Same Sex Marriage Is America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle Term Paper
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Same Sex Marriage
For many years now, the issue of same sex marriage has been prominent all over the United States. It has been either present in lawsuits, competing in legislation, or ballot initiatives in order to legalize in all the states. It is seen that about seventy percent of the people are not in favor of gay marriage. The right to marry someone regardless of their age, sex, or ethnicity is a human right. It should be noted that these rights should not be influenced by someone else's feelings, religion or decisions. The Supreme Court ruling that took down parts of the Defense of Marriage act led to a lot of protests and activity by people in favor gay marriage. Regardless, it is true that same sex marriage is most definitely a civil right and people should fight for it to be accepted as one.
In order to initiate the discussion, it should be made clear as to what human or civil rights are. Human rights are basically rights that belong to any person. These rights are there regardless of the sex, nationality, place of residence, ethnicity, religion or color the other person is. These rights are given to every person and these rights are also protected by the constitutional amendments. Same sex marriage is also one of the rights that is indivisible, interdependent and interrelated (Evans & Sahnoun, 2001) It should be noted that human rights do not only go on to cover a person's political or economical rights. These rights also include rights to security, property, and liberty, freedom of abode, speech, religion or expression. Same sex marriage does come under freedom of expression. On the idea of civil rights, Supreme Court highlighted the criteria of immutability, innateness and ability of the bearers of condition to speak for them. The Supreme Court of the United States declares that a person who is gay is not born with this condition and they can change this condition. Furthermore, the LGBTQ community can even speak up for their rights.
It should be noted that same sex marriage is a civil right. Same sex marriage is a civil right because every person deserves dignity and respect. Marriage is an institution that goes on to provide a couple with respect and dignity. It is the societies and the community's way of accepting the couple and their commitment towards each other. Another reason why same sex marriage is a civil right is because it provides people financial and social security. This is just important to the life of the person as is freedom of religion or freedom of speech. Legalizing same sex marriage will also go on to provide these people with more rights and a better place in the society.
Lastly, same sex marriage is a civil right because it promotes equality among everyone. Many people state that this community is not necessarily oppressed or discriminated against like the African-American group was in the 1960's. Even though the discrimination is not up front and problematic, that doesn't mean discrimination has been completely eliminated. It is true that gay men can still be legally fired only because of their orientation. Furthermore, in more than half the states, landlords refuse to rent gay people only because of their orientation.
Marriage is not a matter that is merely restricted to churches, synagogues or mosques. It should be noted that all these three go on to bless marriage but they do not make it an institution. It is the state and the law that make marriage an institution and they go on to legalize it. Many people believe that religion should not even be included in this matter that is strictly related to the courts and the state. There was a reason why separation of church and state was created. There is no mention or use of the world God in the constitution. This also means that there is no relation of constitutional rights to bible, Christianity or any other religion for that matter.
Even if the community does not consider same sex marriage a civil right issue, the gay persons in the community surely do. For the gay community, it is a chance to prove them and get themselves heard. It should be noted that these couples have been together since decades but the idea of being able to legally adopt
a child is quite grand for them. The amount of protest and efforts that this community is showing is proof that they will not back down without getting their rights heard.
Ever since the cut down on DOMA take place, 23 couples went on to file lawsuits to end this ban in 21 states. It should be known that state attorneys and governors in at least three states have gone to defend these bans in courts. On the other hand, county clerks in four states have gone to give licenses despite the ban that was announced. Hawaii is one of the states that is now actively considering allowing gay marriage (Bello, 2013) The momentum with which these efforts are taking place do resemble the civil rights movement that was initiated back in the 1960s. State by state, change is coming and people are beginning to be more in favor of same sex marriage.
Why should same sex marriage be legalized?
A legal marriage comes with a lot of other advantages. This provides tax advantages, next-of-kin status, it gives rights of inheritance when there is no will and it also provides retirement benefits as well. As stated above, many people think that being gay is the person's own choice and they having full control it. However, the real truth is that not a lot of people have a choice. People also think that being homosexual is just an example of one of the many sexual perversions that are present today. The real truth is that homosexuality is quite multidimensional. This union is more about affection and love than it is about sex. Being gay is more than just an attraction but it is part of the person's core identity. A person can't really help who he is attracted to. For people, sex is basically considered as a means of expressing love. Only gays can understand that being heterosexual is their identity and it is something they don't have any control over.
Many people also think that same sex marriage should not be allowed because the persons cannot procreate. However, it should be noted that the population of the world has grown by more than two thirds every since 1963. (West, 2010) This means that people are reproducing at a very fast rate. This only means increased population and lack of resources for our future generations. Therefore for this reason, proponents of gay marriages feel that couples who aren't able to procreate might not be such a bad thing after all. Many couples who are in a traditional marriage also opt for not having children. There are couples present who are basically infertile. There is a problem either with the man or the women. These people therefore opt for things like in vitro fertilization or even adoption for that matter. Therefore we see that these couples also cannot procreate but this does not mean that the court should go onto declare their marriage illegal as well.
It is true that many people the society are not used to the idea of same sex couples. The thing that they need to focus on is that same sex marriage is here. If the court does go on to ban same sex marriage, that will still not reduce the number of gay couples that are present today. These couples might just opt to move to the states where its legal, but they will not go on to change their sexual orientation. The entire attitude and perception about gay or lesbian couples has changed to quite an extent with time. Media has also played a positive role in creating equality and just treatment for people who are either gay or lesbians. This clearly indicates that the society at large does wish to promote equality and it does not wish to discriminate
It is noted that same sex attraction has always been present in the society. These persons are accepted and given respect. They are given the right to vote and they are also provided with an equal social status. The court however argues that it has never been against same sex unions. For instance, homosexuals are given protection from discrimination (Romer v Evans) and they are not prosecuted for private sexual acts either (Lawrence v Texas) In asking for the legalization of same sex marriage, this community is calling on to discard the time-tested union of one man and one woman. This notion has therefore stabilized and grounded many societies for millions of years. That is the major opposition that the court is putting up against the legalization of same sex marriage.
Marriage itself is not the same pure union…
Sources Used in Documents:
Adam, B. (1995). The rise of a gay and lesbian movement. New York: Twayne Publishers.
Bello, M. (2013). Emboldened, gay marriage activists eye 50 states. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/02/gay-marriage-states-supreme-court/3175799 / [Accessed: 2 Nov 2013].
Evans, G. And Sahnoun, M. (2001). The responsibility to protect. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.
Mohr, R. (1994). A More Perfect Union. Boston.
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