The Thirteen American Arguments, he discusses every outlook in correlation of each argument and the topic he is discussing. However, he failed to include a detailed argument on whether homosexual couples are endowed to the same rights as heterosexual couples and how this would affect the country. In this essay, __ will be discussing whether homosexuals should be classified as part of what we like to call “the People”, or not. The beginning of the
Declaration of Independence, co-written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams, and Robert R. Livingston, states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” To most children under 18 in the United States, this is just another quote that we hear at least once a month; however, thirty-one states in this country have banned homosexuals from exercising that final ‘God-given’ right. Conservatives against same-sex marriage typically argue that the institution of marriage is defined as a religious union between a man and a woman,“It is a privilege, not a right.” they insist.
According to a statement made on July 31, 2003 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and approved by Pope John Paul ll, marriage “was established by the Creator with its own nature and essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and woman.” Despite the fact that this statement it is approved by the Pope, it is highly inaccurate. Given modern and ancient evidence of polygamy, communal child-bearing, the use of concubines and mistresses, along with the commonality of prostitution, heterosexual monogamy can be considered “unnatural” in evolutionary terms. Marriage is a secular institution which should not be limited by religious objection. Nancy Scott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that “civil law has always been supreme in defining and regulating marriage” including that religious leaders are accustomed to performing marriages because the state has given them the authority to do so. In agreement, the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia confirmed that marriage is “one of the basic civil rights of man,” and same-sex marriages should receive the same protections given to interracial marriages based on that conclusion.
Unlike what most conservatives assume, legalizing same-sex marriage will not ‘destroy’ heterosexual marriages or “family values.” The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association found that more than a century of research has revealed “no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.” A study published on April 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly discovered that “laws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage, divorce, and abortion rates,” as well as “the percent of children born out of wedlock…” Conservatives against homosexual marriage are lead to believe that it has and/or will undermine the institution of marriage, as well. For example, Sweden began offering same-sex couples benefits in 1987, Denmark soon followed in 1989 and lastly Norway in 1993.
As stated in a report made by Stanley Kurtz, PhD, on February 29, 2004, from 1990 to 2000, Norway’s out-of-wedlock birth rate rose from 39% to 50% along with Sweden’s rising from 47% to 55%; this percentage rose 25% in Denmark during the 1990s. However, they did not take into account that these children may have been born for same-sex couples, since they obviously could not reproduce with each other. Some argue that this is not an optimum environment for children to be raised in(a same-sex partnership household). ‘Girls who are raised apart from their fathers are reportedly at a higher risk for early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Children without a mother are deprived of the emotional security and unique advice that mothers provide.’
Nonetheless, gay marriage would make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt, providing stable homes for children who would otherwise be left in foster care; in the U.S. alone, over 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted. A longitudinal study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children with lesbian mothers are rated higher in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems compared to children with heterosexual mothers. A month later, another study concluded that children of gay fathers were “as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents.” Ezra Klein, from the Washington Post , affirmed, “We should be begging gay couples to adopt children. We should see this as a great boon[blessing; benefit] that gay marriage could bring to kids, who need nothing more than two loving parents.”
On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the Uniteds States of America to legalize gay marriage; Connecticut was the 2nd, on November 12, 2008. The other 16 states (Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maine, Maryland, California, Delaware, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania) followed not long after that, concluding with Illinois on June 1 of this year. These 19 states decided to allow same-sex couples the same benefits only offered to married couples before, such as hospital visitation during illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending. On December 17, 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost to the federal government for extending employment benefits to same-sex domestic partners of certain federal employees (making no mention of additional costs such as Social Security and inheritance taxes) would be about five-hundred and ninety-six million dollars in mandatory spending and three-hundred and two million dollars in discretionary spending between 2010 and 2019.
This has angered conservatives because they did not feel it was right for their tax money to be used on something they did not support. In contrast, revenue from gay marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes, and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. The Comptroller for New York City found that legalizing gay marriage would bring one-hundred and forty-two million dollars to the city’s economy and one-hundred and eighty-four million dollars to the state’s economy over three years. That may not seem like a lot compared to the amount it would cost to the federal government however, eventually, with that amount incoming to the states, the federal government will regain what was lost.
Some people also believe that the purpose of marriage is for reproducing; since gay marriage would only further shift the purpose of marriage from producing and raising children to adult gratification. On the other hand, if this were fact then infertile couples would not be allowed to marry as well. The ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington, also known as “the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha, and neither did four other married US presidents. This idea that homosexual marriage will undermine the institution of marriage is preposterous. However, we have to remember that opponents of same-sex marriage are generally thinking less of “legal marriage” in the secular or civil sense and more of “holy wedlock” in the religious or sacred sense. Nonetheless, religious arguments against gay marriage are unacceptable in a society based upon secular laws. Unfortunately for same-sex marriage opponents, there doesn’t seem to be any valid secular reasons for thinking that allowing gay couples to marry will have any disastrous effects on marriage in general.
Others argue that homosexual people are less committed to monogamy than heterosexuals are; thus, homosexual marriages are more likely to be “open marriages”(where two people have a weaker commitment to one another whether it be sexually, psychologically, socially, and emotionally). They claim that this is not a healthy environment for children to grow up and that is one of the ‘main purposes’ of marriage. In conclusion, homosexual couples are as beneficial not only to the economy but to their children as well. The only reasons preventing them for obtaining their happiness is conservatives against same-sex marriage and think that it is a sin against the Creator. When in reality, they have the freedom of choice and the ‘pursuit of happiness’ which should allow homosexual couples to be equals heterosexual couples, but only time will tell.
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