Friday, June 17, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" Ernest Gaines
I still, for the life of me, cannot fathom why many people are fearful of giving marital rights to homosexual couples, but supportive of killing in the name of God. If everyone is granted these civil rights from birth, then how can a society discriminate against the marriage of homosexual couples? There are various arguments against same-sex marriage, however none of the arguments have any verifiable evidence to support them. In my research, I have come to the conclusion that the eight main arguments that continue to come up have no validity what-so-ever to deny homosexuals these rights. The majority of these arguments come from fear and religious convictions. There is a reason why Americans are granted freedom of religion, so that they can choose freedom from religion.
One Man, One Woman?
The most commonly used argument is that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Even though this is the most often-heard argument, it is the weakest. Who is entitled to decide the definition of marriage? Where does this definition of marriage come from? This particular definition is a religious one which should be void of any significance in legal matters. Although America has its roots as a Christian nation, there is a reason why there is such a thing as Separation of Church and State. Marriage is a social institution, although derived from religious ceremonies, it is not solely based on it. There are plenty of non-religious people who get married. There is no reason to even argue this because the biggest issue is that everyone has this government protected right. We cannot choose who we give rights to and who we do not give rights to. That undermines the entire structure of our government. After all, America was created as a result from having no government, religious, or personal freedom.
Marriage is Only for Procreation
Another argument is that marriage is for procreation. If this is the case, then should infertile or impotent couples be prohibited from marrying? Such an argument would fail to persuade a society. However, the issues that homosexuals face are no different. If they cannot marry because they cannot procreate, then how can infertile and impotent people marry? It would cause an outrage, just as issues of gay rights do. What if the Bible said it was wrong for heterosexuals to have intercourse? Yet, in an odd way, it does imply that with its complete degradation of sex and the human body. We need to base our judgment off of facts and reality, not social moray.
It is also a wide belief that same-sex couples aren't optimal parents. This is a widely drawn-out statement because many studies have proved otherwise. In one instance, researchers looked at information gleaned from 15 studies on more than 500 children, evaluating possible stigma, teasing and social isolation, adjustment and self-esteem, opposite gender role models, sexual orientation, and strengths. Studies from 1981 to 1994, including 260 children reared by either heterosexual mothers or same-sex mothers after divorce, found no differences in intelligence, type or prevalence of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, well-being, peer relationships, couple relationships, or parental stress. If anything, the study shows that having homosexual parents is more beneficial because the children had less psychosocial difficulties at home and school. In a study of over 100 lesbian couples, it was noted that the children of lesbian couples are less aggressive, more nurturing to peers, more tolerant of diversity, and more inclined to play with both boy's and girl's toys, especially because the gender roles instilled in a heterosexual society often dictates what girls and boys are allowed to do and not do.
The fact that people argue that homosexuality is immoral is, again, a mute point. Who can dictate that this is immoral? There is no act of crime involved--no physical or emotional harm is being done to any degree. The actions that society deems immoral cause some kind of physical or emotional pain to others. Homosexual marriage is just the opposite. It is an act of love. Therefore, saying that homosexual marriage is immoral is irrelevant. There is no conclusive data to support this argument.
The wide-spread argument declaring that same-sex marriage threatens the institution is a highly absurd and ridiculous accusation. Allowing people to marry seems counter-intuitive to the idea of threatening the institution of marriage. If gay people are allowed to marry each other, they are no longer encouraged to marry people to whom they feel little attraction. Therefore, this would reduce the number of supposed heterosexual marriages that end up in the divorce courts. If anything, the biggest thing that could arguably threaten marriage is an unhappy marriage.
Scared of Change?
Considering marriage to be a traditional heterosexual institution brings up more issues. Slavery was also a traditional institution, but mankind eventually saw the evils within the institution and abolished it. Just because many people have believed and practiced something for a long time does not mean that it is right or humane. Denying these rights to citizens can be argued to be an utterly evil act that ought to be abolished just as slavery was. There were many arguments as to why people believed that whites were better than everyone else. If one does not think that prohibiting gay marriage is just the same as prohibiting non-whites and women from attending schools then there is some serious mental re-adjusting that should be considered.
The Slippery Slopes
People may also say that same-sex marriage would start us down a "slippery slope" towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and other manners of consequence. First of all, same-sex marriage cannot even be put in the same category as incest, bestiality, or polygamy because there is no evidence that same-sex marriage is physically or mentally harmful to others like incest, bestiality, and polygamy is. There are plenty of European countries with legalized marriage for homosexuals for more than twenty years and no legalization of these actual crimes has been completed.
Schools and their Communist Agendas
The claim that homosexuality would be promoted in schools is another false misconception out of fear and homophobia. Gay marriage is already legal in several states and many foreign countries and there is no evidence of psychosocial damage on children learning about the tolerance of homosexuality in school. The schools are not teaching children to become gay, they are simply informing them of social complexities of life in an objective way just as when they learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony. Besides infringing on civil rights, this act of censoring what people can and cannot learn violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. Children are introduced to murder, rape, incest, torture, and slavery when reading passages from the Bible. That, in my opinion, is far more damaging.
If there is a need to take away civil rights from an individual or a group of individuals, than there damn well needs to at least be some logical, verifiable evidence to support those claims because these are the lives of human beings we are dealing with. If we did not take a stand to those issues suppressing individuals in this country, there would not have been a civil rights movement, or a women’s movement, or any notion of liberty whatsoever. The fact that America does not deny these rights is part of what makes this government so unique from many other countries, adding to the reasons as to why America has become one of the strongest and most prosperous countries in the world. Those surpassing in wealth and in strength reside in Europe and are known to have even more civil opportunities than we have, such as gay marriage and universal health-care. That, alone, should make a statement. "No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody," (Rita Mae Brown).