Ashford University: PHI 103
In recent years, there has been a considerable shift in the belief system of many Americans in regards to marriage equality. It appears that people are coming around to the understanding that all Americans deserve the same rights regardless of their sexual orientation. It is my belief that homosexuals should be allowed to marry because it is their constitutional right as American citizens to pursue happiness.
In “In defense of tradition marriage” Anderson states that “Americans respect marriage, not only as a crucial institution of civil society but as the fundamental building block of all human civilization”. It is true that in American culture the concepts of marriage have changed. However, not all of the changes have been positive, and our experiences to the changes have been enlightening. Developing the definition of what marriage is to include relationships of a same sex would surely change people's ideas of what marriage is. Such changes in the perception of marriage would change people's behavior and thoughts of marriage. The arguments made against same sex marriage in the article “In Defense of Traditional Marriage” by R. Anderson asks the question, “Should the government recognize same-sex relationships as legal marriages?” Anderson offers many premises on the matter, which help to support the conclusion that marriage laws need to stay the same in order for the good of society.
The first premise offered by Anderson is that same sex marriage is actually not illegal. Nowhere within the United States are same sex couples actually banned from living together or raising a family together. For spiritual purposes same sex couples have some of the same privileges as traditional couples. In many workplace environments, “same sex couples are allowed to name their significant other as beneficiary for benefits” (Anderson, 2013).
The second premise is that “Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces” (Anderson, 2013). There is not a reason for same sex couple to marry, since they cannot naturally have any children together. The article states that “it has been proven beneficial for children to be raised by a man and woman”. And that this type of environment is healthier and is more beneficial, as it “ensures the well-being of future citizens” (Anderson, 2013).
The third premise given is that the foundation of marriage has already been damaged by the adult’s desires above the requirements of their children. With the changing definition of marriage people start to decide that their marriage can be anything they want it to be, whether it is between multiple people or same sex couples. If same sex marriage were to become legal, what is stopping polygamy and adultery from being readily accepted and made legal? Changing the definition of marriage only works to deteriorate the central reason for people to get married in the first place, “which is first and foremost to create offspring, and to commit yourself to another person for the remainder of your lives” (Anderson, 2013).
The conclusion for these arguments is that there is no need to redefine marriage; we need to remember what tradition is and stay with that rather than change it. “The government isn’t in the business of affirming our loves. Rather it leaves consenting adults free to live and love as they choose” (Anderson, 2013). This has been a nice way of saying that the government does not really care who you love, they just do not want to recognize who you marry or want to marry legally.
My counter argument will provide that the initial statements made, that same sex marriages should not be legalized is an unsound and weak argument, which leaves a fair amount up for debate. While the premises support the conclusion, they do not undoubtedly convince me to share the