The Issue of Gay Marriage Summary This essay debates the issue of same sex marriage in the United States. It considers the pros and cons and examines the constitutional issues involved. Introduction Two strangers become friends and later fall in love. They tell their friends and family that they have each found their soul mate and they intend to get married as soon as possible. There is only one issue preventing them from getting married, not financial issues, and there are no love triangles.
Depending on where they live, their marriage may not be recognized in the state they live in. The right of gay and lesbian couples to marry has been debated for many years with valid reasons supporting but the proponents and supporters. The minute a human being is conceived, it is already endowed with the rights that are given to it by the United States Constitution. These fundamental civil rights include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights also include the right to marry.
Even though the institution of marriage has been traditionally defined as being between a man and a woman, gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry because it will give same-sex couples access to basic rights traditional couples have and Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Argument There are many rights same-sex couples will acquire if same-sex marriage is legalized. Same-sex couples want the same rights that heterosexual couples have. If an emergency, such as a health crisis occurs between a gay couple, they have no say so in any of the healthcare decisions of their partner.
When a married person dies, his or her spouse is considered the next of kin. The homosexual’s surviving partner does not have that right. Even in cases where wills are present, family members have sued for burial rights, property etc. , on grounds of dementia or undue influences (Demian 2). This is the same policy at a hospital. A partner has no more importance regarding medical decisions than a total stranger. Same-sex couples have no legal right no matter how long they have been together just simply because they don’t have a civil union.
Benefits are one reason why same-sex couples want to have marriage legalized. More and more, gay couples are insisting that they receive the same legal rights that the traditional, heterosexual married couples receive. Gay rights advocates believe that it is inequitable and biased to refuse to give certain privileges to any couple, gay or not. While same-sex couples can protect themselves by creating wills and powers of attorneys, this monetary benefit does not come close to the advantages a couple receives from being married.
Demian states, some of the benefits same-sex couples could receive if married: • Automatic Assumption of Spouse’s Pension • Automatic Inheritance • Automatic Housing Lease Transfer • Bereavement Leave (offered by some employers) • Burial Determination • Child Custody • Joint Parenting If the states were to make gay marriage legal, it will result in a positive net impression on the state’s budget as it did for Vermont according to the article “The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Vermont” by Christopher Ramos, M. V. Lee Badgett, and Brad Sears of the William Institute. In the “Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Vermont” It mentions that Forbes Magazine forecasts that if same-sex marriage were to be nationwide it would generate $ 16. 8 billion in expenses making a significant gain in the United States yearly $70 billion business. The tourism business will also get an advantage from the legalization of same-sex marriage. This will not only benefit hotels in the state but international businesses as well. The establishment of same-sex marriage in California and Oregon assisted these projections.
It was noted that same sex couples from eight different countries and 46 states traveled to San Francisco on the one month that the city issued same sex marriage. Some research suggests same sex marriages could save money for federal and state governments. And for corporate America, the costs of extending benefits to the partners and families of homosexual employees are small. More and more companies, state and municipal governments, and colleges and universities are granting benefits to homosexual workers and children.
One big reason: It’s cheap. On average, it would add 1-2 percent tops to employers’ benefit costs. At the state level, studies by homosexual research or advocacy groups also find or predict a positive impact on budgets from same-sex marriage or domestic partner legislation. This is primarily because the changed law would reduce the number of people utilizing means-tested programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps. The incomes of domestic partners would be merged for means-testing, and some partners would look after each other without state help.
Conservatives that oppose homosexual marriages discount these cost- benefit studies because they deal with the short-term impact, and not the long-term effect of redefining marriage. Many will argue that children of lesbian and gay parents do not grow up the “same” as children of heterosexual parents. Opponents argue that children raised by gay parents were more likely to consider homosexual relationships. “Sexual orientation of a parent is critical to the upbringing of a child. Society is based on the ideal of having heterosexual parents, and it goes against values for same sex parents to raise children.
Having homosexual parents is also a major stressor for a child due to society’s norms and values. It can cause embarrassment and abnormal feelings. Children who are raised in alternative family lifestyles are more likely to engage in drugs and have negative feelings towards their parents and themselves, than children raised by normal families (Qualey). The fear that children of lesbian and gay parents will become lesbian or gay is irrational in that studies show that the sexual orientation of the parents has no effect whatsoever on sexual orientation of youths. A study examined the sexual orientation of 82 adult sons of 55 gay men. They found that more than 90% of the sons whose sexual orientation could be rated were heterosexual. Gay and heterosexual sons did not differ on potentially relevant variables such as length of time they had lived with their fathers” (Bailey, J. 1995). Another argument is that marriage is traditionally a heterosexual institution. Opponents claim the bible defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. The Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family but neither explicitly definees marriage as between one man and one woman.
In conclusion, many people believing that homosexual couples should not receive the same rights as heterosexual couples affect this issue. Religious groups such as Mormons believe that the gay lifestyle is very immoral to one’s values. Morals and what his or her family thinks of the lifestyle also come along with being gay or lesbian. Many very successful men in the United States such as lawyers, doctors, and advertising executives are gay as well. Same-sex marriage should be legalized and recognized in every state.