opinions - rainbow flag
Gay Marriage — The Time Has Come for Equality

opinions - rainbow flagby Mark Anderson

For years, men and women, gay and straight, have been fighting for the right to get married. What is gay marriage? It means two people get married: simple.

The only difference between straight and gay marriage is the gender of the couple getting married. Instead of the traditional marriage of the opposite sex, the couple is of the same sex. They are a pair, and have the protections that marriage offers.

As of 2013, fifteen countries and some states and districts allow same sex marriage. There is also a law that was passed in England and Wales that is expected to be effective fully in 2014. (Wikipedia) Many countries are showing support for legally recognizing gay marriage despite their race, ethnicity, age, religion, political affiliation, and social/economic status.

Gay marriage is not just a political issue anymore. It is also a social, human rights, civil rights, and religious issue. Some places just flat out deny the right to same sex marriages. Though, some places do not allow for gay marriage, they allow for a civil union or partnership. You do not need to be a homosexual to get a civil union with someone. You can get a civil union with Bob down the street, like in that one movie I Now Pronounce You Chuck and
Larry.

Some people against same-sex marriage argue things like that it would be confusing and awkward for everyone. This year the Archbishop of Canterbury said just that.The result is confusion. Marriage is abolished, redefined and recreated, being different and unequal for different categories. The new marriage of the bill is an awkward shape, with same-gender and different-gender categories scrunched into it, neither fitting well. The concept of marriage as a normative place for procreation is lost.” (The Staggers)

Marriage should be a free choice for anyone. If a human loves another human, it is normal. It isn’t awkward unless it is made awkward. Some people say that gay marriage isn’t normal. Though, I am sure that some people remember a time period when biracial marriage wasn’t normal either.

Also, African Americans were not given rights because to give them their rights wasn’t “normal.” Does anyone really decide what is “normal” or not? In some places of the world it’s very normal to have multiple wives. Some countries allow drugs, and some cultures do not allow drinking alcohol. So, what is normal?

Gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to celebrate their commitment in public, the same way as straight couples. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation states that many same-sex couples “want the right to legally marry and honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer…”  (Procon.org)

Many benefits of marriage are stolen from gay couples such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation, inheritance, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending.

The majority of Americans already do support gay marriage. Denying that right to same sex couples labels gay and lesbian families as inferior. It is sending a false message to people that it is okay to discriminate against them. Also, gay marriage would make it easier for same sex couples to adopt children. This keeps the kids out of a foster home and provides a safe and stable home for them.

Some argue that the purpose of marriage is to reproduce and raise children. If that is true then shouldn’t they argue that all infertile couples should not be allowed to marry each other? Legalizing gay marriage can help many people come out and say that they are gay or lesbian without shame. In places that gay marriage is banned or outlawed it has been shown in studies to have psychological effects on the gay community. A study done in 2010, the American Journal of Public Health discovered that after their states had banned gay marriage, gay, lesbian and bisexual people had a 37% increase in mood disorders. (NPR.org)

The arguments I see against same sex marriage are illogical and too oversimplified to understand. Religious beliefs should not interfere with political beliefs. Someone that is feeling awkward around gay people is like feeling awkward around Asians; that sounds like a personal problem.

It’s an issue that needs to be tackled with facts instead of people’s opinions and gut feelings. At the end of the day most people will do what they want anyways. You can’t stop someone from being born black, you can’t stop someone from being born with a defect, and you can’t tell a baby in the womb to be born with green eyes if they already have brown eyes. So, why is it acceptable to try and stop someone from being gay when they were born that way?

Works Cited:

“The Staggers.” 18 Arguments Made against Gay Marriage in the House of Lords. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“Same-sex Marriage.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Sept. 2013.

“Gay Marriage ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

Shankar Vedantam, “Bans of Same-Sex Marriage Can Take a Psychological Toll,” NPR.org, May 20, 2013