Expand Your Knowledge on Gay Marriage | Teen Ink

Expand Your Knowledge on Gay Marriage

December 15, 2013
By risakonis0 BRONZE, Summerfield, North Carolina
risakonis0 BRONZE, Summerfield, North Carolina
3 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Without picking sides, think about looking at both sides of the picture. Should gay marriage be legal? In the United States gay marriage is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia. In the whole world eleven countries are officially legal in allowing gay marriage.

In the United States the first state to legalize same sex-marriage was Massachusetts on May 17, 2004. Four years later, Connecticut joined them on November 12, 2008. After that others states began to join: Iowa (April 24, 2009), Vermont (September 1, 2009), New Hampshire (January 1, 2010), District of Columbia (March 3, 2010), New York (June 24, 2011), Maryland (November 6, 2012), Maine (November 6, 2012), and Washington (November 6, 2012). Finally, the United States is catching on to the rest of the world.

Much of the world was ahead of the United States on legalizing gay marriage. The following countries have legalized gay marriage: Argentina (July 15, 2010), Belgium (June 1, 2003), Canada (January 14, 2001), Denmark (June 7, 2012), Brazil (May 2011), Iceland (June 27, 2010), The Netherlands (April 1, 2001), Norway (January 1, 2009), Portugal (June 5, 2010), South Africa (November 30, 2006), Spain (July 3, 2005), and Sweden (May 1, 2009).

The idea of legalizing gay marriage has been emotionally discussed a lot in the past few decades. Gay marriage is a political, social, civil-right and religious issue all over the world. Some people believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married legally but hold a different status than heterosexual marriages.

Still others suggest that homosexual marriages became legal while letting churches decide whether or not to sanctify a same-sex union. Some Christians believe that same-sex marriage contradicts the teachings of the Bible. The old testament declares homosexuality a sin in the book of Leviticus, and traditional Christian values define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. However, not everyone has the same religious outlook, including some Christian religions. Some religions validate same-sex marriages, such as the Quakers, metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ, reform conservative Jews, and Native American religions. Some people fear that validating gay marriage may influence other churches that don’t already allow gay marriage to do the same. Ministers, priests, or other clergymen believe that as more churches accept gay marriage, they will be forced to marry couples of the same sex in their churches.

Since same-sex marriage is not legal in every state or country, they do not have access to the basic rights of other couples, such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation and inheritance rights, and family health coverage. There is a such thing as legal discrimination when it comes to gay couples. For example, there is something called “Loss of Consortium,” which allows married heterosexual couples to collect damages against any who are injured in their relationship. Same-sex couples do not have this right, since under the law they are, in effect, strangers.

It is also difficult if not impossible for same-sex couples to adopt children. In the United States alone there are over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted. About 4% of children in the United States are raised by gay couples. If marriage is only about reproduction, though, infertile couples would not be allowed to marry either. George Washington, known as "the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and neither did four other married US presidents.

Homosexuals are at the mercy of the courts and churches if they want to marry. Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution's commitments to liberty and equality, where it says “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” However, personal values often prove to be more influential than the law.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Smith Summer

Parkland Speaks

Campus Compare