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?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.? email@example.com. 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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