The topic of gay marriage is a dividing issue within the United States. The issue has been prominent recently, with a number of back-and-forths such as South Carolina’s Amendment 1, California’s Proposition 8, and now the controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A.The gay community and its supporters argue that the issue is one of human rights, that everybody should have the opportunity to express their love to their significant other. Communities opposed to gay marriage, particularity the religious community, claim that gay marriage would ‘redefine’ the traditional definition of marriage, and is a sin in God’s eyes. As such, gay marriage should not be allowed in the United States.
This is why that is total bullshit.
First, marriage does indeed have traditional and religious roots, but it is almost entirely a secular institution in the United States of America. Attached to the institution of marriage are a number of legal benefits afforded to both partners. These include joint adoption, status as next-of-kin for hosptical visits and medical decisions, joint insurance policies, inheritance automatically in the absence of a will, benefits such as annuities, pensions plans, wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner, and domestic violence protection orders, to list a very few. Only through marriage can these rights be conferred to a person or couple.
Thus, gay couples are denied legal protections and rights because they cannot get married, while straight couples are afforded them. No matter how you look at it, the simple fact is: gay people are not being afforded equal rights.It is, simply, discrimination.
Gay couples can get Civil Unions, which are claimed to be secular partnerships with similar legal endowments as marriage. The problem with these is massive, however: The US Federal Government does not recognize Civil Unions, and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act specified that states do not need to recognize out-of-state Civil Unions. Thus, even these non-marriage routes do not solve the issue gay people are facing.
The other arguments against gay marriage commonly used are that it redefines traditional marriage and is a sin. Of course, who is determining ‘tradition’ for the marriage? The United States does not have a formal definition of marriage (nor as it should). Should, then, the traditional form of marriage be the Christian interpretation of marriage? It can be claimed that this is a ‘Christian’ nation, but this claim is with serious fault: though we are predominately Christian, we still possess large numbers of minorities and a diversity of beliefs. Such an argument panders directly to mob rule, and the protection of the minority from the mob was a goal expressly set about in the development of our country’s framework. Should it be drawn from another religion? The issue with using ‘tradition’ is whose tradition you will be using, and claiming that only one tradition can be used is dangerous and intolerant in the heterogeneous, melting-pot society we possess.
As for gay marriage being a sin, and thus should be outlawed: Here are some other sins, from the same book banning gay marriage, which equally deserve to be outlawed when using the arguments used against gay marriage.
- Round Haircuts (Leviticus 19:27): “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.”
- Football (Leviticus 11:8) “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.” (discussing pigs)
- Fortune Telling (Leviticus 19:31) “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.”
- Tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.”
- Polyester, or other blends of fabric (Leviticus 19:19) “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”
- Shellfish (Leviticus 11:10) “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you.”
You cannot pick and choose from God’s word as to what is wrong and what is acceptable. The people who are trying to prevent gay marriage have no defensible position on the matter, and are effectively discriminating against a significant portion of the population. Meanwhile, the arguments against gay-marriage are total bullshit.