Essay on Gay Marriage

Submitted By kdriver2
Words: 3256
Pages: 14

The Fight for Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is one of the most pressing issues facing state governments in America today. It polarizes people all over the country mainly because it touches not only on a political level, but also on a moral level. In a society where all men are created equal the question is why there are inequalities between people due to their choice of sexuality. It would be beneficial for state governments, not only economically, but also socially to make the statement all men created equal apply to all aspects of American society, including the right to marry.

The gay marriage debate began to reach national attention in the 1969 due to the Stonewall riots in New York City. The incident, which began as a routine police raid of a known gay bar, escalated into violent riot that lasted for five days. This event encouraged many gays and lesbians around the country to come out and voice their support for the gay rights movement. In their book Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse?, William Eskridge Jr. and Darren Spedale state “By 1971, therefore, the framework for a gay-liberal case for same-sex marriage in the United States was in place. Lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are a minority group unfairly subject to private prejudice and state discrimination”.[1] Since the 1970’s gay marriage has become more and more of a predominant issue in the American political scene.

Supporters and those against same-sex marriage use very different tactics to build support. Gay rights groups seek to portray the issue as a civil rights matter, while those on the right, mainly Christian Right, use religion and the bible to paint the issue as a strictly moral one. Melinda Miceli states in her article on gay rights “The Christian Right’s strategy of morality politics uses the power of religious beliefs and social stereotypes to win support for their perspective on gay issues rather than evidence or fact”.[2] They push the belief that homosexuality is wrong on every level and therefore gays should not be granted any rights. To them homosexuals are deviant people with immoral minds and have chosen to live a gay lifestyle. They contest any research that shows that homosexuality is determined at birth and insist that with spiritual treatment any homosexual can find the right path back to heterosexuality. Instead of focusing on the gay rights groups desire to live eternally with their partner of choice, the Christian Right highlights the sexual acts of homosexuals and the biblical verses speaking out against it.2

Some of the main ways the Christian Right reaches its supporters is through broadcast mediums. Programs such as Focus on the Family, which is a group that runs radio broadcasts featuring its founder James Dobson, strive to educate listeners on the harms of supporting gay marriage. Dobson’s group is well known for beginning a ministry known as “Love Won Out” which works with homosexuals to curb their “unwanted” sexual desires.[3] In fact in a booklet produced and supported by groups such as the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association they state “the nation’s leading professional medical, health and mental health organizations do not support efforts to change young people’s sexual orientation through therapy and have raised serious concerns about the potential harm from such efforts”. [4]

Dobson and other leaders of Focus on the Family have come under fire from many members of the scientific community. Dobson routinely stresses in his program that homosexuals are unsuitable parents and has cited research by psychologists such as Carol Gillian who later claimed that Dobson “distorted her findings, and says that she disagrees with his theory that same-sex couples are unsuitable parents”.[5] The Christian Right’s missteps often go unnoticed to their supporters who sometimes blindly follow leaders such as Dobson. In order to form a valid