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Coco 2 May 2011 Audience: United States government To Have And To Hold From This Day Forward When I was in high school, I had a friend that was madly in love with his partner. They were inseparable. You could tell it was true love when you saw them. There was only one problem, his partner was another boy. Neither parents approved nor did their classmates and peers. Everyone thought it was unbearable because gay relationships go against the religious beliefs that they had been following their entire lives. However, the two boys didn¶t care what everyone thought and they wanted to get married. They lived in North Carolina, where gay marriage was illegal, so they knew they had to go to a different state where gay marriage was actually legal. But they couldn¶t quite understand why. Why were they denied the right to marry in North Carolina? Why can¶t gay marriage be legal in all of the United States? This controversial issue has been around for many years now and even though many might not realize, but gay marriage is very beneficial for the society and the country itself. Due to the fact that gay marriage can bring financial gain to the governments, give people basic rights that heterosexual couples obtain, and an easier way to adopt children, gay marriage can actually be valuable and beneficial to the society and should be legalized in all states. Gay marriage, also known as same-sex marriage, can be defined as a union between two men or two women that can be recognized by the society and by law. It has been around for many years now. On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Slowly after, a few other states caught on and also legalized same-sex marriage.
Avanesova 2 Those states included Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and District of Columbia (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´). Gay marriage recognition has been one of the most socially and legally controversial issues for quite a while now and continues to obtain high recognition in today¶s society. Even though many people are for gay marriage, others still believe that same-sex marriage is wrong and can do harm to others around. Who is to say what is right and wrong for other people? A person has their own mind set and can make that decision for themselves. It doesn¶t seem to be of anyone else¶s business if two men or two women want to get married. People opposing this issue argue that same-sex marriage goes against the ³traditional´ form of marriage. But what exactly is the ³traditional´ marriage now? America today has grown into a society with different cultures, traditions, races, religions, and ethnicities. This melting pot has lead to those different ethnicities and religions getting married together. It isn¶t strange to see a Muslim woman marrying a Caucasian man, or an African American man marrying a Hispanic woman. The Census Bureau shows that black-white marriage increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005 (³After 40 Years«´). So if different religions and races can marry, why can¶t people of the same sex? The term ³traditional´ marriage seems to no longer exist in the United States. This criteria is important when thinking whether to legalize gay marriage in all states. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry makes them feel inferior, and as if they are doing harm to the society. The government also makes it seem as if it is acceptable to discriminate against same-sex couples. In an opinion to the Senate, the Massachusetts Supreme Court wrote ³offering civil unions is not an acceptable alternative to gay marriage because it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status" (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´).
Avanesova 3 If America stands for freedom, equality, and justice, then why can¶t a gay person be treated the way everyone else does? This leads to the criteria why same-sex marriage should be legalized in all fifty states. One important issue relating with same-sex marriage is that it can bring financial gain to state and local governments in the United States. Revenue from gay marriage may come from higher income taxes, marriage licenses, and the decrease in costs for state benefit groups (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´). Currently, hundreds of companies are noticing the financial gains that gay marriage can bring, yet the federal government still does not. An article from the Bloomberg Businessweek states: ³More than half of Fortune 500 companies, in every industry and every region, provide health insurance and other benefits to same-sex partners of their employees. They know that this is good business²so why doesn¶t the federal government?´ (Solmonese). Statistics from New York City have shown that if the U.S. was to legalize same-sex marriage in all the states, then it could potentially bring roughly $140 million to the city¶s economy and about $180 million to the state¶s economy in just three years. (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´). This is New York alone; imagine how much revenue the whole country could make if this proposal was put into place. It is clearly shown that gay marriage can create many positive aspects for the government, so why not take the chance and see if it will work? Even though some companies see the benefit of gay marriage, there are other instances where gay marriage is still unacceptable. Imagine being in a relationship with someone and your partner becomes ill and has to go to the hospital. What if you wanted to visit them in the hospital and were denied the right to visit because you were not ³family´? Unfortunately, this occurs often in many states in America.
Avanesova 4 Often at times, depending on the state, hospitals deny same-sex partners to visit their significant other because visits are only limited to family members. They are also not allowed to make decisions for their partner¶s medical treatment (³Same-sex Couples: Denied«´). This could lead to further problems for same-sex couples. If one person in the relationship dies, the other partner might not have the right to inherit their property, and might unfortunately not be allowed to have time off from work (³Same-Sex Couples«´). Compared to a ³normal´ couple, statistics say that ³same-sex couples denied marriage benefits will incur an additional $41,196 to $467,562 in expenses over their lifetime´ (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´). Several years ago, a case involved a man named Bill Flanigan who lost a law suit against the hospital that denied him the right to make a decision for his partner¶s medical treatment. Unfortunately, his partner, Robert, was dying and wished to have a breathing tube inserted. Bill had legal documents that said that he obtained a power of attorney to make decisions for his partner, yet he was still denied the right to carry out Robert¶s wishes of inserting the tube (³Same-Sex Couples«´). This is not the only time that a situation such as this has occurred. If same-sex couples were given the basic rights that everyone else has then cases such as this don¶t have to happen. Another important issue relating to same-sex marriage is that if the whole country legalized gay marriage, then the rate of adoption will increase. Currently, there are over 500,000 children in foster care, and about 145,000 of those children are available for adoption (³Foster Care Adoption Facts´). Every child needs a place called home and by giving the right for gay couples to adopt children, the number of children in foster cares will decrease significantly. Statistics have shown that ³children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems´ (³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´). If this is the case, then why not allow more same-sex
Avanesova 5 couples to marry so they can benefit the future of these thousands of children. Even though the law in North Carolina states that any person over the age of 18 may adopt a child, often at times one might not adopt a child on their own because taking care of another human being is hard work. It is mostly common that adoptions occur between a married couple (³North Carolina Adoption Laws´). Adoption rates, as well as many other factors, will continue to rise if the gay marriage policy was legalized in all states instead of just a select few. The United States has progressed and become the wonderful country that it is today. Throughout its history, America has made many changes and more changes are yet to come. When considering gay marriage, look at how many same-sex couples reside in the country that symbolizes hope, peace, and happiness. Wouldn¶t it be fair to legalize gay marriage in all of the fifty states and give the astonishing 770,000 same-sex couples the same opportunity just like everyone else? (Johnson). Given the great opportunities for financial gain, granting basic rights for our citizens, and increasing the adoption rates, it is clearly shown that legalizing gay marriage in the entire country would be not only beneficial for the government, but for the thousands of same-sex couples in our country. With one step at a time, we will be in the right direction towards making this country have a unanimous gay-marriage policy.
Avanesova 6 Works Cited ³After 40 Years, Interracial Marriage Flourishing.´ Msnbc.com. 15 Apr 2007. Web. 25 Apr 2011. ³Foster Care Adoption Facts.´ Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Oct 2009. Web. 30 Mar 2011. Johnson, Ramon. ³How Many Same-Sex Couples Are In The U.S.?´ About.com. Web. 3 Apr 2011. ³North Carolina Adoption Laws.´ FindLaw. 2011. Web. 3 Apr 2011. ³Same Sex Couples: Denied Basic Rights.´ Revolution. Web. 18 Apr 2011. ³Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?´ ProCon.org. 28 Mar 2011. Web. 30 Mar 2011. Solmonese, Joe. ³Gay Marriage Makes Financial Sense.´ Bloomberg Businessweek. Web. 3 Apr 2011.
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