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Gay Marriage

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Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is one of the leading political topics in the United States today. Whether it is in Massachusetts, California, New Mexico, or on the campaigning road, America has shifted its head to focusing on one question: Do you support gay marriage? Personally, I would say "YES." My stance on this issue is not only a personal position based on my intolerance for any form of bigotry or my numerous amounts of friends who are homosexual, but also I base my opinion on one of the most famous American ideals, that all men are created equal.

In the twentieth century, America has undergone vast changes in family styles. Because of the increase in many gays and lesbians speaking out, we see a new emphasis on the word family. Many gays and lesbians have decided to come out of the closet shaking up an issue that has made a ruckus between Americans. We find that the Defense of Marriage Act states that marriage should be between one man and one woman for federal purposes; but is this fair? The United States was founded on the belief of equality, loyalty, and justice for all (Bellamy F., 1892).

Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to do the same. Since 1996, many states have enacted legislation prohibiting same-sex marriages or the recognition of same-sex marriages formed in another jurisdiction. States have traditionally recognized marriages solemnized in other states, even those that go against the marriage laws of that particular state. Under the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, states are generally required to recognize and honor the public laws of other states, unless those laws are contrary to the strong public policy of that state.

Over half of the states have passed language defining marriage between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. Arizona is the only state where a constitutional amendment on the ballot in a general election has failed (2006); however, in 2008 the measure ultimately passed. Typically, constitutional amendments have passed with an overwhelming majority.

There have been several proposals before Congress to amend the federal Constitution, defining marriage as between a man and a woman and ensuring that states would not be required to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. Opponents of the amendment cite federalism concerns in addition to support for same-sex marriages. A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds of the U.S. House and Senate and three-fourths of the state legislatures for enactment (Killian J., 1980)

Thirty-seven states currently have statutory Defense of Marriage Acts. Three of those states have statutory language that pre-dates DOMA (enacted before 1996) defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Thirty states have defined marriage in their constitutions. Arizona is the only state that has ever defeated a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman (2006), but subsequently passed the measure in 2008.

One issue that has struck Americans is that gays and lesbians want to adopt children and start a family. At present, the world and individual countries are as divided with regard to adoption as to other area of gay rights. As of 2000, four states in the USA (Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and Utah) have specifically outlawed gay adoption, as have some Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Iceland) that show an otherwise lenient attitude to same-sex relationships. By contrast, the National Adoption Week in the UK in October 2000 saw a drive to encourage gay couples to adopt, in order to find homes for the thousands of children seeking parents. The 2002 Adoption and Children Act allowed unmarried couples in England and Wales, including same sex partners to apply for adoption jointly. Some argue that children are better off raised in a male-female headed household. Many couples will marry and not have children: gay and straight. Gay and lesbian couples are having children already without the benefit of marriage. So are single moms, teenagers and drug addicts. Preventing a loving same sex couple from making a legal commitment to each other can only hurt their children. It can send a message, like it did in the case of one Massachusetts couple, that mommy and mommy don't really love each other, because if they did, they would get married. How do you explain the legal system to a five year old?

Denying one group the right to marry has many adverse emotional and financial consequences. Examples are Social Security, Medicare, medical leave, and other benefits; property inheritance; the right to visit their spouse in hospital, and make medical decisions if they are incapacitated; security of the couple and of their children. These people work for their right to take care of their loved ones as well, and need to be able to receive the benefits for which they are entitled. Gay marriages do not affect the people who do not believe in such activity, because they have their freedom to not be involved with such acts. These people need healthcare and social security benefits when their spouse passes away just like anyone else, and prevented gay marriages makes it hard for them to receive such benefits.

If two people love each other, shouldn't they be allowed the same rights, privileges and responsibilities, no matter their genders? Yet, marriage is so much greater than the commitment of two people to each other. Marriage is an institution that much of our culture revolves around. It is also an institution that is in crisis.

The belief that all aspects of all cultures are equally valid is essentially the belief that all ideas are equally valid. This is patently false. 2+2 will always equal 4. If one person says it's raining outside and says it is not, one of them is wrong. Good ideas and beliefs are those based on evidence and logic. Bad ideas aren't. While a certain amount of cultural perspective is certainly a good thing that does not preclude us from condemning a cultures beliefs. For example, cultural perspective might be useful for understanding why certain ancient cultures chose to make human sacrifices but that doesn't stop use from calling those practices barbaric.

In addition to being illogical moral relativism is ultimately self-defeating. A society that cannot condemn anything as wrong loses all ability to make moral judgments. As practiced it is also often hypocritical. A true moral relativist would say that supporters and opponents of gay marriage were equally right, something which cultural relativists (who most often support gay marriage) do not do.

There are many rights same-sex couples will acquire if same-sex marriage is legalized. Same-sex couples want the same rights that



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