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Gay Marriage - Essay Example

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Professor Name GOVT 2305 Day Month Year Opposing Viewpoints: Gay Marriage One man. One woman. That has been the prevailing thought for years when one talks about traditional marriage in the United States. In recent decades, however, this thinking has been challenged by not only the Gay and Lesbian community, but by other social activists across the country…
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Gay Marriage

Download file to see previous pages... Others believe that this is a fight for religious freedom, making their voices heard that “Gay marriage legislation threatens the very religious liberties we have fought so hard to maintain for centuries” (Ross 101). Perhaps, there is no more divisive a social issue today than gay marriage. In determining how America will move forward in this regard, the definition of love and marriage, the legal ramifications, and the effects on societal values must all be closely examined. Perhaps the strongest argument in support of gay marriage is that the government should not be permitted to legislate whom a person is permitted to love. Now, legislators will contend that laws are not designed to keep members of society from loving members of the same sex. If they choose to love and cohabitate with the same gender, however, the benefits of marriage will not be afforded to them. James Kellard points out that, “Conservatives do not argue that the US Constitution bans gay marriage, probably because the opposite is true” (98). ...
Kellard points out, for example, “there are people who marry for money, non-sexual companionship, even health insurance” (99). The argument, therefore, can be made that marriage should not be denied to two consenting adults simply based on their sex, when opposite sex couples are equally (perhaps even more so) prone to getting married for reasons contrary to the traditional definition of marriage. The legal ramifications of this issue are far reaching. Interestingly, a movement began in this country back in the 1980s to rid society of discrimination against homosexuals. While you cannot force a person to change their heart and mindset towards a people group, laws can be enacted to protect groups of people. This is exactly what has taken place of the last 30 years. Gays and lesbians are now more protected in the workplace and hate crimes laws have been enacted, just to name a few. The fight for gay marriage truly began in Hawaii in 1991. Since that time, several states across the country have enacted laws granting gays and lesbians the right to marry, while a host of others have specifically passed laws defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, thereby effectively barring gays and lesbians from taking part in this institution. As an answer to this issue at the federal level, the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996. “This bill specified that all federal legislation dealing with marriage would refer solely to heterosexual marriages” (United States Congress 68). This essentially means that the federal government, for example, still does not recognize a legal marriage in the state of New York. The two sides are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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