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Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S.

In the United States, married couples receive many legal benefits that couples who live together but are unmarried do not. More and more, gay couples are insisting that they receive the same legal rights that the traditional, heterosexual married couples receive. Gay rights advocates believe that it is inequitable and biased to refuse to give certain privileges to any couple, gay or not. For example, marriage enables spouses to receive insurance through their partners’ employers. They are also allowed many other rights such as the ability to make decisions for their partner who is being hospitalized, have the right to sue on their partner’s behalf, and cannot be forced to testify against them in court. Married couples also pay less in taxes and receive many other social and financial benefits. But because gay couples are legally prevented from marrying, they are excluded from receiving the same considerations that married heterosexual couples enjoy.

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In 1997, the General Accounting Office reported that heterosexual married couples enjoyed more than 1000 benefits and protections. These marriage incentives range from survivor benefits through Social Security, the ability to take sick leave from work to care for a sick partner, federal and state tax breaks, and veteran and insurance benefits. They also include things like “family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to” (Belge, 2006).

Those opposed to gay marriage believe that these relationships do not serve the best interest of the state. Since they cannot bear children that would ultimately add to the tax base of a community, there is no incentive for the state to recognize their union and provide them the benefits of marriage, an expensive burden to the state. Advocates of gay marriage have not been able to show what financial benefit their marriage would be to the state. “If sexual love alone becomes the primary purpose of marriage rather than procreation, the restriction of marriage to couples loses its logical basis, leading to marital chaos” (Kolasinksi, 2004). The marriage laws, established by the state, ensure that the couples who do get the benefits of marriage are those who benefit the state by having children.

Those that oppose gay marriage have yet to provide evidence those children of gay couples whether biological or adopted are harmed by this living arrangement. Some have expressed fears that these children will be more likely to become homosexuals suggesting that it would be appalling if that were the situation (Sullivan & Baques, 1999). In today’s world, the fact is that most children do not live in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ type households with a housewife and a father who works at the office from nine to five. Half of all marriages end in divorce and ‘traditional’ married couples with children comprise just 26 percent of U.S. families. “It is unrealistic to pretend that children can only be successfully reared in an idealized concept of family, the product of nostalgia for a time long past.” (“Social Norms”, 1999).

Americans evidently cannot or will learn from examples prominently set before them by more ‘civilized’ countries. The new President Barack Obama has stated he is for civil unions, the legal recognition of gay couples. He and a slowly growing number of Americans seem to understand the facts about gay marriage and are in favor of equality. Gay couples exhibit similar family and societal values as those the traditional couple does while engaged in the activities of their daily lives. They cherish and are involved in family life, abide by the law, and are committed to making their communities a better place for all to live. The legalization of gay marriage benefits society because the very obligations of marriage itself discourage promiscuous sex which carries the advantage of decelerating the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Marriage also encourages a family-type atmosphere in the house, neighborhood, and community. All citizens of the U.S. as well as the entire planet should expect to be treated with respect and equality. This remains the goal but the fact is, it should already be a reality.

Works Cited

Belge, Kathy. “The Difference Between Marriage and Civil Unions.” (2006). About Lesbian Life. Web.

Kolasinksi, Adam. “The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage.” The Tech. Vol. 124, N. 5. (2004). Web.

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“Social Norms and Judicial Decision-making: Examining the Role of Narratives in Same-Sex Adoption Cases.” Columbia Law Review. Lexis-Nexis. (999). Web.

Sullivan, T. Richard & Baques, Albert. “Familism and the Adoption Option for Gay and Lesbian Parents.” Queer Families, Common Agendas. New York: Haworth Press. (1999), pp. 80-82.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 28). Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/controversy-on-gay-marriage-in-the-u-s/

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"Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S." StudyCorgi, 28 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/controversy-on-gay-marriage-in-the-u-s/.

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StudyCorgi. "Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S." October 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/controversy-on-gay-marriage-in-the-u-s/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S." October 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/controversy-on-gay-marriage-in-the-u-s/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Controversy on Gay Marriage in the U.S'. 28 October.

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