Equality In Choice Of Marriage Essay, Research Paper
Equality In the Choice of Marriage
Millions of couples are brought together each year speaking the all too familiar words “In sickness and in heath, till death do us part.” These vows are a public declaration of a sacred bond the couple hopes to uphold. After the vows are spoken the couple is now one in society. Sharing the same last name, insurance policies and money saving tax forms. These are only a few of the positive effects marriage brings to newlyweds. Not all couples have the right to become married such as gay and lesbians. Although the couples’ feelings for each other and goals for a life together are just as strong as the newlyweds are, old beliefs have kept these couples from being able to become completely united. This denial of same sex marriage is a right that society should come to accept and make legal. The right to take the step forward into marriage and announce their commitment to live together as one in society is a need that every couple, gay or straight, should be allowed to have.
There are many misunderstandings about what homosexuality really is, the mistaken assumption that gay people enjoy the same civil rights protections as everyone else. There are also a lot of stereotypes about gay relationships, and even a great deal of misunderstanding of what marriage itself is all about.
The largest misunderstanding of gay relationships is the stereotype that gays are promiscuous, unable to form lasting relationships, and relationships they do form are shallow and uncommitted. There is no argument that gays do have these types of relationships, but the important fact to note is that the straight society does also. These types of relationships exist in the small minority, primarily among the very young.
The values that gay couples exhibit in their daily lives are often indistinguishable from those of their straight neighbors. They are loyal to their mates, are monogamous, and devoted partners. They value and participate in family life. More than ever same sex relationships are raising children today. The children may be from a past relationship or an artificial insemination. This places them on school boards; coaching sporting teams and very committed to making their neighborhoods and communities a safer and better places to live.
Many Gay and Lesbian couples exchange vows and rings announcing their commitment to each other, but the legal conditions are not established as they are if a man and woman were to marry. Thomas B Stoddard speaks of rights the gays are unable to receive as a couple, even though they may spend numerous years of their lives together:
Marriage is not just a symbolic state. It can be the key to survival, emotional and financial. Marriage triggers a universe of rights, privileges, and presumptions. A married person can share in a spouse’s estate even if there is no will. She is typically entitled to the group insurance and pension programs offered by the spouse’s employer. She cannot be compelled to testify against her spouse in legal proceedings. (413)
Many people think of marriage as only a procreative bond, the promise of sexual exclusivity to bear offspring. This is not the case, if so, should we make it illegal to marry if you are infertile, or too old to have children. Not all couples that wed plan to have children; shall we not allow them to marry either? Most people say that would be ludicrous.
The opposition to gay marriage stems ultimately from a deep-seated homophobia in American culture. While many do not realize it exits, it is a very real part of a gay persons life, just as racism is in a black persons life. It is there and has far more serious consequences for American society than most Americans realize, not just for gay people, but also for society. Do we want to take prejudice and hatred with us into the centuries to come? Hatred is not a family value, love is, and the love shared between two people builds the home and communities that everyone lives for. When the commitment of marriage is taken, whether it is a man and a woman, or a same-sex couple the meaning is the same.