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Surely you have heard of Trestin Meacham. No?

Hes the guy who was all over the media for starving himself in efforts to make a stand against the legalization of samesex marriage in the state of Utah. Now while this might sound a bit extreme, we have to acknowledge the act of fasting as a normal religious practice. In many religions, fasting is common and seen as a way to direct your hunger toward God. It is especially common within the Latter-Day Saints church, of which Meacham is a member. Being familiar with the LDS church, Meachams fast was not what caught my attention. What confused me was his reasoning behind the act. What exactly is with the whole controversy with same-sex marriage? In Meachams blog, he states that he has his own personal reason for opposing gay marriage. We have enough laws already, he states (Meacham 1). In result to legalizing same-sex marriage, Meacham feels he will have his own rights revoked. He goes on to say these people want laws that make freedom of speech a hate-crime (1). This is where I start questioning him. What exactly will Meacham no longer be allowed to say once gays are allowed to be married? This statement sounds like something an old conservative would have mumbled during the time slavery was being abolished. The basic idea being, if we give these people rights, we wont be able to keep our own rights or be able to say the same things to them and about them. No country is going to move forward with this fearful method of thinking. According to Jillian Berman, legalizing same-sex marriage is an action that can actually help our government in many ways. Jillian Berman is a business reporter at Huffington Post who has written many pieces on bettering the economy. In Bermans

article 8 Ways Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Good For the Economy, she states that New York reaped $259 million in the year of 2012 thanks to license fees and wedding-related spending. She also reports that legalizing same-sex marriage would bring in between an extra $20 and $40 million per year in taxes. Even though most people can figure out on their own that more weddings equal more money, there are still many who argue that a same-sex pair cannot be a base to a stable family. This can be one of the top reasons to back up a ban on same-sex marriage. However, in Zack Fords article Utahs Novel Argument: Banning Same-Sex Marriage Encourages Diversity, he states that there is no unique benefit to having parents of any particular gender combination (Ford 1). His article explains that while many may believe having a mother and father figure in a family results in a happy child, there is no evidence whatsoever proving this point. As I began to sum up the lack of facts on the issue of same-sex marriage and families, I came across an article posted by the Northwestern University. The heading read Divorce Rates Lower in States That Allow Same-Sex Marriage. Northwestern University is a private research university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago. This particular article that I happened across was posted in 2012. The article shows a set of numbers on a chart which present evidence that (at that point in time) the states which had already legalized same-sex marriage, currently had the lowest divorce rates in the country (Northwestern 1). While there is a possibility this evidence is based on chance and not the legalization of gay marriage, there is still a lack of evidence to show reasoning of opposition to same-sex marriage.

Lets go back to the beginning of our search for the reason behind opposition. There is Trestin Meacham, a member of the LDS church, who fasted to take a stand against the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of Utah, a state where over 60 percent of the population is a part of that church. Much of Utahs society is ran by the church, and many conform to the churchs idea of righteousness. This is not to say the LDS church has the same reasons for opposition as Meacham, but that his actions caused a great deal of attention to be focused on the church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a website called Mormon.org, where there are many articles on family advice and being an active church member. There is an article titled Same-Sex Attraction and it addresses the issue of homosexuality. The church believes that we are all children of God and should love one another and accept each other for our faults. However, sexual contact should only occur between a man and a woman who are married. (p 2) I found this article understandable. They were following the rule of God, which is immutable. They were not seeking to cause violence or emotional pain to anyone. The only statement they were making is how a marriage should be between a man and a woman. However, this sounds kind of hypocritical coming from a religious group whose founder had over 30 wives. When something becomes as controversial as same-sex marriage has become today, one can only rely on facts to make a decision. When you feel as though your freedom of speech is being threatened, or even the idea of the American family, you may want to lean far, far away from the legalization of gay marriage. But when you are able to

see all the possibilities that have been created for the government and all human beings, it is easier to find comfort in allowing all couples to have the benefit of a legal marriage.