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Friday, November 25, 2011


I am writing an argument for my English class, and the subject I have choose to discuss is Gay Marriage.  While I am not gay, nor do I desire to marry a man, I do not see a serious legal reason why two men, or two women can not be married.  This is what I have so far. While I intend to add more citations to the paper, I am not making them a part of this blog post. I am merely looking for help to check the viability of the argument, and to see if my point was made clear. This is a serious emotional issue and very dear to my heart, I am trying to approach this with little emotion and use logic to approach the topic. So please read, comment, and let me know if this paper is lacking or spot on? Grammar help would be beneficial as well but I am looking more towards my ability to deliver my points. Thank you in advance.

 Mirage of Marriage
There is no reason why Gays, or Lesbians should not be able to marry. It is a basic civil liberty that we as a people have the right to pursue happiness. It is guaranteed in the Constitution. Civil Unions are the alternative poised by the opposition, which falls under the principles of separate but equal. We know how that turned out. Separate is never equal. You may object to the premise behind a man expressing love for another man, but outside of the western religious text, give me one good reason that they can not share the bonds of matrimony? "And if that is right, it is problematic treating like cases differently, “separate but equal,”discrimination for the law to recognize homosexual and infertile heterosexual couples differently, even if, as under a civil union regime, the difference is only of name" (Steorts 2011) People clamor about the sanctity of marriage when there are more divorces in our country then ever before. The Kardashians made a mockery of marriage by televising a multimillion ceremony that ended hours after the last check was cashed.

In 2004, President George W. Bush said: "If courts create their own arbitrary definition of marriage as a mere legal contract and cut marriage off from its cultural, religious, and natural roots, then the meaning of marriage is lost and the institution is weakened." He offered no support for the cultural history of marriage and obviously failed that portion of history. The natural roots of marriage are in fact a legal contract to provide clear succession of title and wealth for the spouse and any children that could have come from the union. "Marriage reform, and the discussions that it provoked, raised questions not simply about love and personal happiness, but also matters of prime importance to
the State: issues about the nature of equality and individual liberty; the role of the State or Church (and their institutions of administration, judicature and governance) in personal comportment and affiliation; the nature of the household and of property transfer; duties of individuals to each other; citizenship rights; population increase; the meaning of care and obedience." (Achinstein 2010) Achinstien goes on further to break down the legal and contractual issues of marriage in her paper "Saints Or Citizens? Ideas Of Marriage In Seventeenth-Century English Republicanism." While the 1600's might not be a huge account throughout history, it shows a precedence that is a mere four hundred years old. In addition the reference to the sanctity of marriage brings up yet another point of the contract issues of marriage. Sanctity by definition is a holy word, it has religious connotation rather then a legal ramification. "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." (Thomas Jefferson) If a founding father felt that the intrusion of of the church in affairs of the business of government was of such great importance, I am sure there was a damn good reason.

The modern perception of marriage is not based on these fiscal or parental needs anymore. When you think marriage you think love, not coitus resulting in the production of offspring. It is not permissible to divorce your spouse on the simple basis that they failed to provide you with children. I am sure you can use that as a basis of an argument, and even in that it is easier to get divorced then it is to get married in our country. Divorce laws support something as simple as irreconcilable differences can result in the termination on the marriage contract. Yet to get married you have to submit to the license acquisition process, pay several fees, and many times receive consoling from a member of the church you wish to be married in. You have to get married by an official invested with the legal power to oversee the ceremonial union. In some states you merely need to share cohabitation with an eligible person for a set period of time to be presented as a married couple though. With such paradoxical restrictions on the terms of what is legally marriage though, I find it hard to defend the idea of the sanctity of marriage being protected for any other reason then enforced religious discrimination.

Modern marriage has an affiliation of a more emotional regard. The accepted norm is that two people fall in love, if that love last they celebrate it with a union. That union is refereed to legally as marriage. Part of the magic of love is that you do not get to pick with whom you fall in love with, and that is not a quantifiable aspect that government has the right to judge or rate. It is an emotional counterbalance that needs to be separated from the state as the church, and for the same reasons. Logic and civil expectations are not welcome in the emotional acceptation of religious ideology. To do so opens more doors to disrupt the civil liberties of others that do not happen to agree with the religious views of those in power. I cite Afghanistan as a prime example of the dangers of a theocracy. It is an understanding of the definition of marriage that we have to tread carefully in order to support our rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. In that assumption of the freedom of religion also implies the freedom from religion. Laws should enforce the social morality without regard to the emotional affairs of the citizenry of the country. In essence laws should not impede upon happiness, but rather protect the pursuit thereof.

In establishing this as a civil right one might argue that being homosexual is a choice, and therefore does not warrant the protections under law of racial views or cultural behavior. A person does not choose to be black, or white, they are simply born that way. Some might say that you have a choice in sexual preference and while the jury is out on that, it would be moot to use that as a basis of argument, because choice is the essence of freedom, and choosing to be or not to be something does not alter the validity of that behavior or need to be affiliated with a set group. If so then persons of any religious perspective could be questioned on their right to practice their faith based on it being a choice. However we have laws established to protect homosexuals from hate crimes, and those of all religious views. To me that establishes a precedence that regardless if it is a choice or not, it is still subject of discrimination.

Many years ago it was taboo to marry across racial boundaries. In the sixties it was frowned upon for a black person to marry a white person. The same issues of bigotry where used to support the defense of marriage. While many arguments were presented about the disregard of the cultural beliefs and history of marriage, laws were in enacted to preserve and protect the right of mixed race couples to marry. No church or social group was allowed to force their beliefs on another for such simple racist or bigoted beliefs. It in no way harmed the value of the marriage of those preaching about racial purity. On that basis what reflection would two women being married reflect any different on the marriage of a heterosexual couple? We have to ask ourselves did that Black man, who married his White lover really harm our own relationships or concept of marriage? Or perhaps we are just no ready to accept the happiness of others when we ourselves struggle to be happy, and have trouble living up to outdated concepts of social constraints?


  1. Jesse,

    I found your take on the debate of Gay/Lesbian/Non-Traditional Marriage to be very sound since you chose the higher path of logic, rather than emotion.

    All too often we get emotional about marriage, as a sacred institution. And that is most likely why there is such a "heated" debate about it. To often people choose to use the hammer of a religious belief to bridle others in a society.

    You make the argument of how once upon a time it was objectionable to marry outside one's ethnic background, and yet today we have a variety of families who can trace their roots back to those very same pioneers.

    We love. That is how man was made up. It is an emotion yes, but when looked at logically one can not say that a person chooses who they love. I do not honestly believe that the heart can be told 'no' and that it will simply turn away from whomever it has chosen to bestow it's affections on.

    Gay and Lesbian marriage is simply a reflection of how our society is evolving, but it hard still for those who are "traditional" to set aside a belief for logic.

  2. I would like to see an incorporation of the fact that a couple can have a religious marriage ceremony all the live long day, but without the liscense from the state they will never be legally married. I find this to be interesting because it shows that we have partial separation of church and state when it comes to marriage. I think your points are very good. You made them logically, but the flow is a bit choppy. Some of your sentences run on too long so that I had to reread them so I would remember the original thought. Try to remember essay structure from way back when. I had to refresh myself on "proper structure" when I went back to school. I think you just aren't quite at final draft stage.

  3. All are equal under the Constitution of the United States. It's gender discrimination for 2 females or 2 males NOT be allowed to be married/civil union or how ever you want to put it. Women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. This country has to evolve out of it's provincial laws and beliefs!

  4. What is the motivation of the opposition? As you have done with the argument for, do for the argument against. You are stepping above the emotional argument and explaining why gay marriage isn't harming anyone, but you don't explain the non-emotional/non-religious reasons against. I think that the financial reasons have much more to do with it than the politicians are willing to share. A single person doesn't qualify for the tax breaks available to married couples. If you can tax two people making $50,000 each at the higher single rate, you get more money in the government pockets. Not that those aren't filled with holes of course, but you understand. - Austin