Same-sex marriages is a union that takes place between two people who belong to the same social gender or similar biological sex. On the other hand, the word ‘gay’ is used when referring to a person who is a homosexual. Gays share a common characteristic and lifestyle, since they are attracted to individuals of the same sex. Another term that is linked to the concept of homosexuality is ‘lesbianism’, a romantic attracting among women.
Gays are men who are sexually attracted to other males, thus practicing homosexuality. In fact, many people consider gay relationship to be of lesser harm than that of heterosexuals. The question, debate and politics of same-sex marriages have been in the public domain for quite a long time in the United States.
This has seen the emergence of two schools of thought, namely the proponents of same-sex marriages, who generally include gays and gays and their opponents. In comparison to William Bennett’s article, “Against Gay Marriage”, Andrew Sullivan puts a stronger argument for adoption of gay marriages.
Analysis of the Arguments for/Against Gay Marriages
The bottom line being “moral values”, the major concern is whether morality and ethical values are enough to discriminate against these particular social groups, or should one’s sexual orientation accord his or her state discrimination, whereby the state prohibits to accord any form of recognition to gays, but before taking a clear stand on the matter, it is important to weigh the extent to which gays can be considered evil, and whether or not they should be accorded.
Many opponents of gays are always concerned with how and where same-sex marriage couples get their children. One of the most common sources is the viro-technology that enables women to ’lease’ their womb, or even exchange their ova to create a complex and complicated manner of family relations in order to get babies. This also raises the controversial question of test tube babies, which is heavily criticized for degrading basic human values.
Same-sex couples in the US go to such extremes in an attempt to get their own children, and these desperate measures can be said to be the cause of their opposition. In this regard, William J. Bennett puts opposes gay marriages, because of moral reasons. He cited that “parents who want their children to be taught (for both moral and utilitarian reasons) the privileged status of heterosexual marriage will be portrayed as intolerant bigots; they will necessarily be at odds with the new law of matrimony and its derivative curriculum” (Bennett 2).
Even though, Bennett had some valid claims against gay marriage, it can still be argued that Sullivan’s arguments for gay marriages are stronger. Moreover, Andrew Sullivan argued that:
“It would be an unqualified social good for homosexuals. It provides role models for young gay people, who, after exhilaration of coming out, can easily lapse into short term relationships and insecurity with no tangible goal in sight. My own guess is that most homosexuals would embrace such a goal (if not more) commitment as heterosexuals” (Sullivan 257).
It is evident from this statement that Andrew Sullivan supports gay marriage, but he asserts the idea that this form of union should be legalized to reduce relationship insecurity gaps. To this end, Andrew ascertains that “legal gay marriage could also help bridge the gulf often found between homosexuals and their parents. It could bring the essence of gay life, a gay couple, into the heart of a traditional family in a way the family can most understand and the gay offspring can most easily acknowledge” (Sullivan 257).
The reason why William Bennett rejected same-sex marriages is because he defined marriage as a legal and religious commitment between a man and a woman, and thus many are not able to accept same-sex marriages. He emphasized that “Recognizing the legal union of gay and lesbian couples would represent a profound change in the meaning and definition of marriage. Indeed, it would be the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society’s most important institution. It is not a step we ought to take” ( Bennett 1).
However, proponents of same-sex marriage argue that the United States Constitution clearly states that an individual’s religious affiliation or lack of it must be at all times protected, and by citing the Constitution, they attempt to tell those who oppose same-sex marriages that this is not a sin. Therefore, it can be argued that denying them legal marriage means that their religious freedom is denied since no one should be forced into a particular religious belief.
Therefore, they should be allowed. The proponents of same-sex marriages argue that nobody should be hurt by a marriage of two people. It is simply a relationship and nobody else’s business, as it is a personal commitment and the concerned persons feel that if the church or some particular groups of people do not agree with the act, it is their right to express their dissatisfaction, but not to stop it.
Marriage is considered to be more than just a legal status, as it involves several issues that affect individuals, for instance, inheritance rights (Sullivan 256). A critical medical decision that might need an immediate family member or a spouse to approve denies same-sex marriage couples the opportunity to be considered a legal union. This puts the gay or gays in a difficult situation, since it is against societal norms and cultural values for the same-sex proponents to demand legal recognition.
In fact, the current economic situation requires help and support from both the husband and wife, that is, sharing household utility bills. Just like those who are married, same-sex couples need to support each other in difficult times, thus it becomes absolutely necessary that they are legally bound as husband and wife. Therefore, it should send a clear message to those who are opposed to same-sex marriages to understand their humanity.
In conclusion, the fact that gays are denied an opportunity to legalize their marriage means that a minority group of individuals is being discriminated against, which is a violation of respect for the rights of a minority group in the US. This means that same-sex couples file joint tax returns back to the state. Since this revenue goes towards funding the government budget expenditure, it is not fair for the federal government to refuse to legalize same-sex marriages.
The bureaucracy that same-sex couples have to go through is not always justified. It is a tedious, time-consuming and discriminatory process, since couples are required to fill out many forms. This discourages same-sex marriages, and the federal government should take into account that these people are law-abiding citizens who remit their taxes without fail. In this regards, Andrew Sullivan’s assertions for gay marriages should be embraced since they presented stronger claims.
Bennett, William. Against Gay Marriage, New York, NY: CDE Publishers, 2002. Print.
Sullivan, Andrew 2000, Virtually Normal. PDF file.