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Equal Marriage Rights for All

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Essay title: Equal Marriage Rights for All

Equal Marriage Rights for All


Equal Marriage Rights for All

Imagine finally meeting the person you can spend the rest of your life with. They are perfect in every way, even in their faults. You love that person more than yourself and they feel the same. You are not, however, legally allowed to marry that person-- and for no reason beyond people who are different from you not accepting your identity, because you have the “misfortune” of being born gay.

Our country has taken major strides in overcoming prejudices during the civil and women’s rights movements. Now that we have recognized and combated prejudices based on overt characteristics, our society should be ready to take that next step and tackle prejudices based on a more personal level. By passing legislature in favor of the more specific passing legislature against desegregation aided in decreasing racially prejudiced attitudes (Myers, 2008). Support for this can be seen by examining the parallels between gay marriage and interracial marriage, by arguing the suitability of using religion to oppose gay marriage, and looking to the points of view established in other countries.

Perhaps more people are recognizing marriage for what it is- the celebration of two people’s love for one another, regardless of skin color, and in the case of gay marriage, regardless of gender. Denying the authenticity of one group of people’s love is claiming that their love is inferior, which is just not the case. Love is central to everyone’s life (Moats, 2004), not just those who others deem worthy. As is the apparent trend, if gay marriage were to be legalized, people will gradually become more accepting of it as it becomes more commonplace. “‘People’s minds are changed through observation, not through argument’” (Stramel, 2005, from Mohr, 2005). The more visible gays and lesbians become, the more accepting people will be of homosexuality as a whole, a principle that is already beginning to take effect (Stramel, 2005).

The attitude against gay marriage is based on the assumption that only a man and a woman should be able to love one another, that biology intended it that way because of our need to procreate (Same-sex marriage). However, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court points out that “marriage is available to opposite-sex couples regardless of their intention or ability to procreate” (Machacek & Fulco, 2004). Also, from a humanitarian perspective, it must be said that humans are more complicated than the dictations of biology, as proven by the existence of field of psychology. There is always more than one explanation for the things we do, and the prevalence of one explanation is different for each individual (Myers, 2008). Why do we assume that love and sexuality must be neatly boxed up and labeled when nothing about us as humans is that way? David Moats, in recounting a Vermont state meeting regarding gay marriage, states simply that to be normal is to be who you are, and for some, that is to love someone of the same sex (2004).

What is the driving force behind prejudice against homosexuals? Many things have been identified, but many sources at least agree religion as a main factor (Adam, 2003; Olson, Cadge, & Harrison 2006; Religion and politics, 2007; Same-sex marriage). Many people justify their prejudice against homosexuality by adopting the stance of various Christian denominations. Religion has been shown to be a better predictor of gay marriage attitudes than demographics, with Protestant believers being the most opposed to it (Olson, Cadge, & Harrison, 2006), specifically those that are Evangelical, of which 83% are opposed (Religion and politics, 2007). Of Mainline Protestants, 44% oppose legalization of gay marriage, compared to 30% of secular people. While these statistics have dropped since 1996 (Religion and politics, 2007), religion is still a major predictor of attitudes toward gay marriage. This being the case, perhaps our society needs to be reminded of an integral part of the foundation of this country: separation of church and state.

Belief is a personal matter, and all beliefs should be respected. However, when those beliefs are imposed on others and interfere in the rights of members of the society of which we are all a part, there is a problem. The foundation of our country’s government was based on separating church and state for those very reasons. The first immigrants came to this country to practice freedom of religion, and now the American majority is again threatening to take that right away. Mohr states that the outcome of the gay marriage issue will reveal whether America truly is dedicated to its democratic ideals of liberty and equality, or whether it is instead “committed

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