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Why Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal - Essay Sample

The issue of same-sex marriage is highly charged and hotly debated, encompassing a wide variety of beliefs and viewpoints. Those against it usually maintain that marriage is between a man and a woman, that same-sex marriage will weaken the institution of marriage, that it could be a slippery slope to all non-traditional relationships being accepted, and some also object to it on religious grounds. Those who support same-sex marriage are typically of the opinion that two consenting adults have the right to be in a relationship with each other and receive the social, emotional, and financial benefits of marriage.

Why should same-sex marriage be legal? The argument that traditional marriage will be weakened isn’t strong enough, because with divorce, blended families, cohabitation, polygamy, and the structure of the animal kingdom, traditional marriage itself can be objected to in several ways or seen as “unnatural.” There are many arguments against traditional marriage and people who don’t believe in it, but that doesn’t mean that people can’t enter into these marriages, so the same should be true of same-sex marriages. It doesn’t hurt anyone else, or their marriage, if two committed individuals, who happen to be of the same sex, marry each other. In fact, statistics show that it has the opposite effect, often lowering divorce rates.

Delving further into the issue, children often come into the debate or the equation. Some people argue that traditional marriage is about procreation, but that definition excludes infertile couples, couples who don’t want to have children, and older couples. When it comes to same-sex couples, children exist whether people agree with it or not, and they need protection and rights. Their families shouldn’t be stigmatized or denied stability and legal protections. Aside from children that already exist in same-sex households, there are a lot of children waiting to be adopted, that could be adopted by married same-sex couples. If the stigma and legal issues were lifted, more children would have loving homes.

Aside from arguments about marriage, social statistics, and children, there is also a moral and compassionate side to this subject. If we don’t personally know what it’s like to be gay, lesbian or bisexual and be told we’re not allowed to marry the person we love, then we can’t put this on other people. It’s not just about standing at an altar and saying “I do.” Of course it’s about love and affirmation, but it’s also about filing taxes jointly, being able to visit each other in hospital, inheritance, making decisions, children, and all of the everyday things that most people take for granted.

The final point is that commonly held viewpoints vastly change over time, and that’s how society moves forward and serves its citizens. Just because something has been a certain way for an extended period of time, doesn’t make it right. Status quo should always be challenged and amended. There was a time that interracial marriage was illegal and segregation existed. There was a time when women couldn’t vote and gender inequality was a lot worse than it is now. There are so many other examples about how society has evolved over time, for the better. And making same-sex marriage legal is no different.