22 October 2014
Marriage Equality in America
Marriage is an important part of our society. A civil and emotional bond between two lovers, the strongest and most sacred there is. Imagine how indignant we would be if we as Americans were denied this essential right. Fortunately, this is the land of the free, and most of us have the legal and social privilege to get married and raise a family. Unfortunately, there are about 11.7 million people who get left out of this deal because their partner is the same gender as they are. These marriages are no different from other legal marriages, yet we still refuse to recognize them in the United States. A ...view middle of the document...
Now, 45 years later, more than 2.3 million interracial couples have happily married and started families. This hasn’t damaged the foundation of marriage, and neither have the countless other reforms such as recognizing women as individuals rather than property and the legalization of divorce. Eliminating marriage discrimination on the basis of gender would provide many couples with the gift of marriage yet would not hurt the institution of other marriages in any way.
Often to come up in discussion is the “slippery slope” argument. Opponents of marriage equality fear that if same-sex couples can be wed then as a result people will eventually be able to marry their pets or marry several people at a time or engage in pedophilic marriages. There is a simple solution to this consideration: Proper wording. There is a piece of legislation known as DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), passed in 1996, which describes marriage as “Between a man and a woman” and does not require states to acknowledge same-sex marriage. By repealing DOMA and replacing it with legislation that describes marriage as “between two consenting adults”, marriage equality would be achieved while still preserving the monogamy, age appropriateness, and general sanctity of marriage.
Some people believe that non-heterosexual marriage in and of itself will undermine the institution of marriage regardless of other consequences (or lack thereof). If same-sex couple can get married, would straight marriages become less special? Perhaps. That’s a matter of personal opinion. According to the data, though, it does not. Massachusetts, a state with marriage equality, has the lowest divorce rate of the entire country (1.8 people per 1000)....