RHE 306 - Writing and Rhetoric
November 13, 2012
Why Should Gay Marriage Be Legalized? A quote by a famous comedian, Liz Feldman, has become a well-known commonplace for all the people that support same-sex marriage: “It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it: ‘Marriage’. You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it.” Whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized has become a civil rights controversy of this generation, one that brings on heated debate from both sides. In Rea Carey’s article, “Americans Want Fairness For Gay Couples”, Carey utilizes emotional and logical rhetoric appeals to argue for and attempt to persuade her audience to support same-sex marriage, as well as build a credibility for her paper, mainly through the establishing of goodwill constantly throughout the whole paper.
The author, Rea Carey, is a well-known advocate for same-sex marriage. She heads the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which has been at the forefront of every LGBT rights battle in the country for almost 40 years, including the more recent clashes over marriage equality, transgender rights, statewide ballot measures, hate crimes and employment nondiscrimination legislation. Her article was shared on usnews.com, a place that features both US and World news. The site is visited over 3 million times a month, from both democrats and republicans. Carey’s audience tends to be people of all types, but is geared towards people against and on the fence about same-sex marriage. Carey’s article was written when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law defining marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, was being disputed in congress. Since then, certain sections of DOMA have been found unconstitutional, calling the whole act into question. Carey’s article is over the reasons why she believes gay marriage should be legalized, and furthermore why DOMA should be repealed. Rea Carey is very clearly arguing for the support of same-sex marriage in her article. Carey’s article is arguing that gay marriage to begin with is an “awkward phrase” and that “marriage should be marriage” and most straightforwardly saying “Same-sex couples should be able to marry in every state in the nation.” Starting out with her position is a way of making it known what kind of audience Carey is appealing to, as well as building some credibility, while inserting a bit of light-heartedness, for the rest of her paper with her audience by somewhat referencing Liz Feldman’s well-known quote. Carey explains that she believes that Americans don’t want to see their neighbors and family treated differently, especially just because of who they love. Carey breaks down the reasons she believes same-sex marriage should be legalized. In arguing against DOMA, Carey states that under this act “millions of families will continue to suffer senseless discrimination and economic hardships.” Things like being “the denial of Social Security benefits to surviving spouses; denial of medical leave to care for a spouse; denial of healthcare benefits; unfair taxation for employee health benefits for spouses; denial of benefits to spouses of armed services veterans” are just a few struggles the same-sex couples have to deal with because they are not legally seen as married in a majority of states. Carey ties her article together by ending with an argument for ending marriage discrimination, and that doing so “will help build stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger America.” Including America in this ending strikes a chord with people that identify themselves as Americans and are patriotic. Carey is attempting to show these people that same-sex couples are Americans too and contribute to America just as they do.
Carey uses analogies to appeal to her audience’s logic and emotion. She is using family to appeal to her readers emotion