Should the United States legalize gay marriage?

23 Apr

The United States should legalize gay marriage based on multiple reasons. Although it won’t be overwhelmingly popular as few major changes are, it is quite simply the right thing to do. By passing gay marriage nationwide it would demonstrate that America truly is a nation that not only preaches equality but practices it.

It was only a bit over 40 years ago when interracial marriage became legal nationwide, at the time it was a very unpopular thing among many people. Bit by bit one state after the other passed initiatives to insure that two consenting adults regardless of race could marry each other and have it recognized within the eyes of the law. This was sound as per the constitution, and it was the right thing to do. In the past few years we have seen a similar movement in which gay couples are gaining marriage rights state by state. It isn’t always popular, and the arguments made against it in some cases mirror those which were made against interracial marriages.

 The first thing that has to be examined is social responsibility. A gay person is held responsible to the same civic duties and laws as a heterosexual person. Each must obey the laws of the land, pay taxes, show up for jury duty, register for selective service, work and support them self, and generally be a decent person. To say that gays, or any group of people is responsible to do that while being denied the ability to enjoy the same legal privileges as their peers is wrong. It is nothing more than legally recognized institutional discrimination. Marriage is a legally binding government contract, to deny a person that which is a product of the government they support is simply stupid. Being gay is not criminal, therefore there is no basis for denying rights.

On a second front, the government is not supposed to be in the business of religion, even though it all too often is. As such there is no basis for any government office or official to be able to cite denying a gay couple the right to marriage on the basis of morality, individual religious beliefs, or in the name of protecting the sanctity of marriage. To do so looks foolish and is again discriminatory. It assumes that everyone prays to the same God, if any at all, and is therefore subject to the laws of that one particular religion. In fact, in some cases, denying gay marriage is contrary to a persons religious beliefs and as such violates their right to the freedom of worship. Once again we see why the U.S. should legalize gay marriage.

Looking a bit deeper into the issue, we just look stupid in the eyes of our peer nations. The world for the most part has come to accept the fact that gay people exist, they are productive members of society, and that they do in fact deserve to be treated as equals. By taking such a staunch stance against gay marriage all the way up to the Oval Office, we as a nation align ourselves with the thought process of nations like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Jamaica, and other “progressive thinking” leaders. Is that the company we really want to keep? When it comes to human rights, do we want to her the U.S. mentioned in the same breath as those countries?

Gay marriage in the U.S. should be passed because it isn’t a question of whether someone thinks it is popular or not, far too many good things that this country can boast of overcoming were not popular in the beginning. It should be passed because it is a basic human right. To deny it is to deny that people whom are different are equal. it is to deny the right to love a person and commit that love and a life to each other just because they happen to be the same sex. A civil union nor a domestic partnership will work, those are separate but equal only in some regards. Gay marriage being legalized would demonstrate that America has grown up and is a land for all, not just a land for all that are popular.

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