Posted by: Mike | April 14, 2008

Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is a unique issue in that it is immensely contentious and in that it directly affects very few Americans. Yet, election after election, politicians are grilled on the question of whether or not two people of the same gender should be allowed to marry. In country after country, conservative religious institutions pour millions of dollars of their precious resources into organizing rallies to protest gay marriage and civil unions. What would happen if gay marriage became legal in the US? Could there really be immense social consequences to broadening the definition of marriage to include gays and lesbians? To find out, we will examine evidence from some of the 5 countries that have already legalized same sex marriage (the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa).

Social conservatives use a buffet of scrumptious arguments to try to discredit the idea of gay marriage. The first of these, favored by many Catholic institutions, is that gay marriage would lead to higher divorce rates. This argument is blatantly false; in fact, Massachusetts (the only state in the US where gays are allowed to marry) has the lowest divorce rate of any state in the union. Contrast that to the divorce rates in states like Texas and Mississippi, where gay marriage is banned, and you will find that states with the highest divorce rates are almost unanimously the reddest states in the US of A. Furthermore, there has been no spike in divorce rates in European countries after the legalization of gay marriage. Indeed, evidence strongly suggests that the advent of no-fault divorces in the 1900s has been the main cause for higher divorce rates in the western world. So much for Argument #1.

The Pandora’s Box argument goes as follows: “If you expand the definition of marriage to include homosexuals, how can you deny marriage to polygamists, incestuous relationships, and bestiality?” This argument is becoming slightly less popular, although commentators like Bill O’Reilly still use it. The simple fact is that none of the countries that have legalized gay marriage have gone on to expand marriage to include the groups above. There is no evidence whatsoever that giving gays the right to marry will lead to a larger expansion of marriage eligibility. Furthermore, the state has a vested interest in keeping many of the groups above from marrying; just look at the terrible abuse of women that goes on in many polygamist communities. It is also worth pointing out that animals cannot sign a marriage license (except perhaps apes…..dear God, not the apes…..).

The third and final argument against gay marriage that I will present (there are several other arguments that are even more foolish) is that legalizing gay marriage will harm children, as married gay couples would be able to adopt more easily. Though the idea of gay adoption makes many heterosexuals queasy, it is worth pointing out that the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other reputable organizations all hold that gays are just as good at parenting as heterosexuals. Indeed, the single most important factor in deciding which households are fit to adopt is whether or not the household is a loving one.

So… if there are no valid arguments for banning same-sex marriage, what are the arguments for legalizing it? Simply put, marriage is a fundamental right. It is not a privilege- privileges are earned, and I defy anyone to tell me how heterosexuals like Britney Spears earned the privilege to marry people they barely know. Though it is true that there are limitations on the right to marry, there is no reason why these limitations should be applied to gays and lesbians (ie. the state has no interest in banning gay marriage). The Constitution guarantees that all citizens shall be treated equally under the law- this includes marriage law.

Although only 25% of Americans voice support for gay marriage in most polls, a plurality of the nation’s youth support giving gays the right to wed over civil unions or no recognition. Gay marriage is probably inevitable in the US; the only way for social conservatives to stop it is with a Constitutional Amendent (very unlikely). Heterosexuals continue to use gays and lesbians as scapegoats for social ills like high divorce rates and dropping marriage rates. This is pure foolishness- the decriminalization of adultery, the end of restrictions on contraceptives, no-fault divorces, and the legalization of cohabitation are the real culprits of the decline of marriage. Heterosexuals, not homosexuals, passed these laws. Marriage will not be harmed by including new, eager participants- it will only be strengthened.

MR

PS: For fun check out http://www.gayvote.com/.

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Responses

  1. why you kissin’ a monkey?

  2. That isn’t me: it’s a scene from a famous movie, Planet of the Apes. Read the line before the picture; the picture is part of a joke. Don’t take it too seriously.

    • Gay marriage should not be “legalized”.

      The Government has no constitutional authority to regulate even “Straight” marriage.

      The government should stay out of interpersonal relationships and not legislate the definition of words. if they need to regulate civil unions, then so be it, let there be civil unions for everyone and allow them all to have contractual relationships which have financial ramifications in the event of a breach of contract.

      “Marriage” needs to be between the parties involved, their concience, and their maker, if they shoose to beleive they have a maker.

  3. I’m a 17 yr-old doing an art assignment on gay rights and I think every single point you raised in this article is absolutely truee!
    Noone’s perfect and Noone’s great. We are born the way we were ment to be, we don’t have a choice in who we fall in love with and what sex your more attracted too. Discriminating against something that a person has no controll over is just friken disgusting!
    When will people learn? Differant is not dangerous!
    People don’t want to have to grow up with having to hide their sexuality from others just because they are afraid of what others will think.
    ‘Marriage is a ritual of religion’ . . . How come so many Agnostic, Atheist, etc. get married Every Year??
    Why can’t People understand that gay, lesbian and bisexual couples are just in love with each other then hetrosexual couples?
    I’m a Bisexual and in a love with my boyfriend. I have no gay/lesbian affliations… But I am strongly against teaching children that being in love with someone of the same sex is WRONG!

    When will people just start being happy for each other??

    Mad.x

    Why can’t people get over themselves

  4. I felt this aricle was, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. It absolutely infuriates me that conservatives world-wide are STILL trying to deny gays the rite to marriage, and trying (with an unfortunate amount of success) to falsify the images of homosexuals. I don’t understand why the attack on gay marriage is still in full swing; people can love whoever they want, and should not have to hide it or feel ashamed. I recently had a frightening experience on the bus where an angry homophobic man started threatening a lesbian couple on the bus, and interrogating them on their sexuality. At first I was terribly angry. I was naive, and had always felt that living in possibly the gayest, most liberal region in the world, The Bay Area (YEE) such fanatics like that simply didn’t exist. I realize now, that there is ignorance everywhere, and maybe you can’t blame someone for there upbringing. People just need to educate eachother and have an open mind.

  5. if people are allowed to marry there pets and people can marry there family but it is so wrong to marry the same sex, ooh no, not that, not the same sex, aww look at that monkey and that man there so cute together, oh my gosh, wake up america, iam 16 years old, and all my life people told me america was the land of the free, if its the land of the free how come we can’t have the freedom to love who we want to love. all people can do is complain about the things in the world they can’t look at the good things, they can’t just sit back and look at this wonderful land, americas have to move to a different country just to be free. i thought america was better than that. i have 2 mommies and i am proud to have gay parents.

  6. […] P.S. I’m not the only one blogging about this issue. Check out what Mike had to say here. […]

  7. This article just upset me. Its very easy to justify almost anything when it is claimed that “freedom, equality and rights” are being violated. What kind of country is it when anyone who claims they are doing something for those reasons are without hesitation supported? Why not stop to think, wait a minute…whats really going on here?

    Heaven forbid, living in a country with such diversity, a melting pot of religious, ethical and sociological beliefs, we might actually have to show respect for EVERYONE! Even those who OMG are against homosexual marriage not because they are “homophobes” but maybe are intelligent people who see beyond the borja cliche of “violated” peoples.

    Look I know is really cool to like gay people but seriously try not to be sucked into something just because its in the name of “freedom,equality”

    So incredibly ignorant. You people need to do the research and not just be a tool, going along with what is popular.

    Please, look at this article. Get some facts please.

    http://www.leaderu.com/jhs/marco.html

  8. The article that you cited makes a couple of points I would like to address. First, the article argues that gay people are incredibly promiscuous, having as many as 60 partners per year. This has some truth to it- promiscuity has been a constant in the gay community for decades. Yet, in recent times, there has been a move toward monogamy within the gay community. This move has been brought on by the AIDS epidemic and the increasing levels of assimilation among gays to mainstream society. Why not encourage the trend towards monogamy among gays by legalizing same sex marriage? To me, it is utterly baffling that conservatives use the “promiscuity” argument to try to exclude gays from the institution of marriage.
    The second argument made by the article is that gay marriage would have an enormously negative effect on society. Yet, if this way true, why is it that Massachusetts has THE LOWEST DIVORCE RATE IN THE NATION?!? Further, for those who would point to the decline of marriage in gay-tolerant Western Europe, keep in mind that divorce rates have been skyrocketing there since the 1970s (long before gay marriage or civil unions were a reality).
    Lastly, I AM NOT A DAMN TOOL!!! You come across as incredibly arrogant when you accuse me of supporting gay marriage because “it’s cool.” I support gay marriage because 1) It is a logically consistent position to take and 2) Because I myself am gay. The article that you cited comes from the Colorado Family Values organization. If you are truly intent on understanding this issue, I would strongly advise you to form your opinions on impartial sources, or to at least consult liberal and conservative views on this issue.

  9. Hi Im Kyle, I am a gay male who is a senior in Reynolodsburg high school. I am an openly gay male and a president of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). I just have one question… How does it affect Straight people so much that if two men or women get married that they find it necessary to stop them because it’s affecting them some how? Sorry if its worded funny I couldn’t think of how else to word it…

  10. Cheating when you are married should be punishable by law, however birth control has nothing to do with marrage. I personally am on it because of medical reasons. I know other people who are on it because they dont want to get pregnat, that is simply being responsible. People that have issues with contiseptives also have issues with abortion. Lets put it this way, i have a period once a month, does me having that period mean that i am killing a baby because that egg that is being wasted because it wasnt firtilized? People really need to think here, if the sperm doesnt come in contact with the egg, (most birth controls keep the egg and sperm from meeting and they also nutralize the egg so its no longer fertal) Then its not a baby, if people want to have sex so what its called protection. And isnt that the difference between gay people and Streight people? what sex parts they prefer? I mean if your a streight guy you want a vagina. its that simple. your not gay because “oh i love your eyes” its because of the type of sex. Sex is a natual desier and it shouldnt be some big dirty thought. Yes you need to use protection and such becasue of STD’s and stuff. however people should have these things avaible. Another great reason for these things is the fact that people are pigs and like to RAPE poeple. If a guy RAPES a girl she gets pregant its her fult?!? sorry its not and that is my biggest reason for keeping birth controls leagle…. If she where to get pregnat from that act, she would hate the kid. It would be a constant reminder. I personally am bi sextual i just think its kinda stupid to accuse one side over the other. People should be allowed to marry who ever they want for whatever reason. Also people should be able to do what they want with their bodies regardless of what the public thinks. ITS MY BODY, ITS MY RIGHT!


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