Sunday, June 24, 2007

Gay Marriage

As a small project for my class, we were told to create a one page zine to bring in. I did mine on the topic of gay marriage, since June is pride month. It was easy for me to write on the subject, but I was disappointed that I had to keep it to a page in length... I have so much to say on the topic.

I earned an excellent grade on it, and it sparked some pleasant and encouraging discussion from classmates, and the professor. I figured I would post it here and share it with you - if you are interested.

If homosexuals were allowed to marry, would divorce go up? In all honesty, most likely... but hey, heterosexuals are very commitment oriented these days anyway. They, like most homos seem to only like commitment when they are single, and forget about it when they meet someone. Ugh.. there are days I would love to do the research and interviews to write a paper on this topic.

I Now Pronounce Thee: “Unable to Wed” - The Issue of Gay Marriage

Do you remember joking around on the play ground when you were in elementary school? How often did the saying, “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it??” come up between you and your friends? Even from a young age, love and marriage were linked in your minds, even if you were not contemplating the complexity of those two terms, “love” and “marriage”. What you did know was that when two people love each other, marriage was the natural outcome.

Gay men and women grew up with the same ideas in their minds. While the exact age in which a man or woman fully becomes aware of his or her homosexuality differs for each person, it can be safe to say that each of them gave some thought to the idea of marriage. Whether it was the little boy or girl dreaming of their wedding day after being ring-bearer or flower girl in a relative’s wedding, or flat out refusing to get married because “boys are icky”, they at least acknowledged that they had a choice in the matter.

Perhaps not until they get into High School does it become clear to gay and lesbian youth that when it comes to marriage, they do not have the choice. The choice as to whether or not they will marry was made for them by Congress, State Legislators, Religious Officials, or the overly conservative voter living down the street.

The argument has been made that the very term “marriage” has always been defined as a covenant between a man and a woman. Some people point to various religious texts to prove their points, others to legal terminology. Does the conflict center around terminology alone? What if we called it something else, but gave gays and lesbians the same legal rights and social status? Again, the overwhelming chorus from “the powers that be” is “NO!”.

The United States was founded on the basic freedoms of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Gays and lesbians should have the same rights as every other American, not being singled out and marginalized because they differ from the majority. Backed by noted and respected psychologists as well as sociologists from around the globe, gays and lesbians are pleading for their cases to be heard. They ask for a chance to lead “normal” lives with those they love, raise a family together, and try to obtain the dream of “happily ever after” promised to them in the story books from their youth.

I find it almost laughable at the arguments made to “protect the sanctity of marriage”. Divorce among heterosexual couples is on the rise, single parent families are growing, and choosing co-habitation instead of getting married at all has become common place. Where in this picture does allowing gay men and women the right to marry make things worse? If anything, it seems to me as if they value marriage more because they have to fight for it, and realize what a precious choice it is indeed, whereas many heterosexuals take the matter for granted.

Whatever term used to describe it, consenting, loving adults should have the ability to share their lives, families, incomes, and rights, the same way as everyone else in this country can, regardless of sexual orientation. As stated by the comedian Wanda Sykes on the issue of gay marriage: How does what people do in their own bedroom effect YOUR marriage? If two guys are living happily together, is your marriage going to fall apart? I say, if you want to protect marriage, then you should outlaw divorce!

For further information on this topic, please visit The Human Rights Campaign Website at:

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