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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Proponent Argument for Same-Sex Marriages Donald Byrd PHI 103: Informal Logic Prof. Stephen Krogh March 05, 2012

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Should same-sex couples be allowed to be legally married? Today in America, this question is argued from classrooms and churches to the steps of congress and everywhere in between. This debate is usually argued on the grounds of religious beliefs, political

stances and overall moral inclinations. As is stands today, there are only 7states in America that will issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple (npr.org 2012). The other 43 states, in our free country, do not provide the same equal opportunities, to certain legal citizens, based on his or her sexual preference and what they feel is morally acceptable. Although many people have deemed the sanctity marriage be set aside for only those who choose to follow beliefs morally acceptable among a majority, all human beings are given unalienable rights in which they deserve the right to pursue and enjoy a lifetime of happiness with the person they choose, regardless of sexual orientation. Argument For Same-sex Marriage To many it seems clear that the main points in the argument for gay marriage involve ideas of equality and fairness among all citizens; that all Americans are entitled to the same opportunities regardless of whether or not that community, as a whole, would see the actions of some people moral or immoral. However, there are many believers that if one chooses to lead an immoral life, such as a homosexuality, then your unalienable rights are no longer afforded to you in a completely equal standard. Our unalienable rights are often quoted as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as our forefathers put it so well in the Declaration of Independence (ushistory.org 2011). These rights are given to man and woman naturally from our creator and cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred. This is not the case with other inalienable rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms. These are rights in which a government can step in and under certain

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE circumstances remove or restrict these rights from members of society. For example, the right to bear arms is not prohibited to all individuals depending on that persons criminal record. So as we can see it is stated in our countrys oldest and most important document that every man, woman and child are blessed with a certain right and freedom to pursue a life that they feel would benefit themselves without harming or infringing on the equal rights of others. One of these freedoms is the sanctity of marriage, in which at the time of

our countrys beginning, there was very little confusion that the act of marriage would only be between a man and a woman who, for the most part, wish to begin a lifelong union with each other. Our founding fathers did not foresee the changes in the world that would include a more open acceptance of homosexuality, leading to further issues such as the rights given to homosexual citizens. This does not mean that we have always conducted ourselves in the most logical way as a country. At the time of our countrys independence, there were also no unalienable rights given to African or Mexican slaves. The idea of inequality between two men solely based on each others skin color was completely acceptable during the timeframe in which our country was founded. If I felt that I should be allowed certain privileges over a fellow man purely based solely on the color of my skin, most of todays society would label me as racist and extremely prejudice. This is similar to the conservative thinking that is associated with anti-gay activists that feel there is something wrong with people who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. Opposition to Same-sex Marriage In the United States there is still a heavy opposition to gay marriage. This is apparent due to the fact 43 states still do not authorize a gay couple to engage in the official sanctity of marriage. According to a newspaper article by the National Catholic Reporter

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (2010), 53 percent of people polled in a Gallup poll in 2010 were in opposition of gay marriage (p. 46). One of many arguments from opponents of same-sex marriage is often that the institution of marriage needs to be protected from further deterioration. This means that due to heterosexual couples that are allowed to be legally married, are not appreciating the benefits of a beautiful and happy marriage and divorce rates are on the rise. According to the The State of Our Unions which is published by the National Marriage Project (2011) at the University of Virginia (p.67). The national divorce

percentage rate was between 40 and 50 percent in the year 2008 and has slightly increased each following year. Many opponents often claim that allowing same-sex marriage will lead to society accepting divorce due to the fact that same-sex marriages are not going to carry the same importance and validity as a heterosexual marriage due to the immorality associated with homosexuality. Another argument that opponents propose is that by allowing same-sex couples to be married it will be implied that homosexuality is morally acceptable and will perhaps lead to accepting other immoral acts. It is often presented that if the same rights of marriage are given to same-sex couples; it would ultimately lead to allowing the same rights and accepting ideas such incest, polygamy and bestiality. There is often a similarity between polygamy, in which one man has more than one spousal partner, and same-sex marriage. Polygamy is another separate highly debated act, which is often seen as immoral. An incest relationship brings different aspects to the argument in the sense that in these cases there is concerns with health risks associated with offspring an incest relationship. This would not be consistent with the ideas of promoting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all parties involved.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Response to the Opposing Argument The sanctity of marriage can only be helped, not damaged, by allowing individuals who are in love with one another to further their bond and express that their love is as strong as any other through the ceremony and institution of marriage. Opponents that feel the overall divorce rate is already at an all-time high should be more worried about changing the criteria for certain heterosexual marriages to exist, not eliminate homosexual marriages. In an article written by Alex Rajczi (2008), he states, if opponents are worried about the increased divorce rate, it is unclear why they do not simply advocate stricter divorce laws(p493). This would make a more logical argument than if there is a certain problem with an aspect of heterosexual marriage, that we attempt to fix that problem as a whole, not try to limit the gift of marriage to a smaller group in an overall attempt to fix the larger group. The ideas of morality in the debate of homosexuality are often derived from religious beliefs and ideas of times long ago. The concept of religious freedom is designed to let people worship and practice whatever god or lack of god that they choose. By limiting religious freedoms to certain portions of the public, we once again are removing our human unalienable rights. We are also making it a requirement for that portion of the public to adhere to specific religious beliefs in order to obtain ones pursuit of happiness, which for many includes the gift of holy matrimony. This in itself is a contradiction to the concept of religious freedom as our forefathers intended it. The argument that not allowing same-sex marriages will prevent other immoral acts is a good example of a slippery-slope fallacy, which is an error in logical reasoning. The

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE slippery slope fallacy is committed when one takes an example and extends it indefinitely to show that a given undesirable result will inevitably follow(Mosser, 2010). This fallacy shows that logically it is unacceptable to determine that if one thing is acceptable, other similar acts, such as polygamy, will be accepted as well. As it stands, the arguments for and against legalizing the marriage between samesex couples are still being battled between many religious and political leaders. Both sides of this argument offer many valid logical premises that attempt to strengthen and make their argument a sound one. Opponents feel that the sanctity of marriage is in danger and should only be between those who choose to follow beliefs that have been determined moral among certain groups in society. However, the argument that all human beings are created equal and deserve to enjoy the same unalienable rights as everyone, regardless of the morality of a specific sexual orientation, should stand out as the most logical.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE References Gay marriage opponents decline. (2010). National Catholic Reporter, 46(17), 3. Mosser, K. (2011). An introduction to logic. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu Rajczi, A. (2008). A populist argument for legalizing same-sex marriage. Monist, 91(3/4), 475-505. The State of Our Unions. (2011). Retrieved Feb 11, 2012, from http://www.stateofourunions.org/ USistory.org. (2012). Declaration of independence. Retrieved Mar 03, 2012, from http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/