Same-Sex Marriage Essays

Submitted By clarabuss
Words: 2064
Pages: 9

“Marriage aims toward a healthy and nourishing family by caring for both the emotional and economic aspects of family members” (Cahill 386). As Cahill states, marriage helps unite two people. Many argue that same-sex marriages weaken the definition and respect for heterosexual marriages and families, and that same-sex marriages deny both religious freedom and benefits. However, others argue that same-sex marriages are unjust and irrational in a supposed just and rational nation. For an example, Larry Courtney and Eugene Clark were together for fourteen years until the morning of September 11 when Eugene passed away on the one hundred and second floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. When Eugene died, Larry did not qualify for any benefits because they did not fit the “legally married” conditions of the nation (Cahill 386). This situation exemplifies that the United States has not been giving justice and freedom. The United States of America, built on a foundation of justice and freedom, should allow same-sex marriages to receive the same benefits as a heterosexual marriage because marriage is a civil right, it will not weaken the meaning of a traditional marriage, and more child adoptions will take place. According to ABC News, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, argues that marriage is traditionally meant for a man and a woman, and that same-sex marriages weaken the meaning of marriage (Stein). Americans against same-sex marriage strongly believe that same-sex marriages would weaken the definition and protection of traditional marriages. However, divorce already weakens the meaning of marriage. According to Jennifer Baker, “50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce” (“Second”). Clearly, America has already weakened the meaning of marriage, so further action is not necessary to define the meaning of marriage. Firstly, when considering the foundation of our country, our forefathers fought for liberty and equality, which are practiced to this day. In essence, same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution’s civil rights toward liberty and equality. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker stated banning gay marriages is, “unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses” (Rovzar). In fact, our nation is built on the idea that all citizens have the right as citizens for equality. As our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (“The Declaration”). Accordingly, by restricting the liberty and equality of same-sex marriages, our nation is not abiding by, but denying the right of equal pursuit of happiness – something all American citizens aspire to and keep on aspiring to even when there are obstacles in the way. In society, those seeking same-sex marriages are being denied the right that they deserve while heterosexual marriage seekers are given the right to marry. One specific case in the last few decades supports the case that marriage is a civil right. The United States Supreme Court interpreted marriage as a civil right in 1967 during Loving vs. Virginia, a case banning the interracial marriage of African-American woman, Mildred Jeter, and a white man, Richard Loving (Nussbaum 139). According to Chief Justice Earl Warren,
The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men… To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not…