Upholding the Right to Marry - Essay Example

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It proved to be a significant moment in US history as same sex couples have found a beacon of hope in the impending possibility of making same sex marriage legal and accepted in all of the 50 states of the country…
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Upholding the Right to Marry
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Upholding the Right to Marry: A Position Paper on Allowing Same Sex Marriage in the US When New York legalized same sexmarriage in June this year, it became the sixth and largest US state to do so. It proved to be a significant moment in US history as same sex couples have found a beacon of hope in the impending possibility of making same sex marriage legal and accepted in all of the 50 states of the country. It was a sentimental occasion for me as well, because it meant that my favorite Aunt Toni , who is living in New York, and her partner of 16 long years finally have the legal rights to make their union lawful and acknowledged by the state. However, while such an event fired up the feelings of love and optimism in the hearts of many, it also generated unreasonable outcries of hate and a flood of protests, mainly from religious groups, condemning the law as a disgrace to humanity. What these protesters fail to realize is that the only thing that no institution is being violated with the legalization of same sex marriage. Rather, such a law merely provides homosexual couples the same rights that heterosexual couples have, and often take for granted. People who oppose same sex marriages claim that it is discriminatory and distorts the natural condition of society. In an article for, book author and University of Mississippi School of Law Professor Ronald Rychlak claims that allowing same sex marriage presents a threat to religious liberty as he outlined a number of cases when the government “forced its view on a church agency.” He talks of an event in Massachusetts in 2004, when justices of the peace who were fired because they refused to preside over same-sex unions. He also recalls a case in 2007 when two women in New Jersey who were denied the use of a Methodist ministry-owned pavilion for their civil union ceremony filed a complaint, which led to the revocation of the Methodist ministry’s tax-free status (Rychlak). Political writer Mary Mostert likewise opposes same sex marriage and supports her view in her article for She reasons that allowing same sex marriage would lead to the deterioration of the family as a unit of society (Mostert). However, not only are these fears unfounded, they are the very things that same sex marriage is trying to avoid. There is absolutely no discrimination in same sex marriage laws as what Rychlak is trying to claim, only provisions that provide for what is actually a basic human right. In response to Mostert’s view that the fundamental social institution of marriage should be protected, I think Mostert needs to keep up with more recent realities. As pointed out by Kathy Belge in her Pro Gay Marriage article in, divorce rates are at an all time high. Television programs hold a contest in which winners get to “Marry a Millionaire” (Belge). To use Belge’s words, “the argument in saving a sacred institution is pointless.” My Aunt Toni would say that homosexuals actually uphold marriage even better. The only reason why two people would subject themselves to all these trouble just to legalize their union would be the great love that they have for each other. And yet there are even more persistent issues why same sex marriage should be legalized in the United States. Same sex couples need the security that a legal union can offer them. Around five years ago, Aunt Toni’s partner, Anne, got in a very serious vehicular accident which nearly cost her her life. As soon as Aunt Toni heard about it, she rushed to the hospital to find out how Anne was. They have been together for around ten years and they were practically each other’s family and yet Aunt Toni was not allowed to see Anne because “they were not related.” It was one of the most ridiculous things that I had ever heard when I found out about it. I had thought that the portrayals they made on TV and in the movies were exaggerated and yet it was actually happening to my own Aunt. Without the legal protection of same sex marriage, homosexual partners are nothing more than just a regular “friend” who does not have any legal right over their partner. As Austine Cline aptly puts it in his article for, marriage establishes a legal and social relationship that allows two people to be able to support each other emotionally, physically, economically, and psychologically. Why should two people be refused such basic rights? There is no reason that the marriage of a homosexual couple should not be allowed. The legalization of same sex marriage does not threaten the integrity of society. Rather, it strengthens us as a moral, just, and tolerant people, who cannot and must not be blinded by unfounded fears and so-called threats to the sanctity of an institution. Same sex marriage should be made legal in all 50 states of the country, and homosexual couples should be able to exercise their right as much as any heterosexual couple should. Works Cited: Belge, Kathy. Pro Gay Marriage - Why Gay Marriage Should be Legal. 2010. 29 November 2011 . Cline, Austine. Arguments for Gay Marriage: Moral and Social Arguments for Gay Marriage. 2011. 29 November 2011 . Mostert, Mary. Renew America. 29 November 2011 . Rychlak, Ronald. The Unintended Consequences of 'Same Sex Marriage'. 2 May 2008. 30 November 2011 . Read More
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