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Elections are being affected by the way people stand on this issue. After the 1992 election, President Clinton, who is said by Human Events to be the most "pro-gay President in history," adamantly tried to abolish the ban on gays in the military. This was a victory cry for many homosexual activists. Then in the 1996 election, President Clinton admitted he would not openly oppose the bill in Congress that defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" ("Same-sex Marriage Imperils the Family"). President Clinton, who generally supports gay rights, gives Americans a reason to believe that perhaps gay marriage is one step too far. Even First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed that marriage should be a union of a man and a woman in her statement, "Marriage has got historic, religious, and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been: between a man and a woman" (State of the Union").
In the recent 2000 Election, both George W. Bush and Al Gore agree with the Defense of Marriage act (DOMA), which "implies that allowing homosexuals to marry constituted an 'attack' on the existing institution" ("State of the Union"). It is difficult to find many issues with which these two candidates can agree. So, it seems that since they do agree, we can assume that a gay marriage would in fact intrude upon the values of not only marriage but also we as a people.
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As of now, thirty states acknowledge marriage only as a union of a man and a woman, yet not one of the fifty states officially recognize the marriage of two members of the same sex. Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii all considered legalizing same-sex marriages, but none have been successful. One of the most shocking states is California. California voters voted in favor of a ballot that acknowledges only the marriage of a man and a woman. This decision in California is a disappointment for gay marriage advocates. California is a state famous for voicing its opinions on the issues and we have its opinion on this issue. The ballot was decisive with a 61 percent-to-39 percent marginal win ("A 'No' to Gay Marriage"). The values of traditional marriage are still being upheld even in states that are traditionally pro-gay.
Throughout the court rulings and legislation, we have to look at the pros and cons of this issue. I would like to discuss the pros and cons list published by U.S. News and World Report. One pro for same-sex marriage says, "banning same-sex marriage is discriminatory." This pro says marriage is a "right and should not be denied to any individual." This argument goes on to compare same-sex marriages with other minorities who have been denied marriage in the past history of our nation ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal?"). Some heterosexual minorities may be offended by the fact they are grouped with the homosexual minority. Is that not also discriminating? Is banning same-sex marriage really discriminatory? Throughout history groups of people have, are, and will be denied their wants, but does this mean they are being discriminated against?
Another pro for same-sex marriages?it "supports stability." It stabilizes by allowing gays and lesbians to enjoy the same level of commitment that heterosexual couples share. It goes on to say that same-sex marragies should be endorsed by religious conservatives as an "endorsement of traditional values." It also says that marriage would promote "stability and long-term commitment" ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal?"). Same-sex marriages are not traditional, and thus would not be an endorsement of traditional values. Marriage is not the solution to keeping people together; even heterosexual couples cannot turn to marriage as a way to keep them together. Marriage is a blessed union that should be the result of a committed relationship and a life-long commitment before the ceremony ever takes place. Marriage cannot solve problems or promise a life-long commitment?as heterosexual marriage demonstrates. Couples can, however, promise to work through problems and gain a life-long commitment through hard work and unfailing love.
Tax benefits are also listed under the pros of same-sex marriage. It is said that marriage would legally pressure those in same-sex marriage "to care for a loved one 'in sickness and in health.'" This may be true, but tax dollars will also be spent on federal benefits and tax breaks. The federal treasury will be forced to subtract from its already burdened balance.
Another pro says, "religious values shouldn't dictate who gets married." This argument is backed by the separation of church and state. It does not believe that a civil marriage should be denied but that a religious marriage would still be left up to the religious groups. Some religious groups may want to perform them. "The decision to marry should belong to the individual, not the government, religious groups or political extremists" ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal?"). If the decision to marry belongs solely to the individual, does the decision to steal, murder, or lie also belong to the individual?
The first con of same-sex marriage states that "heterosexual marriage is sacred." U.S. News and World Report writes that "same-sex marriage is a violation of basic biblical tenets. No culture has endorsed the idea of men marrying men or women marrying women. . . Marriage as an institution already threatened by divorce and by the erosion of religion and family values." If same-sex marriages are legalized, what comes next ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal"?)?
"One state court should not dictate marriage laws for the entire nation." The U. S. Constitution calls for each state to give "full faith and credit" to decisions of other states. If one state legalized same-sex marriages, the other 49 states can be forced to recognize the court decisions of one state.
"Marriage is about procreation." Marriage rights and privileges are fixed on the presupposition that married couples will have children and raise them as law-abiding citizens. Some heterosexual couples do not and will not have children, but the government cannot ask couples what their plans for reproduction will be. Allowing the legalization of same-sex marriages will only further the deterioration of marriage as an institution ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal?").
The last con relates back to the tax benefit pro. "Marriage benefits cost money." Same-sex couples would enjoy the federal benefits and tax breaks just like heterosexual couples do. Tax dollars would be going to lifestyles with which not all taxpayers agree ("Should Gay Marriage be Legal?").
As I end this essay, I would like to explain why and what I believe and why I believe it. I would like to share my firm foundation. I realize not all my readers will agree with me or hold my same beliefs, but please hear my case.
I do not believe that homosexuals are bad people. A homosexual is not worse than a heterosexual or vice versa. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 KJV). We are all the same. I do believe that the act of homosexuality is wrong, just as is murder, stealing, lying, and adultery. No sin is above another. I also believe that the Bible is very clear about God's view on homosexuality. Romans 1:24-28 reads,
Wherefore God also gave them up to the uncleanness through the lusts of
their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; who
changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the
creature, more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this
cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did
change the natural use into what is against nature: and likewise also the
men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one
another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving
themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as
they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to
a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
In closing, I hope that this gives you a few of the reasons same-sex marriage would be destructive to the traditional, moral, and legal foundation of marriage. There are political, economical and moral issues at hand. This is not an easy issue or light issue and must be carefully thought out before a life-long decision is made. Please consider the issue and stakes at hand as you form your own firm foundation.
Holy Bible?King James Version. Iowa: Riverside Book and Bible House, 1986.
"Same-sex Marriage Imperils the Family." Human Events. 5 May 1996:3. Online
Source. EBSCO Host. Galileo.
"Should Gay Marriage be Legal?" U.S. News and World Report. 3 June 1996: 31.
Online Source. EBSCO Host. Galileo.
Sullivan, Andrew. "State of the Union." New Republic. May 2000: 18. Online
EBSCO Host. Galileo.
Tharp, Michael. "A 'No" to Gay Marriage." U.S. News and World Report. 3 March
2000: 39. Online Source. EBSCO Host. Galileo.