Gay marriage is an exceedingly pressing issue in modern day
One of those arguments is that same-sex marriage decays families. “A recent article in the Weekly Standard described how the advent of legally sanctioned gay unions in Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today's children are born out of wedlock." (Dobson, 2007) The Scandinavian reports that the article seemingly refers to are the work that was conducted by author Stanley Klutz. Although, some people feel that his work has been discredited. “Many critics of same-sex marriage cite the work of Stanley Kurtz, a pundit at the right-wing Hoover Institution…Kurtz argues that gay marriage in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden has destroyed the institution of heterosexual marriage. There are several problems with his work, most notably that:
Same-sex marriage isn't actually legal in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These countries have domestic partnership laws, comparable to those of California and Vermont.
Marriage decline in Scandinavian nations is comparable to marriage decline in other relatively affluent European nations that do not legally recognize same-sex relationships, such as France and Germany.
Marriage decline has been ongoing for decades, and does not correlate to legal recognition of same-sex relationships." (Head, 2006)
Another argument that those anti-gay marriage present is that homosexuality is unnatural. Heterosexual relationships are considered to be “natural" because that is typically what we find in nature, while homosexual relationships are uncommon. Some believe, therefore, that such relationships are unnatural and should not be authenticated by society. “A common and simplistic meaning is that heterosexual relationships are ‘natural’ because that is what we find in nature, whereas we don’t find homosexual relationships." (Cline, 2010) Some who support same-sex marriage, however, feel that same-sex relationships are just as natural as hetero relationships. “Homosexuality has been a part of mankind since we walked the planet. And not just us-- some members of most animal species show a homosexual preference, as well" (Karenlyn, 2009)
A good point brought up by people against gay marriage is that gay marriage could possibly burden the government entitlement system. “It will amount to billions of dollars on an already overburdened system...Unproductive costs mean fewer jobs for those who need them. Are state and municipal governments to be required to raise taxes substantially to provide health insurance and other benefits to millions of new ‘spouses and other dependents’?" (Dobson, 2007) The opposing side feels that it will not make a major difference in the matter “If 4% of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian or gay and half of lesbians and gay men get married, then that's only a 2% increase in the national marriage rate. That won't make or break Social Security." (Head, 2010)
One of the strongest arguments brought up by those who are anti-gay marriage is that marriage between a man and a woman is the tradition. “A man and a woman joined together in holy matrimony is the time-tested ‘yardstick’ for marriage. One cannot alter the definition of marriage without throwing society into confusion any more than one can change the definition of a yardstick." (Dailey, 2004) Although others feel that the institution of marriage has never really been static. “At its beginnings, marriage was often about the exchange of property or even about creating peace between two countries. In many places and in many times, marriage was between several people, or wasn't even recognized by law, or was purchased only with large amounts of money. And as early as the 1960's and 70's, the right to marry was denied to interracial couples and the mentally handicapped… It's an institution which is constantly in flux." (Robinson, 2009)
Each opposing side of the issue of same-sex marriage has many excellent, valid points. After examination and review, I personally feel that gay marriage should be made legal. Although some research has proven that their relationships may have more problems, I believe that homosexuality is not a choice. Because of this, their civil rights are being violated and in an abstract their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness as well. Gays are people too. They have the capacity to love just as strongly as straight people do and they deserve the right to have a spouse with the same rights that hetero couples have, along with the dignity, respect, and financial security that comes with marriage. I also feel that many of the arguments brought up against gay marriage deal with the subject of religion. I feel strongly that the institutions of church and state should be kept separate, and because marriage is a legal status, it should be looked at in that way. Banning gay marriage would have no purpose outside of the religious world, and it only brings harm to those homosexual individuals who really care about their life partners. Maybe one day homosexual relationships will receive the same recognition as heterosexual couples do. But for now, the battle for equal rights rages on.