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Same-Sex Marriage

?Each individual?s journey through life is unique. Some will make this journey

alone, others in loving relationships- maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment.

We need to ponder our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has

many shapes and colors and is not finite. It can not be measured or defined in terms of

sexual orientation.? (From the Statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation by the

Quaker Meeting in Aotearoa, New Zealand.) Even though is it thought by many that

marriage is mainly a religious agreement, it also creates a legal relationship between the

couple and the state.

Currently there is much debate on homosexuals couples right to legalized

marriage. There is much information available, both for and against. Two articles that

are strongly in support of legalized same sex marriage are Iowa Representative Ed

Fallon?s speech to the House in 1996, and an article from the Partners Task Force for Gay

and Lesbian Couples. One article that is strongly opposed to same sex marriage is an

article written by Dr. Paul Cameron titled ?Same Sex Marriage: Till Death Do Us Part??

In a speech read to the United States House of Representatives on February 20,

1996, Iowa Representative Ed Fallon discussed why he is in support of the legalization of

same sex marriage. He began his speech, by stating of this debate and how their vote

would affect the public?s point of view. He used the example of ?red-baiting,? from the

1950?s, which today has become ?pink-baiting.? He felt that by creating gay and lesbian

unions, instead of legalizing gay marriage, this would only reinforce homophobia and gay

bashing. He stressed the idea that heterosexuals need only to accept homosexuals. In

order to do this, Representative Fallon, stated that we need to put an end to fear and

stereotypes, and start seeing each other as fellow human beings. He strongly believes

that this is a civil rights issue, and poses no threat to the society. He mentions a lesbian

couple that has children the same as his son. They are being raised no different than how

he is raising his child. His major point is that if same sex marriage continues to be band,

there will be a message sent to the public, which condones homophobia, and does not

give the equal rights to everyone. (Fallon, Ed. ?Iowa Representative Ed Fallon on

2/20/96.? efallon@house.legis.state.ia.us. 2/20/96)

A second argument in favor of legalizing same sex marriage was written by the

co-director of the Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples. He believes, like

Representative Fallon, that marriage is not only a religious agreement, but also has civil

and legal status. According to his article, ?Legal marriage triggers 150-250 laws in every

U.S. state, as well as more than 1,040 Federal laws.? (Demian. ?Legal Marriage Primer.?

Demian @buddybuddy.com. 1999) He points out that there when a heterosexual couple

gets married, clergy are not required for a license to be completed, nor does the couple

need to belong to a church or temple. The only thing required for a marriage license is

being a legal adult and part of an opposite-sex couple. There are many laws that require

this piece of paper in order to receive the benefits. A few of these are: Wrongful death

benefits, child custody, joint adoption, joint insurance, hospital visitation, and domestic

violence protection. Currently no where in the world can homosexual couples receive

these benefits. He also discusses the difference between marriage and domestic

partnership. The problem here is that domestic partnership only covers insurance, or time

off to care of their partner. Also, the employee must an affidavit, stating that the

relationship has existed for at least one year, that couple lives together, and are both

responsible for each other?s economic welfare. None of these are required of legally

married couples. (Demian. ?Legal Marriage Primer.? Demian @buddybuddy.com. 1999)

The major theme through out the article is that gay couples simply want the same rights

as everyone else, nothing more and nothing less.

Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute does not believe that this is

true. Instead he believes that same sex marriage is a threat to the heterosexual

community. His first reason against same sex marriage is that homosexual marriages are

short lived. He feels that this is more about legitimacy that actual marriage. The second

reason he states is that homosexual marriage results in high-risk behavior and unsafe sex.

Which leads to AIDS and other such diseases. A third reason, is a high rate of domestic

violence. In 1990, nearly half of 90 lesbian couples in Los Angeles reported domestic

violence yearly. A fourth reason is that homosexual domestic violence is a larger

problem than gay bashing. He believes that cases of domestic violence are much higher

than gay bashing, and are much more physically violent. The last reason is that

homosexuals make poor parents. According to one study that is based only on half of a

percent of Americans who had a homosexual parent, they were more likely to have had

sex with a parent, experience homosexuality as their first sexual encounter, be sexually

molested, become homosexual or bisexual, and report dissatisfaction with their

childhood. He concludes that homosexual marriage is a bad idea and will only hurt our

society as a whole. (Cameron, Dr. Paul. ?Same Sex Marriage: Till Death Do Us Part??

www.familyresearchinst.org . 1997)

In reading this essay one can see, that there are many reasons for, and many

reasons against legalizing same sex marriage. It is important to know all the information,

before making a decision where to stand on this issue.

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