By: Steven Wild, Guest Writer
Before I begin, I want to be clear about the basis for this discussion. State-sanctioned marriage is a crucial element of everyday life. It no longer exists solely for a religious purpose; marriage entails a host of substantial legal and social benefits that are entitled to couples of all ages, races, religions, classes, heights, shapes, and sizes. In the United States, any set of consenting human beings wishing to profess a life-long partnership and be formally recognized and rewarded by their respective states is granted the chance to do so—excepting one group: homosexuals. I contend that the ban on gay marriage established by California Proposition 8 is legally and logically unwarranted, and Justice Vaughan Walker’s decision to overturn it should be upheld.
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly demonstrated that marriage is indeed a fundamental human right under the Constitutional wings of liberty, privacy, and freedom of association. Marriage, as a civil bond universally respected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, grants beneficiaries a number of privileges; thus, without equal allowance of marriage, equal rights can never truly become a reality. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Our fathers brought forth a proposition, that all men are created equal.” What better way to perpetuate such principles than to extend equality to those who differ only in their sexual orientation?
Fears of anti-gay advocates are also largely unfounded. The most common refrain addresses the “harm” allowing homosexual marriage will have on heterosexuals and the concept of marital tradition; yet, in an evolving society, stubborn tradition means nothing. If we upheld tradition at all costs, we would still live in segregated schools, women would still be excluded from voting, and hangings would be issued at any accusation of witchcraft. Furthermore, nothing exists to indicate that allowing same-sex union will harm the value of relationships. Marriage between two partners indicates a stable bond founded on aspirations for a loving household and social and economic prosperity—these bonds between average Joes (or Josephines) who work and contribute to their communities like any other citizens will only benefit societal welfare.
Last is the moral contention. I do not discount any moral standing as being inferior; I simply ask that those who hold their own moral standings act in a non-discriminatory manner toward those who hold different beliefs than their own. Of course, values are worthy of consideration, but when dealing with public policy we must incline ourselves towards legal and logical backing rather than a lone moral viewpoint. Consider if the United States had done otherwise when the Klu Klux Klan supported extremist segregation by “biblical teachings” or when certain traditional Muslims opposed progressing women’s rights. Strength in numbers perverts the moral issue of gay marriage; however, Justice Walker is correct to recognize that the opposition to gay marriage contains “no rational basis” and should soon become a civil liberties infringement of the past. Let the revolutionary cry of equality and rationality ring loud and clear: Viva Ghé!
By: Miranda Rester
Marriage is a religious symbol of union between a man and a woman, and most religions are against homosexuality. That’s why I believe in California’s Proposition Eight. Gay marriage should not be legal.
I agree that all people should be treated equally; however, gay marriage has more to do with religion than equality. Over-turning Proposition Eight would force California’s churches to marry homosexuals. If the church refuses because of its beliefs concerning same-sex marriage, it could lose its tax-exemption. Also, preachers and ministers speaking against gay marriage would be at risk of being sued for hate speech.
In addition to controlling what churches preach, over-turning Proposition Eight would control what public schools teach concerning marriage. Students of all ages would have to be taught that same-sex marriage is perfectly acceptable. I don’t believe that schools should have the right to tell young children that such a controversial thing is okay without knowing what the children’s parents believe they should learn.
School isn’t the only way children would be affected by gay marriage. Adoption agencies would have to allow same-sex couples to adopt children regardless of the agencies’ views. Although I believe all children need a good home, I don’t think they should be subjected to the emotional damage that can come with being the child of a gay couple. Children adopted by gay couples are more likely to have depression and anxiety disorders.
Children also function better in a traditional home with one mother and one father. A stable environment with both maternal and paternal roles is what children need. It is believed that children learn essential things from their mother that their father cannot teach them and vice versa.
Same-sex marriages are more likely to end in divorce than traditional marriages, because gay marriages tend to have more cases of infidelity. “Particularly among male homosexuals, the promiscuity is phenomenal,” Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said. Along with that comes a variety of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). According to a study done in 2005, homosexual men are diagnosed with HIV more than heterosexuals. It is also extremely hazardous to victims’ health. HIV can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, which shuts down the victims’ immune systems. Allowing gay marriage puts more people at risk of this disease.
“I don’t support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means. I’m being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non-support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage,” Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin said.