Legalizing Gay Marriage in the United States
A hot debate amongst most people today is about whether or not you support gay marriage. Recently, the decision to legalize gay marriage has become a major problem for a lot of people. But in today’s world, more and more people are choosing to express their sexuality. Statistics from 2009 show that eighteen to twenty-nine year olds knew more gay people than those who were age sixty-five and over. Religion has had a big impact on people’s opinions on gay marriage. In earlier years, religion had a stronger presence among people than it does today. Most people are against gay marriage because they believe it is against their religion. Based on the fact that religion is not as prominent anymore, the statistics make sense. Younger people are willing to express their sexuality because they are no longer afraid of being cast down by society. Older people had the burden of religion weighing down on them, making it difficult for them to live in the open. Despite the controversy about gay marriage, and my personal religious beliefs, I support gay marriage and believe it’s only going to bring about benefits.
The biggest problem most people have with marriage is that it’s against their religion. Yet, how can that be taken into consideration from non-religious people? The point of an argument is to convince people that what you’re saying is better than the opposing side. But how can a non-religious person take your side of the argument when all of your key points are about how gay marriage is against your religion? Douglass Murray, writer, commentator, and associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, writes “giving gays the right to marry somehow destabilises heterosexual marriage. But divorce and adultery are the biggest under-miners of marriage.” Divorce among heterosexual couples and unfaithful partners are greater threats to heterosexual marriages than legalizing same-sex marriage. The likelihood of a man leaving his wife because of the legalizing of gay marriage is lower than a man leaving his wife for another woman. It wouldn’t have made sense for him to marry her in the first place if he happened to be gay. Then, there is the ‘marriage is for making children’ argument. Today, there are seven billion people and counting in the world. In the United States alone, there are 321,228,910 people. 400,000 of those people are children living in out-of-home care. Without gay couples to adopt, orphanages would be overflowing. The majority of heterosexual couples will not adopt over the age of three and are more likely to adopt children without any kind of disability—mental or physical. Living in a foster home, or an orphanage is more likely to tamper with a child psychologically, rather than having gay parents.
Gay parenting is not the only aspect of gay marriage that is heavily debated. Discrimination towards gay people is beginning to act a lot like the discrimination there was towards black people in the past. White people did not like black people because they thought they were different from them. They believed white was the supreme race and someone much different from them wasn’t about to have as much power as them. It’s the same with gay marriage today. Heterosexual people are afraid of homosexual people because they’re different from them. But are they really all that different? When the Civil Rights act of 1964 was put into effect, there was less and less discrimination against color, or race. The Civil Rights Act doesn’t only prohibit discrimination against color. The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against color, race, religion, sex, or national origin. In October of 2011, the United States Agency for International Development “began inserting language in its mandatory requirements, saying that it “strongly encourages” all grant applicants to adopt USAID’s hiring policy of not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation” (Bailey). Sarah Pulliam Bailey, an online editor for a religious magazine called Christian Today, states, “Christian aid groups like World Vision opposed the language and unsuccessfully asked for additional language clarifying that religious employers retain rights to consider religion in hiring” but there is already an entire Act dedicated to the prohibition of discrimination against religion, race, color, etc. Why should there be an entire new law stating basically the exact same thing except for something more specific? Currently, same-sex marriage is protected by the constitution. There needs to be at least one law defending same-sex marriage before we start making a whole bunch of laws that state the exact same thing to make people happy.
Currently in the United States, 16 states have legalized same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize in 2004. However, there are still 34 states that have yet to legalize. If there is government enforcement, same-sex marriage could be legal everywhere. Mathew S. Urden, a contributor to the Inside Government blog, writes “In many ways, the issues that homosexuals and same-sex couples are facing now are the same civil rights issues” that have been resolved by various Supreme Court cases in the past thus proving that gay couples are facing the same problems that were dealt with during the time of the Civil Rights Act.
Not only is same sex marriage a legal issue, “in terms of gay marriage issues, the United States is behind other nations of the world” (Urden). Other countries in other continents have already agreed that same sex marriage is a modernized part of life that needs to be taken and put into action. The United States is lagging behind because a lot of people aren’t adapting their views and opinions to modern times. The American people are proving to be very one-sided or close-minded about this topic whereas other countries throughout the world have become more adept in the understanding of homosexuality and gay marriage.
Loving, Romer, and Lawrence were all Supreme Court cases that slightly shaped a small place for the Government to consider defending same-sex marriage in the Constitution. Loving “ruled that the decision to marry is a fundamental right that resides with the individual, not the state” (Urden). Romer “ruled that the state cannot discriminate against homosexuals” (Urden). In Lawrence “the Supreme Court held that morality could not be the factor that overrides one’s civil liberties” (Urden). According to Urden, “it would appear that the Supreme Court believes that the definition of marriage as one man married to one woman may be needlessly discriminatory, and if so, a legal argument for same-sex marriage may be emerging”. The only solution we have to this problem of legalizing gay marriage is to create some sort of addition to the 14th Constitutional Amendment. By the way the Government and Supreme Court has been handling legal cases, the United States is on its way to becoming up to speed with the rest of the nations.