An ongoing debate: Should gay and lesbian couples be allowed to legally marry? In the opposing articles from Newsweek (June 3, 1996), Andrew Sullivan defends the rights of gay marriage in “Let Gays Marry” and William Bennett expresses the opposite view in “Leave Marriage Alone.” Sullivan is one of the editors for The New Republic and has also authored a book entitled Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality. [Gruber 25] Bennett is best known as the editor of The Book of Virtues and is also the co-director of Empower America. [Gruber 29] Obviously, both parties have had experience in the topics they discuss. Through both articles, the reader is shown both perspectives into the issue of allowing same sex marriage.
First, Sullivan’s argument is based on his beliefs that the gay population deserve the same rights as the rest of America, and that one of those rights is marriage to a significant other. He says they are just like everyone else with the same hopes and dreams. He acknowledges that he’s not asking anyone to change religious doctrine and that it won’t change the way marriage will be practiced in the least bit. In contrast, Bennett’s counter argument shows all the reasons why changing what we have now, marriage between man and wife only, would be bad. He believes that allowing same sex marriages will ruin all that marriage is about in the first place. Marriage began as an institution between man and wife, and he believes that should not change.
Andrew Sullivan bases most of his argument on the logic of the situation, with some emotions in there as well. To him, allowing marriage between a same sex partnership makes just as much sense as a he...
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No matter what happens in the future, there will probably be no pleasing both parties. I personally hope to never see the day that marriage will be twisted and distorted to the point that it doesn’t mean what it should: “an honorable estate, instituted of God and built on moral, religious, sexual, and human realities” (Bennett 30). In conclusion, Bennett and Sullivan both present firm arguments, and if I didn’t already have my opinion grounded, I’m not sure which way I’d be swayed. All Americans do deserve the same rights, no matter their personal preferences or circumstances. On the other side, the rest of the American public shouldn’t have to give up something as important as the institution of marriage between man and woman to achieve this. It’s sad that this is even an issue, but I guess that’s something you have to face in the reality of things.
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