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Should gay marriage be legalized in USA?

In society today there is much controversy surrounding the idea of men and women being attracted to anyone other than the opposite sex. Families and communities are separated because of this issue and many times isolate individuals who dare to be themselves. This leads into the problem of not only recognizing the idea of different sexualities, but also recognizing the partnerships between these people. Some feel that it is unnatural and immoral to be homosexual, while others feel that everyone has a right to be attracted and to be with any person of any sex. Because of this, the idea of gay marriage is a very charged matter. There is a huge stigma around the idea of acknowledging these partnerships and allowing them to have the same right to marry as a normal couple does. Currently, there are only thirteen states in United States that recognize same sex marriage and a few more that have repealed laws allowing same sex marriage. The main factor that is influencing these laws is the idea that same sex partners threaten the sanctity of traditional marriage (Peterson, 1971 (1)). The religious community and believers feel that it will be prejudicial to society. Others believe that the love and dedication between two people, gay or straight, has no effect on anyone else but those two partners. The greater issue here is the idea of equality between people of all sexualities. The idea of equal rights for homosexuals has been supported and fought for by people in the gay community and for different associations who are in favor of them. Those in support of gay marriage rights have been fighting to pass laws in all states that will allow gay couples to legally marry and to celebrate their commitment in the same way that a heterosexual couple does (HRCF, 2009(2)). The Human Rights Campaign Foundation states that many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry and honor their relationship in their society by making a public compromise and to stand together in good and bad times. Some people in society do not agree with the idea of gay marriage and gay rights. They believe that gay marriage threatens the idea of marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman (Douthat, 2010 (3)). There is a belief that allowing homosexuals to marry will dilute the sacred union and create more divorces. They feel that more people of any sexuality being allowed to marry will create an idea of commitments being taken less serious and cause more polygamy. This idea causes some to feel that homosexuality promotes multiple partners versus a lifelong commitment.

With this idea in mind, gay marriage also challenges the model of the nuclear family. People who do not support gay marriage believe that they should not be extended to same-sex couples because they cannot produce children together (4). Allowing gay marriage would only further shift the purpose of marriage from producing and raising children to adult gratification. This will trigger a high increase in divorce which will make communities believe that same sex partners would only add to the strife of children growing up in broken households. Their concern is that the rate of children being born or adopted into single parent or unmarried households would destroy the idea of a child needing a mother and father in the home. Marriage has drastically changed over the last 50 years. Divorce rates are higher and children living in single parent households are more common. People of all sexualities are fighting for their right to be recognized as equal. The idea of one person taking the rights of another away because of the person they choose to love seems unreasonable, yet some feel it is what will save marriage and commitment. The issue here is who is really affected by same sex partners and if it is really affecting the society. Marriage and divorce is not new and neither is homosexuality. It is not the place of the society to tell someone who they can and cannot love. There may never be a real answer as to who is right and who is wrong but equality for all is undeniably necessary for all. Both sides of this argument have one strong belief in common: They are doing what they believe is right and best for society today.

Bibliography 1. Bruce Peterson, JD, Majority Opinion, Baker v. Nelson, www.marriagelawfoundation.org, Oct. 15, 1971 2. "Answers to Questions about Marriage Equality", www.hrc.org, Dec. 8, 2009 3. Ross Douthat, "The Marriage Ideal," www.nytimes.com, Aug. 8, 2010 4. Dana Mack, "Now What for Marriage? " www.wsj.com, Aug. 6, 2010.