Unequal Rights in Marriage Essay Sample
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Unequal Rights in Marriage Essay Sample
Mr. Thomas had the necessary documents proving his domestic partnership with Mr. Dawson but the hospital’s staff refused to advise Mr. Thomas of his partner’s health status. “We had all of the paperwork that any gay couple could have in the State of Ohio,” he said. “They said, ‘You’re not family’ ” (PARKER-POPE, 2010). The situation could have been avoided if the gay couple had equal rights in marriage. Gay couples that are in a loving committed relationship should not be denied equal rights in marriage but should be treated in the same way as heterosexual couples. I have been in a same-sex domestic partnership for thirteen years. My partner suffers from a heart condition that has sent her to the hospital many times.
The hospital has denied me any information concerning her condition each time she was admitted. If my partner and I could be legally married the hospital would not be able to keep us apart or withhold vital information. There are many gay couples that face situations daily that could be prevented if they were legally married having rights that would protect them. Legalizing gay marriage is the best solution because marriage is recognized in all states and countries. It would be a good idea and cost tax payers less to pass the “Respect for Marriage Act” (Carey, 2011) then it would to spend millions of tax dollars by having congress to place a ban on gay marriage. By legalizing gay marriage gay couples will have equal rights in marriage thus will be treated in the same way as heterosexual couples.
Many believe that a same-sex marriage is wrong because the couple can’t reproduce children (Waldman, A Common Missed Conception: Why religous people are against gay marriage ). Gay couples need equal rights in marriage to be able to raise children in a family environment. Having equal rights in marriage will give gay couples the validity and recognition of being a family. Many religious activists believe that gay parents will do more harm to a child’s psyche. There are psychologists that have performed studies to observe children of both same-sex and heterosexual parents. Certain research studies indicate the welfare of the children of same-sex parents is the same as those of heterosexual parents (Perrin, Pediatric Organization Endorses Same-Sex Marriage For It’s Benefit to Children, 2013). Religious beliefs should not influence laws effecting marriage rights for gay couples.
Those opposing gay marriage feel that children that are raised in a “traditional” marriage with a mother and father have a better opportunity to develop relationships with both sexes (Hansen, 2009). Furthermore, having same sex parents may cause sexual confusion. Hansen also explains that “having a relationship with both a male and female parent increases the likelihood that a child will have successful social and romantic relationships during his or her life”. Speaking from experience, I was raised in a “traditional” marriage and I was not sexually confused. I have social relationships with men but I prefer to be romantically involved with a woman. I believe that parents can communicate with their children in a way that can help the children understand that it is okay for them to have a relationship with whomever they prefer, not who society wants them to be with. Society has a way of convincing us that the “normal” way to grow up is to be heterosexual.
Many states have legalized gay marriage giving equal rights to gay couples. Statistics show seventeen states that have legalized gay marriage (Gay Marriage, 2014). I think that many states will follow in the wake of the states that have legalized gay marriage because there are many judges that have ruled that a gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. The judges claim it is unconstitutional to deny Americans the right to marry. There are also many Americans that have recently changed the way they think about gay marriage. The following image displays what has influenced people to be more supportive of gay marriage. The highest percentage of people say that because of knowing someone that is gay makes them believe gay people deserve equal rights in marriage (Why People Have Changed Their Minds, 2013). Figure1 source People Press PEW Research Center
The best way to give equal rights in marriage to gay couples is to legalize gay marriage. Legalizing gay marriage will give the same marriage benefits such as joint property ownership, medical decision-making, and the ability to adopt children to gay couples. Marriage is a better solution than civil unions between gay partners. Civil unions only provide limited state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples along with limited access to health insurance policies. Most states will not recognize civil unions. Federal law will not provide any of the protections or responsibilities to couples in a civil union that is does for married couples (Belge, 2014) . Legalizing gay marriage is clearly the best way to provide equal rights in marriage to gay couples by allowing gay couples the same privileges and protections in a marriage. Legalizing gay marriage will mean that all couples gay or straight will have equal rights in marriage. No couple will have any more or any less benefits gained from being married.
Giving gay couples equal marriage rights also means that “custody will be shared by both parents and no further legal action will be necessary in the event of the legal parent’s death” (Belge, 2014). Legalizing gay marriage will also mean that each couple will be recognized as a family unit in all states. As I stated earlier, gay couples that are in a loving committed relationship should not be denied equal rights in marriage but should be treated in the same way as heterosexual couples that are married. Gay couples face some opposition during medical emergencies when “hospital security personnel, administrators and even doctors and nurses exclude them from a patient’s room because they aren’t “real” family members” (Parker-Pope, 2009). If gay couples could be legally married they would be granted the same benefits as heterosexual married couples such as: survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, and insurance benefits.
Religious beliefs should not influence laws effecting marriage rights for gay couples. Many people oppose gay marriage in the sense that a gay couple cannot reproduce (Waldman, A Common Missed Conception: Why religious people are against gay marriage., 2003). If gay marriage is legalized the couple may adopt children and become a family. There are so many children in need of loving nurturing parents regardless if they are same-sex or not. Researchers claim that out of sixty studies there only two that imply children of gay parents were disadvantaged (Perrin, PediatricOrganization Endorses Same-Sex Marriage For It’s Benefit To Children, 2013). The research studies were performed to show the progress in children of same-sex parents as well as those of heterosexual parents. The diversity of growing up with same-sex parents enhances a child’s perception of being a family. Political leaders are learning that a gay marriage ban is unconstitutional according to the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses.
Many states have legalized gay marriage on the grounds that a marriage ban is unconstitutional. The judges’ ruling if favor for gay marriage ruled on the basis that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause” (Gay Marriage:17 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 33 States with Same-Sex Marriage Bans, 2014). Gay marriage needs to be legalized to allow equal rights to gay couples. Some people think that the alternative solution is a civil union. Civil unions are not recognized in every state nor do they offer the same benefits as marriage does. Gay couples are seeking equal rights in marriage to be recognized as a legally married couple.
Marriage is recognized in every state along with the following benefits: joint property ownership, medical decision-making, and the ability to adopt children, the recognition of family status. The major step in legalizing gay marriage is that” Congress can end federal discrimination against married same-sex couples by passing the Respect for Marriage Act” (Carey, 2011). Various court cases are also leading the way for legalizing gay marriage by challenging marriage discrimination. We as American citizens can encourage political leaders to end marriage discrimination and legalize gay marriage by supporting the gay community.
There are many benefits to legalizing gay marriage. Legalizing gay marriage will promote cultural diversity by helping society realize that gay couples are equal to straight couples (Lipp, 2013). According to Lipp, another benefit of marriage is that it gives recognition to a couple as being a family unit and promotes the wellbeing of children by granting married couples with rights, benefits and protections. Lipp goes on to explain that the legalization of gay marriage can also provide a boost to the economy because it enables businesses to gain more diversified customers. Also in the article, Lipp states that by legalizing gay marriage religious concepts are prevented from having an effect on marriage laws. Lipp claims that by factoring out any religious associative ideas when designing marriage laws all people are considered equally eligible for marriage regardless of religious affiliation.
Banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and strips Americans of equal rights in marriage. Currently there is no such thing as equal rights. It’s time to change the way gay couples are treated. You can support equal rights in marriage for gay couples by writing your state Governor or Senator and demand that gay marriage be legalized. By legalizing gay marriage gay couples will have equal rights in marriage thus will be treated in the same way as heterosexual couples. Gay couples will gain the rights that are currently denied them such as: Surviving spouse and surviving parent benefits, tax payer benefits, health benefits and all other benefits that heterosexual married couples share.
Belge, K. (2014, April). The Difference Between Marriage and Civil Unions. Retrieved from Lesbian Life About.com: http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/wedding/a/unionvmarriage.htm Carey, R. (2011, October 7). Americans Want Fairness for Gay Couples. US News. Retrieved from US News and World Report.com. Gay Marriage. (2014, March 24). Retrieved from ProCon.org: http://gaymarriage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004857 Gay Marriage:17 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 33 States with Same-Sex Marriage Bans. (2014, March 24). Retrieved from ProCon.org: http://gaymarriage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004857 Hansen, T. (2009). Same Sex Marriage: Not in the Best Interest of Children. The Therapist. Lipp, M. (2013, June 2). 7 Ways the U.S.A. Benefits From the Legalization of Gay Marriage . Retrieved from huffingtonpost.com: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/murray-lipp/gay-marriage-is-great-for_b_3370173.html Parker-Pope, T. (2009, May 12). How Hospitals Treat Same-Sex Couples. Retrieved from New York Times.com: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/how-hospitals-treat-same-sex-couples/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 PARKER-POPE, T. (2010, April 19). For Same-Sex