Same-Sex Marriage Few Modern Issues Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Divorce is no longer taboo at all. It is not unusual, but almost expected, for couples to marry, have at least one child, and subsequently separate. About half of American children are being raised in single-parent households or in households where there is a revolving door of partners for their custodial parent. Divorce is not the only issue that threatens the institution of marriage in America; approximately one in four people are currently in an abusive marriage. Furthermore, if a woman in America is murdered, the odds are overwhelming that her husband is the killer. Domestic violence does more to provide a real threat to more marriages in America than same-sex marriage ever could. As far as threatening individual marriages, the legalization of gay marriage would probably promote individual relationships. If homosexuals had the opportunity to marry their chosen partners, they may feel less pressure to remain in the closet, and be less likely to marry someone of the opposite sex.

The final compelling reason that is offered when people suggest legislating against same-sex marriages is that same-sex marriage would be harmful to children. There is simply not enough empirical evidence to determine whether or not that is true. In fact, studies may show that children with two parents of the same sex are actually better-off than children of heterosexual couples. Because there is a lack of empirical evidence, the next best source of evidence is to ask children of homosexual couples about their experiences. According to Ry Russo-Young, while predominantly positive, her experience growing up as the straight daughter of a lesbian couple left her suspicious of the heterosexual world (Dominus). Perhaps that suspicion is not unwarranted. When Ry speaks of walking down the street with her boyfriend and feeling privileged to be part of a heterosexual couple, she is referring to those real privileges and benefits that people get from the rest of society when they are seen as conforming to society's norms. Heterosexual privilege is similar to white privilege, and it is rare for a person in a majority group to truly understand majority privilege. So, Ry could never claim that her childhood was the same as it would have been if she had grown up as the child of heterosexual parents, but she would disagree with anyone that alleged that her childhood was in any way inferior because she grew up in a home with two loving parents.

After looking at the arguments used to support the idea that there is a rational basis to discriminate against homosexuals in marriage laws, it is clear that the arguments are spurious. The Establishment Clause specifically prohibits the use of religion in determining Government policy. Homosexual relationships have been present throughout history and in various areas of biology. In addition, America has a history of denying the right to marry as a way to discriminate against oppressed minorities. The modern institution of marriage is no more compelling of a reason than the historical state of marriage; half of current first marriages end in divorce. Finally, the children of homosexual couples do not appear to fair better or worse than children of heterosexual couples. Without a compelling government interest, there is no rational basis for legislation prohibiting same-sex marriage. Therefore, same-sex marriages should be legal.

Works Cited

Daniels, Cora. "Not the Marrying Kind." New York Times Magazine. 4 Apr. 2004.

Mathiasen.com http://www.mathiasen.com/texts/nytimes_marriage.html.

Dominus, Susan. "Growing Up with Mom and Mom." New York Times Magazine. 24 Oct. 2004. NYTimes.com. 15 Mar. 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/magazine/24KIDS.html?ex=1111035600&en=656b9a5c2df4044b&ei=5070&ei=5087&en=f38f090206fd0295&ex=1101441600&rd=hcmcp?p=048CcD048Cea4Jyc_012000mzPv%24zPwK&nl=ep&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1110899159-NQx7RMeEtns2Jxp+R4YdZQ.

Garrow, David J. "Towards a More Perfect Union." New York Times Magazine. 9 May 2004.

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. 15 Mar. 2005 http://www.glad.org/marriage/NYTimes_Magazine_5-9-04.html.

Solomon, Deborah. "Same-Sex Selection." New York Times Magazine. 9 May 2004.

Joandistrict6.com. 15 Mar. 2005 http://www.joandistrict6.com/NYTMag-QandA.html.

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Daniels, Cora. "Not the Marrying Kind." New York Times Magazine. 4 Apr. 2004.

Mathiasen.com http://www.mathiasen.com/texts/nytimes_marriage.html.

Dominus, Susan. "Growing Up with Mom and Mom." New York Times Magazine. 24 Oct. 2004. NYTimes.com. 15 Mar. 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/24/magazine/24KIDS.html?ex=1111035600&en=656b9a5c2df4044b&ei=5070&ei=5087&en=f38f090206fd0295&ex=1101441600&rd=hcmcp?p=048CcD048Cea4Jyc_012000mzPv%24zPwK&nl=ep&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1110899159-NQx7RMeEtns2Jxp+R4YdZQ.

Garrow, David J. "Towards a More Perfect Union." New York Times Magazine. 9 May 2004.

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