Pro/Con: Will Texas’ first same-sex marriage be its last?
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By Emma Cummins
For years now, gay rights activists have called for the right to marry and have cited discrimination and inequality. Now, federal judges in 37 states, have changed legislation in favor of gay couples and are recognizing their marriage as being on equal grounds as the marriage of a heterosexual couple.
On Feb. 19, in Travis County, Texas, the first gay marriage license was issued to a lesbian couple, who has dated for 30 years. This significant landmark in Texas history has raised much controversy in our predominantly conservative state.
One question I would first bring up is that if gay marriage is constitutional, why was polygamy ruled unconstitutional? A polygamous relationship is one in which a man may marry several women, or vice versa. Could we not make the case that if a man says he loves several women at once, why shouldn’t he be able to marry all of them at the same time?
Another case in New Jersey has recently popped up. An 18-year-old woman recently made headlines when she announced to her family and friends that she would be moving to New Jersey in order to marry her biological father. The obvious question is, if a man and a man are allowed to be married, and a daughter and a father, what relationships, if any, can logically be denied marital status?
Gay rights activists have claimed that 30 years ago people thought the same way about marriages between interracial couples, and that gay couples are equivalent to interracial couples back then. This logic doesn’t hold, though, because homesexuality is not identical to race.
Of course, banning interracial marriage was a terrible travesty, but there are no radical and inherent differences between a couple with different ethnicities. A man married to a man is a distinct and inherent difference compared to a man and woman and is therefore something completely different. Progress is subject to logical limits.
This path towards, “equality” is a slippery slope. Marriage has been traditionally defined as being between a man and woman, as defined by a district judge in Louisiana, “The traditional definition of marriage serves key state interests and….states ought to be allowed to see how redefining marriage goes elsewhere.”
These are two very important factors. First, heterosexual marriage “serves the key interests of the state,” in so far as a man and woman are objectively the best combination in which the state is served, through the recognition of the benefits of the nuclear family unit, the ability to have children naturally, and the raising of healthy children for full participation in our society.
And so by redefining marriage and refusing to uphold standards well established by a coherent and well-functioning society, many states have embarked on a destructive course. Never mind facts or long term effects, the social climate is pressuring judges to overturn bans that have served to keep our country on a steady path.
Unfortunately, in our over-sensitive and politically correct world, many judges are now making decisions without objectivity.
Changes such as these are never simple. In the past, issues have been black and white but in our increasingly complex world, this is no longer the case. The decision to legalize gay marriage should be thought about carefully.
Deciding to not legalize gay marriage has nothing to do with religion. While many may have a religion in which this lifestyle is prohibited, that in no way means that the opposition to gay marriage is ungrounded and purely religious. Logically, the decision to legalize gay marriage is ungrounded.
Religion may be the driving force behind many opposers but wouldn’t that be a difference we must respect? In addition to respecting their opinion, many refuse to believe that perhaps their opposition comes from a logical place and is now part of their religion? Logic and religion are not mutually exclusive.
There is nothing illegal about being homosexual. It is wrong and unconstitutional to force citizens to give up their personal freedom to do as they choose.
The government is not denying essential rights to homosexuals nor are they dictating who they should love. Rather, they are doing what is objectively the best option which serves the state. When it comes down to hard facts, gay marriage is extremely different and does not have the same effects of a traditional family unit.
Therefore, denying a gay couple a marriage certificate is not discrimination but a logical and well-thought out decision. There is a large difference between the state supporting marriages that do not serve the state and persecuting individuals based upon personal and private rights.
For the Pro column click here.