The union of two people belonging to the same sex is termed as gay marriage. The supporters of this sort of marriage usually plead for reforms that can recognize the union as they do traditional marriages. Gay marriage has long been an issue of concern in all manner of aspects ranging from political to religion with people arguing and debating on the morality of accepting it as part of the American culture. As observed in the study of the timeline of the American constitution, it is evident that the freedom to marry in the gay community has faced difficulties all through for the better part of the past five decades.
The first instance was 10th October in 1972 where the Supreme Court dismissed three cases forwarded by three gay couples. One of the cases was the Baker v. Nelson cases that involved the refusal by the Hennepin County to permit and provide marriage license to James Michael McConnell and Richard Baker who were a gay couple. Their claim was dismissed by three courts including the Supreme Court, which also ascertained the clerk authority to refuse licensing gay marriages. The signing of the DOMA law by President Clinton was a throw back to the gay community’s effort in pursuing the legalization and licensing of gay marriages. The law stated that any gay couple was to receive unequal treatment depriving them of an estimated 1,138 responsibilities and protections for the marriage institution.
The first trial that questioned the reasoning behind the state laws against the licensing of same sex marriages was on 3rd December 1996 (“History and Timeline”). The leader of the trial proceeding was Co-counsel Dan Foley and Evan Wolfson. The ruling that was passed after the trail was by Judge Kevin Chang who ruled that there was no valid reason why the state did not allow or permit the licensing of gay marriages. The gay community was greatly motivated in 22nd September 1999 when California became the first ever state to form domestic partnership statute, which permitted the same sex couples to assess the protection offered by the marriage institution laws (“History and Timeline”). Over time, the statute has been amended allowing more protection for different sex marriages.
Another positive event that occurred was in November 18th in 2003 when Massachusetts joined the states permitting same sex marriages. The Supreme Court ruled that gay couples had the freedom to marry and affirmed its ruling by reiterating that only the marriage institution can provide protection to the couple and their families that was not the same for lesser unions such as domestic partnership. There were still many anti gay activities that formed a strong front against the marriage in the gay community. States against the union of same sex couples totaled to 17 when Louisiana Supreme court reinstated a ban on same sex marriages on January 19 2005 (“History and Timeline”).
In the recent times, there have been changes in the laws pertaining to gay marriages. The DOMA has been seen as unconstitutional by important public figures like President Obama, who in February 23rd 2011, with the support of Attorney General Eric Holder, declared the administration would no longer support and defends the DOMA owing to the fact it was indefensible (“History and Timeline”).. In the year, 2013 and 2014 more states have permitted gay marriages and supported by laws that defend the sanctity of such marriages. Events that illustrate the acceptance of the same sex marriages include the ruling by U.S District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen in Virginia. The ruling favored gay marriages stating they should be accorded the same respect as traditional marriages. The same occurred in Texas when U.S District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in favor of freedom to marry in the gay community.
Pro and Con Gay Marriage
There are two sides to a coin in every situation. The legalization of gay marriages has faced debates weight both the negatives and the positives. The first thought that supports the legislation of gay marriage is, just like the traditional marriage, gay couples deserve the right to display their love and commitment as the heterosexual partners without hiding (“Should Gay”). The constitution should offer the same rights of freedom without discriminating on the sexual orientation of the married couple. A thought that counteracts this line of thinking crops when the definition of marriage is stated which the unification of man and woman in the holy matrimony. This has long been the belief since time immemorial before the inception of constitutions. Many people hold that belief as it is stated in the Bible.
Basing on the belief that the constitution is based on equality, same sex couples should have the same benefits and protections as offered to their heterosexual counterparts (“Should Gay”). The refusal to allow the gay partners to experience these benefits incurs a huge cost in expenses with a difference of $41,196 as compared to heterosexual couples. However, allowing gay marriages to wed will eventually corrode the institution of marriage and its core values. There are already strain-causing factors placed on traditional marriages as it is, thus allowing gay marriages will only worsen the situation. There have been high rates of divorce rates and children born out of wedlock threatening to disrupt and weaken the institution thus an additional aspect like gay marriages will only destroy it
Change is always a welcomed aspect as the world evolves. A huge part of the American populous now supports gay marriages as it seen as part of an evolving process. A brief example that validates the eventual acceptance of change is interracial marriages. These marriages were termed as illegal until the law prohibiting them was revoked by the Supreme Court in 1967 (“Should Gay”). This showed there has been evolution in terms of people’s concepts and attitudes thus gay marriages should be taken as part of that evolutionary change. However, there is a notion negating the evolution of attitudes. From a religious aspect, gayism is seen as a vice and has been rebuked by many pious politicians and the church. The acceptance of gay marriage is seen as paving way to other vices such as bestiality, polygamous relations, and incest, which erode all the values of marriage and its sanctity.
There is always a positive aspect to any situation. Gay marriages offer the opportunity of financial gain to local and state government (“Should Gay”). According to New York City Comptroller, the legalization of gay marriages would rack in an estimated amount of $142 million to the economy of the city and an addition al $184 million to the federal government. The financial gain is attributed to the marriage penalties charged on gay marriages, the decrease in expenditure by the state in offering benefits to such unions and the marriage licenses that are usually paid for. However, legalization of same sex marriages translates to more children being raised in a same sex household. This type of setting is not conducive to a child considering not everyone has embraced gayism as part of the American Culture.
Politicians play a vital role in how the public perceives gayism and their union in marriage. Republican Senator, Rob Portman, was one of the politicians directly affected by gayism and changed his perspective on the topic. This was after his son, William Portman, came out of the closet and openly declared he was gay (Hoffman). After finding out his son was gay, the senator came out in support of the gay community. Republican Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has rebuked the gayism in the nation and has actively defended the ban against gay marriage (Mack). This followed the overturning of gay marriage ban by the U.S District Court judge in March 21st. Republicans in support of the gay marriages include U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, state Rep. Margret O’Brien and House Speaker Jase Bolger. They expressed their dislike towards rude remarks made by republican Dave Agema. Bolger reiterated, “I do not respect, and frankly am disgusted by, anyone who demonizes someone because of their sexual orientation.” (Mack 1).
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring declared he would not support the ban against gay marriages (Eilperin 1). Despite his democratic political affiliation, he felt the ban was unconstitutional. This guaranteed him strong support from the gay community who ensured he secured his position in the election. The same support has been expressed by North Carolina’s Senator, Kay Hagan who announced she supported the idea of gay having rights to marry (Eilperin). Despite heavy criticism by her republican contender, Charlotte pastor Mark Harris, terming it as a grave mistake, she has stood by her belief. In a statement by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, a democrat, he expressed that North Carolina should permit gay couple to marry in fairness as it would promote marriage equality.
In my opinion, I belief people
should be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation. Gay marriages
should be licensed and the couples allowed benefits as their heterosexual
counterparts. Most people would refute this by stating that allowing this vice,
gayism, would lead to moral corrosion in the society and weaken the values of
marriage. In defense to that point is that the modern human being is open
minded and thus the practice will continuously be rampant as means of forcing
the government to accept gay marriages. In conclusion, there will always be a
political and moral divide as regards the topic on gay marriages and the
community as seen by the views held by the democrats and republicans as well as
the citizens of the nation.
“History and Timeline of the Freedom to Marry in the United States”. Freedom to Marry. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 25 Mar .2014.
“Should Gay Marriage be Legal.” ProCon. Demand media. n.d. web. 15 Jan .2014.
Hoffman, Ryan. “Opinion: Republican senator changes position on GAY Marriage; rest need to follow suit.” The News Record. 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Mack, Julien. “Julie Mack: Kalamazo Chairman represents party’s shifting grounds on gay marriage.” Mlive Michigan. n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.
Eilperin, Juliet. “Democrats, see same-sex marriage as issue that will mobilize voters.” The Washington Post. 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan 2014.