Top 10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Should Be Legal
The growing need for LGBT rights has become much more apparent, what with increased awareness and the exposition of vicious hate crimes against this particular demographic. More and more people, even those who are not part of the LGBT community, recognize that these crimes violate basic human rights and have begun to take a stand against it. As such, the topic of same-sex marriage is highly controversial these days. The movement in defense of gay rights in the United States began in 1969 during the Stonewall Riots. This is often dubbed the “Rosa Parks” moment of the gay rights movement, when members of the LGBT community protested after a police raid in Stonewall Inn, one of the few establishments that welcomed openly gay patrons at the time. To better understand this event, take note that it occurred in the same period when other social rights movements were reaching their turning point.
The African American Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-war demonstrations were very active at that point in time. Homosexuals faced persecution both socially and legally, and it was illegal to have homosexual relations in every state but Illinois. It has been 45 years, and only half the states now allow same-sex marriages. These years have marked the build-up for a voice for this community, both within and without it, and the same-sex community of today receive much more recognition and rights than the bleak prospects of the LGBT living in the 1960s. Here, we present to you the top 10 reasons why same-sex marriage ought to be fully legalized.
10. Economic Benefits of Marriage
Not many people know this, but legalizing same sex marriages would provide a significant financial boom for both the private and public sector. Members of the LGBT community wish to marry for the same reasons we all wish to get married, and must undergo the same processes if they were allowed to marry. Part of these processes is the financial aspect. Marriage ceremonies entail a significant expense, and it was estimated by the Comptroller of New York that the added infusion from legalizing same sex couple marriages would add $142 million to the economy. This not only accounts for the profits that businesses will receive if same-sex marriage is allowed, but also for the payments these couples must make to acquire marriage licenses. They will also experience higher income taxes as a couple, and different state benefit programs would decrease their costs significantly.
9. Prevents Benefit Exclusion Marriage
is a recognized institution of society, but no government has the right to force it upon people. Conversely, no government has the right to exclude someone from participating in this institution simply because of a particular community they belong to as this is tantamount to discrimination. However, this exclusion is very real for as long as same-sex marriages remain illegal in various states, and the ramifications extend beyond the simple recognition of a couple’s relationship. Marriage provides benefits for aspects like inheritance, taxation, financial and physical protection in appropriate cases (e.g. abusive relationships, allocation of financial assets in case relationship ends, etc.) and even hospital visitation rights (marriage considers you as part of the immediate family of the person). The denial of these benefits create a very real economic cost as well, as the LGBT couples must expend resources (estimated by the New York Times to reach up to $467,562 in their lifetime) as opposed to a legally married couple.
8. “Traditional Marriage” Concept is Historically Inaccurate
There are various reasons while people oppose same-sex marriage, but a common argument of opponents is that the alteration of the traditional views on marriage may weaken the institution and lead to polygamy and even interspecies marriages. Consider this: what is a “traditional marriage”? While many think that this has always been defined as one man and one woman, this is a historically inaccurate misconception. Literature and various artifacts throughout the years of human existence are a testament to the prevalence of forms of marriage that today, would be considered “unconventional” despite being traditional for their time. From a purely biological standpoint, heterosexual monogamy can be seen as unnatural when we consider the common occurrence of polyamorous societies, concubines, communal child-rearing and the like throughout history and evolution. Our society allows people who barely know each other to get married and separate only a few months later. Which is more likely to weaken the institution of marriage- a male and female couple with this flippant attitude or two members of the LGBT community who are willing to take the risk of judgment and discrimination, simply to fight for the recognition of their relationship?
7. Society Evolves, Marriage is Redefined
Building on the previous item, the concept of marriage is constantly redefined, just as society evolves and grows. In the past, many cases of marriages were harmful to the various constituents involved (at times to the extent of being non-consensual like in arranged marriages) and yet their respective societies recognized them. Why do today’s laws refuse two individuals who truly and honestly want to make their union work? Many Americans now support same-sex marriage as compared to the sentiment of the past, which ostracized various cultures for their unconventionality. In May 2013, Gallup conducted a poll that found that more than half Americans support same-sex marriage. Until 1967, interracial marriage was also still illegal in several US states. In 1970, no-fault divorce was introduced on January 1 in California, and has dynamically affected the institution of marriage. These are just a few examples of how marriage and other institutions of society adapt and change over time. It would be backward to think that one definition can remain relevant for all time, especially given that change is the only constant in our dynamic world.
6. The Constitution is Committed to Liberty and Equality
Same sex couples have the right to the very same benefits that heterosexual or non-LGBT couples enjoy, as they are citizens of the same place. If a city allows its citizens to get married, why should a legal citizen be excluded from the same right simply because of their sexual identification? This is especially true because the American Constitution is committed to liberty and equality for its citizens. Gay marriage is covered under this, as demonstrated in the 1974 Supreme Court ruling that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause”. To promote anti-gay marriage sentiments as well as the banning of same-sex marriage are unconstitutional actions.