The essays by William Bennett and Andrew Sullivan are just the tip of the iceberg in the debate over homosexual marriage. This debate has been going on for years, with many solidly supported opinions on the topic. Both authors provide strong points and well written essays, and include some similar ideas, even though the message of each essay is contradictory to the other.
Andrew Sullivan’s essay, “Let Gays Marry,” is about how gays and lesbians have long been alienated from their basic rights as American citizens. He argues that allowing gays to marry will not drastically change the description of marriage as we know it, but will simply entitle same sex partners to devote themselves to each other, and declare their love for each other.
The Supreme Court made an influential ruling that “’a state cannot deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws.’”(25) Sullivan argues that that is just what America has been doing by not legally recognizing domestic partners of the same sex. He claims that “at some point in our lives, some of us are lucky enough to meet the person we truly love,” (25) gays included.
Sullivan recognizes that many religious organizations are against homosexuality, but this country has a separation of church and state that makes that argument arbitrary in terms of legality. He points out that the government gives out civil marriage licenses, and gays should not be left out of that.
Sullivan also states that the definition of marriage has been changed in the past. Women are no longer the property of their husbands, and interracial marriages are no longer taboo. He argues that allowing gays to marry would simply be another revision for the better, not a radical change in the institution.
Sullivan brings up the argument that marriage is for raising children, but many married couples have none. He lists as examples such people as the Doles and the Buchanans; two very conservative families.
The article by William Bennett, “Leave Marriage Alone,” is about how marriage is a sacred tradition. He believes that if you broaden the definition to include gays, that act will totally alter the purpose and meaning of marriage.