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Same-Sex Marraige: Equal Right Essay, Research Paper

Same-Sex Marriage: Equal Rights for Everyone

Most people these days are in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. They agree that gays should have the same rights in housing, jobs, public accommodations, equal access to government benefits, equal protection of the law, etc. Then you get to the subject of same-sex marriage and suddenly all of the talk about equality stops dead cold. Many of the same people who are even passionately in favor of gay rights, still oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. This is simply because of societies’ constant fear of change. When modern times have forced us to re-evaluate a situation with the possibility of making a change in society, people simply turn their backs and refuse to listen. They are used to the way things are, and see no reason to change something that has been constant for years. What they cease to understand is that sometimes what is constant and comfortable might not always be what is right. They are so used to having things a certain way that they never take the time to look at a situation and address it.

Currently the United States is experiencing a large amount of excitement and activity revolving around the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriages. Legal marriage is acknowledged as a state-defined contract available only to a man and a woman. Marriage among society is considered the ultimate acknowledgment of two people’s commitment and love for each other. Same-sex couples have been celebrating public ceremonies of commitment for many years now, although they are not considered “real” marriages because they are not recognized by the state as legal. These couples think of their union as one “sanctioned by God” and check “married” on questionnaires, but the state still sees them as individuals without marital privileges or protections. Why is it that homosexuals have been recognized in almost every situation involving equal rights, but are still denied the right to legal marriage? Once again, it comes down to societies’ level of comfort. The majority of people are uncomfortable with the thought of same-sex marriage because it has never really been an issue until recently. Homosexual marriage is a new controversy that could possibly bring forth uncomfortable changes to society. People are used to the fact that only heterosexual marriages are considered legal, and do not see any reason to change that.

For years, homosexuals have tried unsuccessfully to fight for their right to legalize same-sex marriage in court. It wasn’t until recently a Hawaiian court found in favor of legal marriage for same-sex couples. But the case was appealed and no marriage licenses may yet be issued.

Because homosexual couples are unable to purchase family health coverage or to obtain other types of benefits routinely extended to married couples, they are denied simple privileges that legally married couples take for granted every day. This includes one partner being denied visitation rights of their hospitalized partner because the two are not married. Also, if one of the partners dies, the surviving partner can be denied inheritance rights. And when a relationship ends, there is no legal backup to protect the partners from losing shared belongings or custody of children they have raised together.

Many people feel that same-sex marriages serve no purpose because they do not procreate. This is untrue for many reasons. For one, gays and lesbians do have children, through a variety of methods. There are now millions of children with same-sex parents. However, the question is actually whether or not procreation is the purpose of marriage. If so, then infertile or sterile couples should not be allowed to marry either, nor should those who are past childbearing age, or those who simply choose not to have children.

Another myth that many people believe is that the children of same-sex couples will grow up corrupt, or homosexual because of the bad environment and examples that their parents are setting for them. Now that there are many same-sex parents whose families can be studied, the results have completely shown these concerns to be false. First of all, the children raised by homosexual parents are no more likely to become gay or lesbians than those raised by two heterosexual parents. In other aspects, not only are the children of homosexuals equal in every quality to straight-raised children, they can actually be more secure and self-confident than children raised in single heterosexual homes. Not allowing them to grow up with married parents in a socially supported home is the real danger to these children.

In conclusion, same-sex marriages should be recognized by the legal system because marriage shouldn’t be a privilege only to people who are born into the likeliness that is most acceptable to society. Marriage is a vow of love and a legal certificate contracting a couple to stay together though good, bad, rich, poor, or till death do they part. Just because the couple in love is of the same sex, should not limit their ability to make this vow and receive a legal certificate for it. Slowly but surely, homosexuals are being granted more equal rights as time passes on, and marriage is one that should definitely not be excluded. It is wrong for society to be so judgmental and close-minded just because they are afraid of change and the unknown that comes with it. Everyone deserves equal opportunities no matter what their race, sex, or origin. The sexual preference of a being should not determine whether they are allowed to do something that is commonly done and taken for granted by the rest of society.

Works Cited

+ “Gay rights”. Online posting. (’Message Boards’ at CNN.com). .

+ “Hawaii’s Gay Rights Trial of the Century”. .

+ Wolfson, Evan. “Anti-Marriage Measures 1998″. .


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