10 Reasons Why I Support Gay Marriage
I had to put my Christian morals aside, and look at the situation from a third person, objective standpoint.
The biggest cliché used during a debate on gay marriage is “the separation of church and state”. But, this phrase is a good piece of debate material. It is mainly used to ensure that the state is not governed by the church; that there will be a freedom of religion. One moral standard may not be adequate for the entire population that makes up a country.
I come from a religious background. I am an avid believer of one supreme being, that has rules and regulations that dictate us for our own good. Coming from a Christian background, my initial reaction to gay marriage is that it is morally wrong. Consequently, after seeking the logical, instead of theological, side of the debate, I had to put my Christian morals aside, and look at the situation from a third person, objective standpoint. That opened the door for a debate that surprised many of my peers, me included. I found that I could not logically argue against gay marriage, without using religious bias as my foundation.
My findings fall into three general categories. The first having to do with the legal aspects, giving arguments against gay marriage, then offering a rebuttal to the arguments. The second is the moral reasons that gay marriage should not be allowed. The third category is reserved for the arguments that don’t fall in a legal or moral debate, but deserve a category of their own.
Opponents of gay marriage bring up legal reasons why gay marriage should not be accepted. Some say that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to other things, such as the legalization of pedophilia and polygamy. It has also been said that because sodomy was illegal until just recently, we should not continue to give gays rights but, in fact, increase the regulations. And, the weakest argument of the three says that same-sex marriage would be granting gays a “special” right. These arguments simply don’t make sense.
The supposed “slippery-slope” into chaos due to gay marriage is not as easy to argue against as the rest; but, there still is proof that shows the opposite of this “slip”. But first, opposition needs to look at the bounds on marriage currently. Right now, rapist, convicts, and even child molesters are allowed to wed. So, by not letting gays marry because it will lead to worse things is saying that being gay is worse than being a rapist, murderer, or child molester.
However, let’s look at the proof against the slippery slope. Gay marriage has been legalized in Scandinavian countries for over 20 years. So far, there has been no evidence in favor of a slippery slope towards a perversion of marriage. In fact, polygamy and bestiality have not been legalized, as the opponents predicted. And, contrary to what many people that resist gay marriage might say, gay marriage actually strengthens the bonds of traditional marriage, statistically speaking (Badgett). Since the legalization of gay marriage, marriage rates in the countries of Scandinavia have increased significantly (Badgett).
The issue of illegal sodomy is easy for a logical person to come up with a rebuttal to. If sodomy was not legalized in 2003, than gay marriage would never be a debate. It was legalized, however, and with good cause too. With the act of sodomy being considered illegal, it could be used as a tool for discrimination against gays. For example, with homosexuality being considered a felony, a land owner could refuse renting an apartment to a person because they are gay, using the argument that they don’t want to rent to an “un-convicted felon”.
Making sodomy illegal in the first place, is an intrusion of human privacy in itself. It is none of our business whether a person practices anal sex or not. If a person were to press the issue of sexual activity to a heterosexual individual, there would be a law suit for sexual harassment soon-to-follow. What makes a homosexual’s sexual preference open to the public then? Therefore, by having sodomy illegal, in order to enforce the law, enforcers would have to intrude on one’s privacy of if prosecuted.
The weakest argument against the legalization of gay marriage is that granting marriage licenses to a gay would be granting them a “special privilege”. What about making homosexual couples equal to heterosexual couples is making them “special”? If anything, it would make the world more equal. In the last couple of decades, women’s rights activists have strived for the equality of the sexes. Racial profiling has been outlawed. In a world that strives for equality, we need to understand what being equal truly entitles. If gay marriage is allowed, than discrimination would be less prevalent. By saying that gay marriage is not allowed, we are discriminating against that particular sexual preference.
Although these three statements against gay marriage seem ridiculous and biased, they are still widely accepted. A logical look into any of these three arguments can show that they are indeed inaccurate and (in some cases) wild ideas. Nevertheless, the argument doesn’t stop there. There still is opposition about other aspects of gay marriage.
Along with the legal reasons why homosexual marriage is kept illegal, there are also moral reasons against gay marriage. These arguments are more prevalent in a debate for or against gay marriage; although, they are easier to dispute than the legal reasons. That doesn’t stop the anti-gay fraction from using the arguments though, so it is only fair consider their opinion equally.
One such argument is that gay marriage is morally wrong. It does not settle well within the anti-gay population. Who says that gay marriage is wrong morally? The people that use this argument mainly come from a religious background. They assume that most people will conform to their beliefs, as if there is no other alternatives. Such assumptions are almost ludicrous! When the founding fathers of this nation issued that there was to be a freedom of religion, they were basing their principle on the fact that people should be free from religion too. By forcing a religious view on the population, there is an infringement on the freedom of the people.
Another argument is that heterosexual marriage is traditionally, the sacred institution between a man and a woman. This argument is weak at best. The idea that “that’s the way it has always been done” does not get by in a logical debate. If the nation were to always do things the traditional way, there would be no way to progress. Before the world was accepted as being round, any philosopher was ridiculed for the belief that it wasn’t flat, as tradition showed. Before the pilgrims left England, the tradition was to follow one religion, and enforce that religion by force. Before the civil war, the tradition was to enslave blacks and consider them an inferior race. Just because it has been done in the past does not mean that it is the correct way to behave.
A third argument against the morality of gay marriage: it will force religions to accept gay marriage. Just because gay marriage is legally accepted doesn’t mean that it has to be accepted by any religions. The separation of church and state isn’t only intended to protect the state from being dictated by the church, but also to protect the church from being dictated by the state. No one would force a pastor to marry a homosexual couple. A pastor reserves the right to deny marriage to two individuals if they do not deem them qualified the said union.
These are the main three moral arguments against homosexual marriage. But they are as easily refuted as the legal arguments, when dissected. Just because one group of people believe that something is not right, that doesn’t mean that they should have the right to enforce their views on other people. What is right for one person may be wrong for another. It is not up to us to decide what is right or wrong, but to allow freedom of thought, voice, and religion.
There are some arguments against gay marriage that don’t have to do with the legal or ethical choices. Some say that gay marriage would make a mockery of the institution. Others say that homosexual marriage would destroy heterosexual marriage. Another argument says that homosexual marriage would be a bad environment to raise a child. These are just a few of the other arguments against gay marriage.
It has been said that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Opposition of gay marriage use this as the base of what they build their arguments on. With this as a premise, it would be hard to argue FOR gay marriage. It would logically follow that by making marriage a union of two members of the same sex, there would be a perversion of the institution of marriage. But, the opposition assumes that the premise is true! If marriage is a sacred union, that must mean that there is a religious affiliation. In that case, the state should not be involved at all. But, the state issues the marriage licenses. Therefore, marriage is a state instituted process. It can not be both. So, either the anti-gay argument is right, and marriage is purely religion oriented, or gay supporters are right, and marriage is a legal issue. That means that either the state needs to not interfere with marriage, or that the church needs to not interfere with it.
Dr. James Dobson, president and founder of the popular Christian organization Focus on the Family, said that Massachusetts was handing out “…death certificates for the institution of marriage” after it legalized gay marriage in 2003. He is convinced that gay marriage will be the end of traditional marriage. Gay marriage, so far, hasn’t been the end of marriage. In fact, it has been shown to strengthen the institution. After Denmark legalized gay marriage in 1989, over 20 years ago, the marriage rate in Denmark has shown a noticeable increase. The same results have been found in places like Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, which have also legalized gay marriage.
Some supporters of heterosexual-only-marriages say that a homo-sexual marriage is bad for children, if they are involved. Many gay couples have children from previous relationships. By having the kids brought into relationship with two parents of the same sex, there is a potential for psychological damage. Fortunately, this does not appear to be the case. As journalist Jonathan Rauch pointed out in his argument that appeared in The New Republic, gay marriage affects the children in a positive way. According to Rauch, there were 160,000 same-sex households in the US that have at least one child involved in the year 2000. Marriage is a more stable environment to raise a child than a couple just living together.
Another argument is that marriage is intended for procreation. If that is the case, straight people that are infertile should not be able to marry, because there is no chance of procreation. I can not imagine government intervention of marriage of two infertile people without much debate. That would be an infringement of the couples privacy. Also, there are couples that choose not to have children. Should they not be aloud to live together anymore because they are not procreating? Certainly not! That would be a ludicrous idea.
Yet another argument against gay marriage is that gays are not capable of lasting relationships. Although this statement may seem crazy, there are actually people that believe that gay couples can not have a lasting (different word) relationship with each other. They believe that gay relationships are more intended for wild “one night stands” and other short forms of intimacy. Conversely, the divorce rates for gays in Norway are not any higher, or lower, than that of the heterosexual marriages. Two decades after the legalization of gay marriage in Denmark, divorce rates between the two different types of couples aren’t any different. It may be that there has not been enough time for gay marriage to fail, seeing as there are heterosexual couples that have been around longer than gay marriage has been legal, but so far the data shows no difference between the two.
These are just some of the many debates presented that don’t have to do with either the ethics or legal side of gay marriage. Because they are not in a category of their own, however, doesn’t mean that they aren’t as prevalent, or genuine. Although they are believed by many, they are just as easily rebutted as other arguments. Just because a large group of people believe something, that does not make it automatically true.
The information that I’ve found during my look into the debate of gay marriage is enough for me to not oppose gay marriage itself. I personally choose not to accept gay marriage, because of my religious beliefs. Nonetheless, I believe gays should be offered the right to marry if they choose, regardless of what I feel about the practice of homosexuality. Under the guise of freedom of religion, homosexuals should be able to participate in the ceremony of marriage if they feel the desire. It is not up to the church to decide whether or not gay marriage should be legal. Let the state dictate what happens in the state.
Badgett, Lee. “Did gay marriage destroy marriage in Scandinavia? – By M.V. Lee Badgett -.” Slate Magazine. 20 May 2004. 14 Mar. 2009 .
Bidstrup, Scott. “Gay Marriage: The Arguments and Motives.” Sept. 1996. 14 Mar. 2009 .
Jost, K. (2008, September 26). Gay marriage showdowns. CQ Researcher, 18, 769-792. Retrieved January 19, 2009, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2008092606.
Rauch, Jonathan, and Reed Gusciora. “Will Gay Marriage Help or Hurt America’s Children?” UChannel. 15 Nov. 2005. 14 Mar. 2009 .
Rauch, Jonathan. “Articles by Jonathan Rauch: Gay Marriage 5: It’s Good for Kids.” JonathanRauch.com. 30 May 2004. 14 Mar. 2009 .