church the power to stand in front of homosexuals and tell them what to believe, love, and cherish?

Another one of the many arguments against gay marriage is that being homosexual is simply a choice, and clearly in our society, the wrong choice. Answer me this though: would anyone you know choose not to be able to marry the person he or she loves? Would anyone choose to be shunned from society, banned from locker rooms, teased, alienated from loved ones, and potentially killed? Would anyone choose a lifestyle that is just that much harder to live? No. No one would choose to put him or herself through the hardships that have faced and still face many of the homosexual community. Human beings are, by nature, self-preserving creatures; we do not do that which will cause us bodily harm or emotional pain. These people are not choosing this lifestyle; they are simply trying to live their lives the way they were born to live them.

Scientific research is continually working to prove that, and so far the researchers have gotten pretty close. A study was done at the National Cancer Institute in Washington D.C in 1993. Researchers reported a connection between gay males and their family trees. There is a gene that they believe is passed down from mother to son that is a “homosexuality gene”.

It has also been found in a wide variety of studies that there is a higher amount of the primarily female hormone estrogen in gay males, and a lower amount of the primarily male hormone testosterone. Looking at both of these facts, I have to ask, do we choose our genetic make-up? Not that I’m aware of. And can we conclude that no one in his or her right mind would choose the harder path that faces homosexuals? Yes. Thus, people do not choose to be homosexual, they are born that way.

A third argument against gay marriage is that it’s just plain wrong. Homosexuals are considered, by many people, unnatural. And many more consider them a danger to the natural cycle of life, all because they are not the norm among humanity. But, there are many other groups of people whi should, under this logic, not be able to marry either. African Americans are not the majority in the United States; thus, if you apply the above logic, they shouldn’t be able to get married. Hispanics are also not a majority, so they too should not be wed. The list goes on and on as we are called, “The Melting Pot of Nations.” Irish, Spanish, English, German, French, and so many other nationalities make up the United States. If you were to separate them all out, only one would be the majority. Does this mean only that group should be able to legally marry? I don’t think so. Why does the color of your skin and your background not matter, but the way your genes are laid out does? How can we give some people rights and then snatch those rights back because we find out this male loves that male, or this female loves that female? It’s not fair, and I honestly believe our founding fathers would be ashamed of us for going against the principle that all men are created equal.

There is a flip side of this argument as well; it states that homosexuality is wrong simply because it cannot lead to the production of offspring. This is true- an intimate homosexual relationship cannot naturally lead to the production of children. But, do we really need to produce more children when our adoption agencies are working double time to try to find suitable homes for kids already? Why fill the world with more children when so many places around the world don’t have the resources and money to support the children they’ve already created? Why want more people when we’re continually arguing against immigration because we have so many people as it is?

The last common argument against homosexual marriages contains two parts. The first is that homosexual marriage will lead to a growth in the number of homosexuals in the United States. Secondly, this argument states that if homosexual marriage is legalized and the homosexual couple is allowed to adopt kids, they will only turn those children homosexual. If the reasoning from both arguments is taken seriously, one could say there should be no homosexuality at all, and this essay shouldn’t really have been written. If these arguments were reversed, it would be easy to say that heterosexual marriages should only lead to more heterosexual marriages; thus, no homosexuality. A person could also say if the children of homosexuals will always be homosexual, then the children of heterosexuals will always be heterosexual. . . There goes homosexuality again; thus the flaw in this all too common argument. Homosexuality does exist, and not everyone exposed to homosexuality is turned into a homosexual. It’s not a disease you catch from being around someone of that orientation. It’s not the common cold, not contagious; you cannot simply catch gay, and despite what many think, it cannot rub off on you.

Every day I hear homosexual slurs in the hallways of my school, and every day I hear new arguments and new hardships facing those of the homosexual or bisexual persuasion. Every day I have to wonder why none of these arguments make sense. In short, homosexual marriage in the United States should not be stopped by religious opposition; we are a nation of free religion! It should not be stopped by the idea that it’s a choice; no one chooses to make him or herself miserable and alienated. It should not be stopped by the fact that it would be a marriage of a minority; we are a nation of minorities. And last, it definitely should not be stopped by the idea that it will produce more homosexuals because there is homosexuality to begin with.

Homosexual marriage is a hot button issue in the United States, but it shouldn’t be. The choice is clear. The U.S government needs to lift the ban on homosexual marriage and make this land a true Land of the Free. Our nation is, after all, a nation of freedom for all, not just the straight, the white, the male, or the Christian.

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