Argumentative Synthesis on Gay Marriage Research Paper

Pages: 10 (3174 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

Same-Sex Marriage: A Matter of Equal Rights

Homosexuality is not a new social construct nor is marriage between members of the same-sex a new phenomenon (Boswell 80-81). In fact, as early as seventeenth century China and nineteenth century Africa as well as in Native American tribes, members of the respective societies actually entered into same-sex unions and marriage (Sullivan). Even as far back as the Roman Empire, two emperors, Emperor Nero and Emperor Elagabalus, are both noted to have married one of their slaves (Eskridge 7). With the spread of Christianity and the implementation of the Theodesian code, neither Emperors nor citizens could marry anyone of the same sex and those that had married were actually executed (Kuefler 343-345).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on Argumentative Synthesis on Gay Marriage Assignment

In the United States, we do not execute homosexuals; yet, we do rob them of equal rights under the law. With the exception of some Native American tribes, we do not have a record of respecting the rights of homosexuals, let alone affording them the right to marry like heterosexuals. In fact, forty years ago in the United States, homosexuality was considered a pathology according to the American Psychiatric Association. It was not until 1973, that homosexuality was taken off of the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders. In 1975, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution that homosexuality should not be discriminated against. Finally, in 1991, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy included homosexuality amongst the classes of individuals in which they will not discriminate or refuse services (Clark and Serovich 2). Given the relatively new mode of thought with regard to homosexuality as non-criminal behavior and that we should not tolerate discrimination based thereon, is it any wonder that homosexuals have yet to be granted the right to marry by the majority of jurisdictions in the United States as well as around the globe? In the modern era, we should have eradicated discrimination, yet we haven't due to outdated and fallacious reasons. Our government should afford homosexuals the right to enter into civil unions with one another since homosexuals deserve the same rights under the law as heterosexuals; and, moreover, the arguments against same-sex marriage are based upon outdated and/or fallacious reasoning.

Arguments in Favor of Same-sex Marriage

Law Should Reflect Change in Public Opinion

Public opinion today has shifted to the point where now a majority of adults support legalizing same-gender relations. Moreover, according to research from an evangelical research center, Barna Research Center, even one-third of born-again Christians agree with this sentiment (Wolfe 102). As such, since as a society we are moving toward accepting same-sex relations as a non-criminal and legally accepted behavior, it naturally follows that we should no longer deny them the ability to express and commit to this relationship in the same way that society allows heterosexuals to do.

Marriage is a fundamental right which should not be denied to homosexuals.

Homosexuals should have the right to marry since marriage is a fundamental right which deserves to be respected as opposed to criminalized and/or banned. Under the law, legislative actions or a vote of the popular majority cannot be used as a reason to deny a set of people a fundamental right as has been done in the case of gay marriage (Standler). Specifically, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case wherein an interracial couple sought to have their marriage validated in the state of Virginia. At the time, Virginia law not only banned interracial marriage, but it made it a crime as well. The U.S. Supreme Court found in favor of the Lovings and held that marriage was a fundamental right to be protected under the U.S. constitution (Loving v. Virginia 1). Indeed, homosexuals face the same battle today that interracial couples faced prior to the Loving decision. Prior to Loving, interracial couples were "vilified, persecuted, and forbidden to marry" (Mathabane). Even conservatives like Ted Olson, writer for Newsweek, whom are typically against same-sex marriage and the extension of rights, have acknowledged that we should not forbid or vilify gay marriage as the right to marry is a fundamental right:

Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-century struggle to attain the goals we set for our nation at its formation (Olson).

Indeed, to the gay community which is deeply affected by the laws which do not afford them the right to legally marry, this issue is a matter of civil rights and, therefore, they demand a recognition of basic American principles: equality (Badash). It is not only unconstitutional but fundamentally unfair to deny them such rights as being able to join into the union of their choosing and, moreover, this is especially true when the denial of this right leads to other denials such as inability to direct medical care for his or her partner.

Marriage Promotes Stability for Individuals within the Union as well as within Society

On a societal as well as an individual level, gay marriage promotes stability and is beneficial for society. For instance, in communities where gay marriage has been legally allowed, such as Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, the community has not been struck down by lightning or fallen into the earth's underbelly (Alliance Defense Fund). Furthermore, as eloquently noted by conservative columnist Ted Olson, liberals and conservatives should be able to come to an agreement that we all benefit when we come together and that it should not be so difficult to agree on values such as the promotion of "strong families, lasting domestic relationships, and communities populated by persons with recognized and sanctioned bonds to one another" (Olson). Olson concludes that by relegating homosexuals to a second-citizen status demeans their sense of belonging as well as weakens their ties with the rest of the community (Id.). Moreover, in "The Case for Gay Marriage" in the Economist on February 26, 2010, it is further surmised that allowing gays to marry would "add to social stability, for it would increase the number of couples that take on real, rather than simply passing, commitments" (Chauncey).

Allowing gay adults to marry also sends a powerful message to the gay children of today's generation. In generations past, gays were considered criminals, social deviants, and/or outcasts. For today's gay children, if they see that it is possible to have a stable family life, then as they grow up, they will enjoy the same luxury that heterosexual children have: the luxury to dream of growing up and someday having their own family unit. As noted by Andrew Sullivan in "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage," all adolescents will have "some future anchor in their mind-set, some ultimate structure with which to give their relationships stability and social support" (Sullivan).

Essentially, marriage between two people provides the basis for a nuclear family. Indeed, many homosexuals would like to not only be spouses, but become parents as well. Currently, six states around the country (Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah) are considering or have recently considered bans on gay and lesbian foster care and/or adoption. Despite the fact that some states still do not want to recognize the gay couple as worthy of marriage and/or parenting, there are many competent and dedicated gay parents whom have served a vital public interest by adopting and providing a home for unwanted children ("Gay Adoption Debate and Poll"). When these children live in a home where their parents are in a committed relationship, there is more of a sense of permanency; and, hence, more of a sense of security. Furthermore, these gay couples may have a greater likelihood of moving successfully through the adoption process should they be in a committed relationship as demonstrated by their marital union (de Vries). Additionally, the American Psychological Association has confirmed that the institution of marriage "affords individuals a variety of benefits that have a favorable impact on their physical and psychological well-being." The APA continues to set forth that a large number of children are currently being successfully raised by lesbians and gay men in same-sex couples and that allowing these men and women the right to marry would have a beneficial impact upon the psyche of the children raised in these families ("American Psychological Association Endorses Gay Marriage and Gay Adoption"). In addition, in 2006, the Canadian Psychological Association acknowledged that the literature upon which opponents of marriage of same-sex relies actually indicates that regardless of sexual orientation, "parents' financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and that children benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally-recognized union." Finally, the Canadian Psychological Association draws the explicit connection between marriage of their parents and their overall well-being: "…children stand to benefit from the well-being that results when their parents' relationship is recognized and supported by society's institutions."(Rogers).… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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