Big Gay Blog



I now pronounce you spouses for life

I wanted to pursue the topic of gay marriage as it can be quite a controversial topic and I feel like the base goals for equal rights often go unnoticed due to said controversy.   I have compiled some things including a paper I wrote last semester (when this brainchild began) on the topic. I may have talked about it before but I had a wonderful professor that was very supportive of my topic choices and a few papers into the semester I found out that he even agreed with me on gay issues!

*Now for the sake of the assignment I had to do my research from both angles and try not to show too much bias.  So please understand.  (I even left in my sources for you.  Sorry the hanging indentations on the citations did not transfer over well. 😉

I do, I do not

By: Elisabeth S. Paquet

Love is a feeling, one that knows no bounds and which most individuals are susceptible to.  Gay marriage has long been a source of continued controversy.  Many people base their opinions on gay marriage on love and a partnership that they want to cement with the ability to wed.  Others base their opinions on the definition of marriage, which in theory is between a man and woman only.  Three very controversial topics that are often brought up when speaking about gay marriage are; the effects gay marriage would have on society and its stability, how gay marriage would affect families and children and finally would allowing gay marriage change the term marriage as we know it?

For as long as gays and lesbians have been prominent in society, social norms have been under siege.  The more pressure that homosexual individuals put on the topic of gay marriage, the more societies opinion seems to shift from pro gay marriage to disgust.  It is one authors opinion that,  “Marriage provides for society’s future by formally constituting the family. The traditional family—husband, wife, and natural children—is the only way societies have ever found of providing well for stability in the present and for our future.”  “Marriage can thus be seen as a formal institution structured by society to help it meet its needs for stability in the present and continued existence over time.” (Skrable, ¶9&11)

On the other end of the spectrum, some individuals feel that gay marriage would in all reality promote social stability.  It is one writers opinion that, “Marriage is an inherently conservative institution that requires a deeper commitment to civic and family responsibilities than unmarried couples undertake. It would only benefit the country to facilitate that level of commitment for more couples, including gay and lesbian couples.” (Freedman, ¶1) Creating stronger, committed bonds between two consenting individuals is a better foundation for children and general family life. Stronger bonds between partners and children in turn can do nothing but benefit society.

Many feel that gay marriage threatens the stability of family life.  It is not necessarily a question of gay or lesbians ability to raise children, but of monogamy. “If gay marriage is legalized, the institution of marriage will be robbed of monogamy and thus any hope of permanence.” (Kurtz, ¶1)  Monogamous lifestyles are virtually vital for a stable relationship with ones partner and stable family in general.  The biggest debate currently at hand is that in legalizing gay marriage many feel that it would be a step in legalizing polygamy.

The majority of gay and lesbian individuals are striving for Gay Marriage and equal rights in general because they are just like everyone else.  Like everyone else they want to find love, that special bond that could ultimately result in marriage and a family.  “LBGT families deserve access to the wide range of legal protections marriage can offer—from greater access to health insurance, property sharing, inheritance all the way to mere hospital visitation. Moreover, all these rights and responsibilities become even more important when we have kids.” (Pollock, ¶5)  A common argument that is used in the fight for gay marriage and ability to have a family is, with all the dysfunctional families out there we should be more concerned with the devotion and ability of the parents and not their sexual orientation.

Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman, for the sake of procreation and advancement of human life. “Our engendered existence, as men and women, offers the most unmistakable, natural signs of the meaning and purpose of sexuality. And that is the function and purpose of begetting. At its core, it is hard to detach marriage from what may be called the “natural teleology of the body,” namely, the inescapable fact that only two people, not three, only a man and a woman, can beget a child. We do not need a marriage to mark the presence of love, but a marriage marks something matchless in a framework for the begetting and nurturance of children.”  “My argument, in any event, is that there is finally no getting around the fact that the meaning of marriage must be connected to that “natural teleology of the body.” And if marriage is detached from that connection, it loses the defining features, in principle, that cabin its meaning and establish its coherence.” (Arkes, ¶14&16)

Many feel that Marriage is an outdated institution that is often not taken seriously by those that delve into it.  “The more I examine marriage, the more obvious it becomes that the laws are written to favor a certain two-by-two lifestyle that is simply a fiction.” (Hunt, Line 1.)  Marriage is in simple terms a long ornate business deal that happens to be a main support for clergy, the wedding industry and lawyers bank accounts.  The question should not be of protecting the sanctity of marriage but of progress as it is with everything else.  Heterosexual couples are able to share benefits through marriage, in order to keep up with the times and sustain equality it seems only logical that homosexual couples should be allowed the same rights even if it is only for the sake of a business deal.

There will always be arguments from opposite sides; these three topics where just a few among dozens that come up in conversations on gay marriage.  Whether one is pro gay marriage or against it entirely, when put up against one another interesting points ensue.  Considering the constant clash of opinions, controversy over the subject of gay marriage will continue.

Works Cited

Arkes, Hadley. “Same-Sex Marriage Would Destroy the Institution of Marriage.” At Issue: Gay Marriage. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 8 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010014213&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

Freedman, Samuel G. “Gay Marriage Would Promote Social Stability.” At Issue: Gay Marriage. Ed. Kate Burns. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 6 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010014220&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

Hunt, Mary E. “The Institution of Marriage Itself Is Out of Date.” Opposing Viewpoints: Homosexuality. Ed. Cindy Bily. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 8 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010143285&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

Kurtz, Stanley. “Gay Marriage Threatens Families.” At Issue: Gay and Lesbian Families. Ed.Kate Burns. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 6 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010310202&source=gale&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

Pollock, Anne. “Same-Sex Marriage Would Benefit Children.” At Issue: Gay Marriage. Ed. Kate

Burns. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 9 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010014222&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

Skrable, Burman. “Same-Sex Marriage Would Harm Society.” At Issue: Gay Marriage. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 6 Nov. 2009 <http://library1.kvcc.edu:2053/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010014214&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=lom_kalvcc&version=1.0&gt;.

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Obviously I am for gay marriage, don’t let my attempt to be un-biased fool you.  One of the things that got me on this topic was some really sweet stories about lesbian weddings/domestic partnerships. (Don’t laugh but I got a little teary…)  I have to put the link down just because I thought they where so inspirational.

http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/weddingplanning/ig/Lesbian-Wedding-Planner/Lesbian-Wedding-Stories.htm

*Takes deep breath* Not done yet… One more thing, I could not stop at just the stories, they made me think about where it would be feasible to get married(or whatever they want to call it in that particular state).  So, I found this nifty interactive map of the US that simplifies all the legal technicalities.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112448663

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