Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues - Should Same-Sex Marriage Allowed ?
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Only in the states of Vermont and California are gay couples allowed to marry. Same-sex marriage is very important with gay couples and activists in today's society. On January 1, 2002, a bill became effective to give members of registered same-sex and opposite-sex couples the right to adopt a partner's child. A reason why the Vermont same-sex union battle received so much nation press is because legislators were responding to a court order, while some ended up losing their jobs to same-sex unions. Religious, government, and social groups have debated this issue and it is taking a long time for it to be resolved. Same-sex marriage has some very distinct facts and values important to one's religion, morals, or even what his or her family thinks of the gay lifestyle.
Many Mormons oppose gay marriage because they believe offends everything religion stands for. Also, making love to another man betrays everything that is masculine and that people fear that gay people might recruit straight people to the gay lifestyle. Many people are in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. "They say that yes, gays should have the same rights in housing, jobs, public accommodations, and should have equal access to government benefits, equal protection of the law, etc" (Bidstrup). Focusing more on this issue can help accelerate the outcome of recognizing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages should be legalized and recognized because our government guarantees equal rights for all citizens.
The government says that every citizen of the United States shall receive equal rights. But, why did they pass the Defense of Marriage Act? The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages; in my opinion this act is immoral and unjust because it restricts the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. The authors of Gays, Lesbians, and Family Values, Elizabeth A. Say and mark R. Kowalewski, are distinguished writers on the subject of gays and lesbians. They both are very conservative and believe in religious rights when it comes to sexual preference. "On September 10, 1996, the U.S. Senate passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allows individual states to refrain from recognizing them.
President Clinton signed the bill into law on September 21, 1996" (Say and Kowalewski 87). This act should not have been passed because there is no important reason why it should have been passed in the first place. The Defense of Marriage Act has caused many different confrontations with the people who are for and against same-sex marriage laws.
The Defense of Marriage Act emerged as a reply to the current court battles in the state of Hawaii. Three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the state of Hawaii claiming that current marriage laws preventing same-sex couples from marrying violated the couples' right to privacy and equal protection (Say and Kowalewski 87).
Although the case was dismissed, it was held because the law disobeys equal protection. "Even though the case was dismissed in trial court, the Hawaii State Supreme Court held that the case had advantage and should be heard because the current law does disobey equal protection under the state's constitution" (Say and Kowalewski 88). The judge of the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled that the state must issue licenses to the three couples on the grounds of no convincing evidence. "On December 3, 1996, the judge ruled that the state of Hawaii must issue marriage licenses to the three couples because the state had provided no convincing reasons to reject them. The case in now on appeal"(Say and Kowalewski 88). While this was going on, Hawaii passed a law establishing beneficiaries a state certificate qualifying them for many legal rights and benefits usual given to married persons such as insurance benefits through another's employer.
"In the meantime, Hawaii has passed a law that establishes "reciprocal beneficiaries"; for a fee of eight dollars, same-sex couples may receive a state certificate qualifying them for many legal rights and benefits usually set aside for married persons"(Say and Kowalewski 88).
Many conservatives dispute that same-sex couples are arguing for special rights when they search for anti-discrimination laws. If same-sex marriages were recognized, then heterosexual marriages would not benefit from special status. (Say and Kowalewski 88) By this, then the gay couples would receive more attention than the heterosexual couples in the United States.
Many people disagree with legalizing and recognizing same-sex marriages. According to USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll of 1,006 adults conducted on March 15-17, 1996, Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults oppose gay marriages. (National Campaign) The least opposition comes form those who are young, female, or better, educated.
One reason why some people oppose gay marriage is that it offends everything religion stands for. Many typical religions believe that the gay lifestyle is completely immoral. Mormons are one of the main religions that oppose gay marriage.
When the Mormon church arrogantly claimed to represent all religion in the Baehr vs. Lewin trial in Hawaii, the principal Buddhist sect in that state made it very clear that the Mormon church didn't represent them, and made it very clear that they support the right of gay couples to marry. That particular Buddhist sect claims many more members in Hawaii than does the Mormon Church. (Bidstrup)
Another reason why some people oppose is making love to another man betrays everything that is masculine. Not every gay man is a limp-wristed fairy. "There was a long-honored tradition of gay relationships among the tough and mach cowboys of the Old West, and many diaries exist in detailing their relationships"(Bidstrup). By this fact, it proves that not all gay men are feminine and some are actually very masculine. A lot of gay men in this world are actually very successful businessmen. Whether they are lawyers, doctors, advertising executives, etc. People also might think that homosexuals may recruit heterosexuals to the gay lifestyle.
Another reason why people oppose same-sex marriage is that they fear they gay people might recruit straight people to the gay lifestyle. Which is completely untrue. Gay people know from experience that they can't change someone's sexuality because sexual orientation is inborn.
We don't recruit because we know from our own experience that sexual orientation is inborn, and can't be changed. Indeed, the attempts by psychologists, counselors, and religious therapy and support groups to change sexual orientation have all uniformly met with failure- the studies that have been done of these therapies have never shown any significant results. (Bidstrup)
The last reason why some people oppose gay marriage is Gay marriage would undermine sodomy laws. The sodomy laws would be hard to validate, before a court, giving the couple permission to marry and legally bar them from having sexual relations.
Many conservative religionists privately oppose gay marriage in party because it would undermine the legal basis for sodomy laws. It would be hard to justify, before a court, allowing a couple to marry and then legally bar them from having sexual relationships. (Bidstrup)
Every gay person in this world deals with homophobia and basically is just a version of racism like every black person's life. Harassment is just an effect that comes with being gay or lesbian. On December 10, 2001, I saw an episode of the Fox television show, Boston Public; it involved one of the teachers directing a play that dealt a lot with Homosexuality. During a rehearsal another teacher was watching it and demanded that the play be cancelled. When the teacher went backstage to find a student, he found that two boys were behind a curtain kissing. This show has affected a lot of its viewers by dealing with these topics.
In conclusion, many people believing that homosexual couples should not receive the same rights as heterosexual couples affect this issue. Religious groups such as Mormons believe that the gay lifestyle is very immoral to one's values. Morals and what his or her family thinks of the lifestyle also come along with being gay or lesbian. Many very successful men in the United States such as lawyers, doctors, and advertising executives are gay as well. Same-sex marriage should be legalized and recognized in every state.
Bidstrup, Scott. Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives. 13 October 2000 http://www.Bidstrup.com/marriage.htm.
Malone, John. "21st Century Gay" M. Evans and Company, Inc. 2001
Murphy, Jenny. Should Gay Couples Be Allowed to Marry? 3 February 2000 http://speakout.com/cgi-bin/udt/im.display.printable?client.id=speakout&story.id=1138b
"National Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage...Draws Political and Religious Opposition." CQ Researcher. (Vol.#)(1996): 420-423.
Say, Elizabeth A. and Kowalewski, Mark R. Gays, Lesbians, and Family Values The Pilgrim Press. 1998
Advocate.com 2001 http://www.advocate.com/