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Gay Marriage

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684 words
Social Issues

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Gay Marriage

Homosexuals should be allowed to marry because the disallowance of it violates their constitutional rights. Marriage is an institution long recognized by our government under the right to pursue happiness, and denying that right to any couple, regardless of gender, is unconstitutional. This argument, though, is not disputed. In fact, none of the arguments raised in opposition to the allowance of homosexual marriages takes into account the constitutional rights afforded to all humans. The arguments are only in relation to the possible repercussions (real or imagined) of granting these rights.
Our nation was built and has always been based on the fundamental principles of freedom expressed in the Declaration of Independence and through our Constitution. The opponents of homosexual marriage need to remember what freedom means to America, and understand the significance of setting a precedent that denies that freedom. The Supreme Court has long recognized that the institution of marriage is one of the rights guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution. Banning same-sex marriage is discriminatory. Marriage is a basic human right and should not be denied to any individual. At various times in U.S. history, other minorities have been prevented from marrying: African-Americans, for example. Interracial marriage was also legally prohibited in various states, until the Supreme Court ruled such bans unconstitutional in 1967 (?Should Gay? 31).
At this time, however, marriage is only granted to heterosexual couples. Although homosexuals live under the same constitution, they are not afforded the same rights as heterosexuals. The reasons presented against the allowance of homosexual marriage are flimsy, and have nothing to do with the constitutional rights that are supposed to be afforded every American. All of the arguments against homosexual marriages have to do with the repercussions of granting the constitutional right of marriage to homosexuals, but not with the constitutional rights of homosexuals. The arguments offered are remarkably similar to the arguments offered 30 years ago against interracial marriages. Marriage plays an important role not only in people's experience of daily living but also in our culture's received ideals.
Marriage viewed as a cultural ideal is one way to explain the strength of the backlash against gay marriage. Legally married heterosexuals would not lose any legal right or material benefit if gays were allowed to get legally married (Mohr 22). Then why the fuss? There is no moral reason to support civil unions and not same- sex marriage unless one believes that admitting homosexuals would weaken a vital civil institution. This was the underlying argument for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which implied that allowing homosexuals to marry constituted an ?attack? on the existing institution. The DOMA basically concludes that homosexuals are inherently depraved and immoral, allowing them to marry would inevitably spoil, and defame, the institution of marriage (Sullivan ?State? 18). This claim strays from the realm of traditional social policy enters the realm of cultural symbols. But symbols matter: it is chiefly in terms of symbols that people define their lives and have identities. Marriage viewed as a symbolic event, enacts, institutionalizes, and ritualizes the social meaning of heterosexuality. Part of the attraction of marriage for some heterosexuals, is that it confers status. One of the ways it does this is by distinguishing such people from homosexuals. If you remove that cultural status, you further weaken an already beleaguered institution (Sullivan ?State? 18). Marriage is the chief means by which culture maintains heterosexuality as a social identity, and is the social essence of heterosexuality. In consequence, on the plane of symbols and identities, if one did not get married, one wouldn't be fully heterosexual. Using the same argument, if others were allowed to get married, one wouldn't be heterosexual either (Mohr 22). This analysis explains why our government can claim that marriage by definition is the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, even though this definition is circular, lacks any content, and defines nothing. The function of this definition is not to clarify or explain; its function is to assure heterosexual supremacy as a cultural form. (Mohr 22)
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Keywords: gay marriage legal, gay marriage in india, gay marriage legal in india, gay marriage by state, gay marriage in canada, gay marriage supreme court, gay marriage in australia, gay marriage legal in texas

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