Should Same Sex Marriages Be Legally Sanctioned Term Paper

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Same Sex Marriages Should Be Legally Sanctioned

Some of the most pervasive problems that exist within American society today are the problems of prejudice, stemming from fear of what is different and seems to be alien. Only by making what is alien seem to wear a more familiar, human face, can such deep-seated hatred be uprooted and destroyed. Prejudice, and the violence that is the result of such hatred, is particularly virulent against those individuals whom identify as homosexual, even if they wish to form stable and legitimate marital unions until death do them part. One of the reasons for this is because homosexuality is still seen as a vice, rather than as a legitimate bond between two loving people. The solution to this problem is to legally sanction same-sex marriages, giving same-sex unions equal legal and moral legitimacy as heterosexual unions.

Conservative opponents of same-sex marriages are quick to cry that such legal sanctions cheapen the institution of marriage. Marriage, conservatives are, have been traditionally formed between a male and a female partner. However, to argue that expanding the definition of marriage threatens existing unions is no more logically coherent than to argue that merely because an individual disapproves of a particular union between two opposite-gendered individuals means that his or her own union is cheapened. Heterosexuals wed for what could be viewed even less legitimate reasons than homosexuals, at times -- because the heterosexual couple is emotionally incompatible, but sexually enamored of one other or a pre-existing arrangement between the two spouse's parents. A man and a woman can marry more for financial matters rather than for reasons of the heart. But none of these worst-case heterosexual examples means that, by extension, that other loving heterosexual unions between opposite-gendered spouses are cheapened. Marriage is not a cohesive institution, but a societal union that must be flexible with changing societal and personal needs. Also, imperfect unions will be formed because marriage is an emotional as well as a legal bond, but the mere existence of different reasons for entering into, staying in, or severing a marriage does not threaten this sublimely fluid yet strong institution.

Some have also argued that marriage is primarily for procreative purposes. But what of marriages between couples who are sterile, or who chose to adopt children, as many homosexual couples do? This argument seems particularly absurd, given that homosexual couples can have children from pre-existing heterosexual unions, while healthy heterosexual couples capable of having children may deign not to give birth. Robert P. George has criticized the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, because of its ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, legitimizing same-sex unions. George argued that the court has "radically redefined marriage to remove the requirement of sexual complementarities that…

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Works Cited

George, Robert P. (Nov. 28, 2003): "One Man and One Woman." Wall Street Journal. A8.

Thomas, Evan. (July 7, 2003): "The War Over Gay Marriage." Newsweek. P.38.

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