The Argument for Same-Sex Marriage

518 words | 2 page(s)

Marriage has been defined and re-defined over the years, as cultural norms and societal ideals shift. As the debate over same-sex marriage becomes more prevalent, the debate over the definition of marriage also becomes a central topic of interest. On either side of the debate are Andrew Sullivan and William Bennett. While Sullivan argues that same-sex marriage should be allowed because everybody has the right to marry, Bennett argues against same-sex marriage because marriage is to be between a man and a woman, not two individuals of the same sex. While both authors have well-established ideas, same-sex marriage should be legalized for the reasons expressed by Sullivan among others.

For one, same-sex marriage should be allowed on the sheer fact that homosexuals are recognized as free citizens in the United States. As free citizens, homosexuals enjoy all the same rights as other American citizens, except for the right to marry other homosexuals. For this reason, it seems unjust to deny them this one right despite the fact that the Supreme Court acknowledges that they are enabled to all other rights bestowed upon American citizens.

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Another reason to support same-sex marriage is to allow homosexuals to fulfill their desire to have the same social rights as others. Homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, are capable of love and for wishing to have a social bond to another person. In addition to having a legal bond, there are several financial benefits to marriage as well as health and life insurance benefits that homosexuals cannot take part in due to their inability to marry.

One argument against same-sex marriage is that homosexuals cannot have children together, which can be argued as a central point of marriage. This frame of thinking, however, is invalid. As Sullivan argues, there are many married couple who do not have children either because they choose not to or because they are infertile. These couples are still able to marry despite their inability to reproduce (Sullivan 26).

Another argument against same-sex marriage is that it should be between a man and a woman and to expand it to homosexuals would change the tradition of marriage. Bennett argues that there are many other non-traditional individuals who wish to marry, such as children wishing to marry their children or to marry multiple partners. Bennett’s concern is that if society were to allow homosexuals to marry, that it would be difficult to deny other non-traditional couples marriage rights. This is not the case, however, as these other forms of “non-traditional” marriages would be illegal on grounds beyond strictly gender identity whereas homosexual marriage is different only from heterosexual marriage due to biological sex.

Overall, love should be recognized regardless of gender and regardless of the gender of the individual we decide to love. With the current system which does not allow for same-sex marriage, we are denying homosexuals the right to marry in addition to the right to health insurance and other marital benefits that heterosexual married couples enjoy. Despite the arguments against same-sex marriage, human equality must remain intact and same-sex couples should be granted the same rights as heterosexual couples.

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