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“Do you, take him to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you love, comfort, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer for as long as you both shall live?” (“DOTCOMWOMEN”) This is just one of the traditional speeches you might have heard in a normal wedding when a couple is pronounced husband and wife. How different would it be if it were for a same-sex marriage?
Define ‘marriage: Firstly, what is marriage? Basically, the definition of marriage varies with cultures and views. According to Girgis, George, and Anderson, “marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together” (246; vol. 34), in the connubial opinion. On the other hand, the controversial point of view is that “marriage is the union of two people”, despite the gender, “who commit to romantically loving and caring for each other and to share the burdens and benefits of domestic life” (246; vol. 34).
Where does it take place? Traditionally and commonly, marriages are held in weddings, commonly taken place in a church. However, the venue depends on the religion and status of the person. Some may even be held in gardens or parks.
How has it changed over the years? Before the 20th century, marriages were simple. People married for monetary benefits, political reasons, or were forced to marry (Sheri and Bob Stritof). People married with no public acknowledgement and or announcement. In the past, love and marriage were generally treated as unsuited to each other (The Week Staff). It was only until the 17th and 18th century, that people supported marriage for “love rather than wealth or status” (The Week Staff). Slowly, marriage changed from a practice to a constitution (Sheri and Bob Stritof). It had also become principally an individual commitment between two parties pursuing “love, stability, and happiness” (The Week Staff). However, since the 13th century, man-connecting functions became more frequent in churches across the Mediterranean (The Week Staff). It was up till the 21st century, the definition of marriage has started to transform. It has been modified to gays and lesbians claiming a right to be married, too (The Week Staff).
Since 2001, an increasing number of countries have started to legalize gay marriages. Even though more same-sex couples have stand out and declared their sexuality preference, they are still being outcaste in society and are deprived of marriage rights in certain states, even though men and woman are seen to be equal as according to law.
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Why they want gay marriages to be legalized/what difference it makes? Same-sex couples want to get married for the rights and protections turn down from. One reason is for the hospital visitations rights. According to the law, spouses or family members akin have more visitation rights than others. They are also given the authority to do medical decisions for the patient. (Olivia et al.) Hence, same-sex couples do not have the equal visitation rights as heterosexual couples. This is has caused much disappointment to the gay and lesbian community (Regan). “In the absence of gay people being able to legally marry in most jurisdictions,” said David Smith, an executive at the Human Rights Campaign, to CNN, “this is a step to rectify a gross inequality. Because without gay marriage, much more inequalities exist. It should be applauded“ (Cooper, Sayers, and Simone). With the legal union, the gay and lesbian couples would not be deprived of the adoption rights, health insurance, direct inheritance and employment equality, a few to name.
Evidence Paragraph #1: By legalizing same-sex marriages, it helps to lowers the divorced rate in the country.
Explain topic sentence: According to a poll by YourTango, Payne, Olver, and Roth proved that the top most reason for a divorce is due to marrying for the wrong purpose. Hence, with true love, a marriage will less likely to lead to divorce.
#1 Intro Evidence: To prove the reliability of this statement, we first need to examine the statistics.
- As McClelland claims, the divorce rate is 20 percent lesser in states that permit same-sex marriages.
- For example, Massachusetts, the earliest state to approve same-sex marriage, had the lowest number of divorce cases among the country in 2008 (Campanelli, J). Between 2003 and 2008, its cases for divorce decreased in 21%. In addition, Alaska, after modifying its constitution to ban same-sex marriages, had a 17.2% incline in its divorce rate in 1998 (“Gay Marriages”).
- Moreover, the seven states with the most divorce cases (Nevada, Arkansas, Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma) between 2003 and 2008 all had lawful bans to same-sex marriages. (McClelland).
Concluding Sentence: Hence, as proven by the statistics given, legalization of gay marriages help to decrease the divorce rate, for those in love tend to stay together.
#2 Intro Evidence: Furthermore, same-sex couples are less likely to end their marriage due to certain reasons such as being infertile.
- A Williams study published in November 2011 states that the rate of gay and lesbian couples cutting off their marriage is lesser than those of heterosexual couples who got separate (“Family Equality Council”).
- At times, the sterile particular in the relationship presents the partner excuse to dissolve the marriage due to the overpowering sense of guilt linked to the loss of “parenthood and an unborn biological child” (“National Healthy Marriage Resource Center”.
Concluding Sentence: Therefore, without the problems or existence of certain reasons, same-sex couples are less prone to divorcing.
Counter Argument: However, some have argued that the same-sex marriages are not accountable for the reducing of divorce rate. According to research, it is proven that factors such as “educational level and marriage age tend to be related to the divorce rate and its stance on gay marriages” (Kurtzleben).
State Counter Argument:
- Betsey Steven of the Wharton School of he University of Pennsylvania claims that those who marry late with higher education have the lowest divorce percentage while those who marry earlier with lower education have the highest divorce percentage (Asthana and Campbell).
- Marrying at an early age raises the possibilities of divorce, particularly in the beginning years of marriage. Those espoused in their youths have significantly greater divorce percentages. One reason to account for this might be because those who extend their marriage to their 20s most likely more responsible and wise enough to make better marriage choices and tackle the challenges of married life better than those married in their youths. (“How Common is Divorce and what are the Reasons?”)
- Researchers have also found out that person who has certain college education have lesser risk of divorce. This might be cause intellect partners generally earn higher income. For instance, Massachusetts, which has the most college graduates and most educated rate between the states, has one of the lowest divorce rates (Koppie).
Evidence Paragraph #2: With gay marriage legalized, the country or state can gain economic benefits and business opportunities.
Explain topic sentence: As Lipp states, it has been demonstrated that the authorization of gay marriage has added a consistent economic support to states and countries that have accepted marriage fairness.
#1 Intro Evidence: One source of revenue is from the “marriage and wedding industry” as it supplies “businesses in this industry with a large and new market” to invest (Lipp).
- Ellis states that New York City gained $259 million since same-sex marriage was lawful in New York state last year, through “marriage license fees, local celebrations and wedding-related purchases”. Over the last year, the city also received “$16 million in tax revenue” from gay marriages (Ellis).
- Besides, Ellis also claims that Massachusetts has also collected $111 million to the region’s economy through the fifth year of legalization.
Concluding Sentence: With the addition revenue from the many wedding services and markets, legalizing same-sex marriage can give the economic boost.
#2 Intro Evidence: Same-sex marriage provides tourism advantages to states that have approved gay marriages by bringing in same-sex couples from other states or countries where it is illegal (Lipp).
- For example, after the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, a gay marriage travel movement named “NYC I DO” was organized, creating positive monetary benefits (Leitsinger).
- Another example is the “I Want to Marry You In Minneapolis” campaign introduced to attract gay couples from Chicago and Illinois to travel to Minneapolis to get their legal union (“Kare11”). Leitsinger also states that the Williams Institute estimates would receive $42 million through the wedding and tourism expenses.
Concluding Sentence: Thus, through the tourism industry, the country’s economy will be lifted.
#1 Counter Argument: However, the true economic impacts from gay marriages are arguable.
State Counter Argument:
- More opposite-sex couples get married in a year than the same-sex couples. In Massachusetts, merely 52% of the gay and lesbian couples living together tie the knots in 2006. On the other hand, 91% of the heterosexual couples tie their knots in the same year (Sprigg).
- Sprigg also claims that in Netherlands, the rates are much lesser; with approximately 12% same-sex couples having stepped into marriage.
#2 Counter Argument: Furthermore, the fertility rate of the country will decrease, leading to the possibility of low birth rate in the country.
State Counter Argument: - The government would then have to give financial aid to the aging population with “retirement incomes and medical care” through “taxing on the younger working population” (Becker and Posner). In the long run, there will be lesser people in the working population (Becker and Posner).
Evidence Paragraph #3: As same-sex marriage is legalized, same-sex couples can help to increase the adoption rate, providing a stable home for the orphans.
Explain Topic Sentence: There are roughly 400,000 children awaiting for adoption in the United States. The children generally wait for almost two years until they are adopted (“Children’s Rights”).
#1 Intro Evidence: According to LifeLong Adoptions, approximately two million of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community are keen in adopting.
- Roughly 65,000 adopted children are staying with a same-sex parent. California, having over 16,000 children adopted, obtains the highest rate among United States (“LifeLong Adoptions”). Yet, same-sex parents in the United States bring up only 4% of all the adopted children. However, this might be due to the law implied among different states.
- In states where adopted is permitted, gay and lesbian couples holds approximately 16% more than married and unmarried heterosexual couples (“LifeLing Adoptions”).
Concluding Sentence: So, if states approved joint gay adoptions (“when a homosexual couple jointly petition for adoption”), or the least, second parent adoptions (“when one person the child of his partner”), same-sex couples will raise the adoption rate if gay marriages are legalized.
#2 Intro Evidence: Moreover, there is no scientific prove that parental sexual preference affects parenting capability. On the contrary, same-sex parents can supply “supportive and healthy environments for children” as well as opposite-sex parents (Steffof 104).
- A longitudinal study published in Pediatrics conducted before the births of the youths suggests that children of lesbian mothers are normal, expressing higher competence and has lesser problems with their well-being (Gartrell and Bos 34). Additionally, Farr, Forssell, and Patterson proved that youths adopted homosexual parents are “as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents” (166).
- According to a August 2013 research by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with same-sex parents are of no difference from children with opposite-sex parents in their “emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults”. It is the attributes of the bond between the child and parents, not the parent’s sexual preference that impacts the child’s well being.
Concluding Sentence: Thus, same-sex marriage should be allowed to provide the children with nothing but a pair of loving parent they desire (Klein).
Counter Argument: Still, it is debated that same-sex marriage might result in an increasing number of children being brought up in similar family.
- In a research on child development, Ellis explains that children born without a father are more prone to “early sexual activities and teenage pregnancy” (25). Besides, children with the absence of mother are “deprived of the emotional security and unique advice that mothers provide (“Gay Marriage”).
- Stacey and Biblarz also presents that children raised by same-sex parents are more probable to involve in behaviors that oppose from the cultural norms (11). For instance, daughters raised with father absence have higher aspirations to unusual gender occupations. 53% of the daughters of homosexual mothers desire for occupations such as “doctor, lawyer, engineer, and astronaut”, contrasted to 21% of the daughters of heterosexual mothers (Stacey and Biblarz 11).
- In the Growing Up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development book, Fiona Tasker and Susan Golombok proved that 25% of the youths brought up by lesbian mothers grow up to be engaged in homoerotic connection, contrasted to )% of youths brought up by opposite-sex parents (“Gay Marriage”).
As the society evolves, people’s attitudes change, and an increasing amount of people have taken their stance in supporting gay marriages. To most, marriage is about love. Hence, the law should not prevent two people of the same sex from loving each other and allow them to openly commemorate their commitment. Besides, it reduces the divorce rate, leads to financial profits to the economy, and provides a family to the parentless. Homosexuals are only demanding for equal rights, the same rights as their heterosexual equals receive. Just as President Joe Solmonese said, “Why wouldn’t two people, who have spent their lives committed to one another, be granted the same human rights that most others take granted for?”