Feature Article

Same-Sex Marriage 

by Ismael Manzano

     Okay, ladies and gent, it’s time once again, for my overly packaged, hyper-enthused, thoughts spewed onto a blank sheet of electronic paper for your amusement, approval, and admiration—or just to pass the time for a few minutes.  The story of this rant comes from college, from my English class to be precise.  Yes, I go to college!  No, it’s not to wear a hat with golden arches on it—I do that already!  Anyway, I was asked—politely told to or I would fail—to write a ‘documented paper.’  This is basically, an argumentative essay.  I was given the choice between law, region, youth issues, and something else.  Aside from that, I was told to write whatever I wanted.  Problem was, I did not know what to write. 

     Long story short, I finally came up with something, and wouldn’t you know it, I got writer’s block—don’t be too excited, it did not last long.  Anyway, I overcame this little dilemma by basically writing my second draft of the documented paper as if it were a rant and filling in the facts later.  So for those of you who think that the following with be a hard-hitting, educational, college-level piece about the current issue of same-sex marriage, you’re partially right, but mostly wrong.  This is my ‘documented paper’ without all the supporting facts, before I looked really anything up, and driven by pure gut emotion.  Enjoy. 

     If someone told you today that the person you loved was off limits—legally—that it was okay to see them, sleep with them, but they drew the line at marriage, what would you say?  Well, if you are among the minority of homosexuals in the world, you have already heard this. 

     Why is it that this form of discrimination is allowed and supported at all levels of our government?  If anyone today proposed a bill preventing mixed couples from marrying, the backlash from activists would be immense, but the President can openly call for an amendment to the Constitution to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying without fear of reprisal or a call for impeachment.

     In this country, where equality and understanding is preached and enforced by law, why are homosexuals being discriminated against by being denied the sacred right to marry?  Not only should they have the right to marry, they should have the right to choose not to marry; the point is, there should be an option.  If two people love each other or just want to share their lives, their homes, their finances, and their bed, what right does the law have to interfere? 

     I make this argument, not as a homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or any variation of the three, but rather as a heterosexual, married man, who could not imagine what his life would be like if someone had told me five years ago that I could not marry my wife because she was too short, or too Jewish or too anything but what someone else had thought my spouse should have been. 

     Can anybody explain why such extreme measures are deemed necessary by the powers that be?  Perhaps it in part due to a lack of understanding or, more specifically, a misconception of the nature of homosexuality that seems to relegate them as a subspecies as far as the law is concerned.

     The belief that homosexuality is a choice is a matter of much debate between a lot of different people of varying degrees of intelligence.  However, any freshman level psychology student—did I just give away what level of college I’m in?  Damn it—knows that genes account for at least a portion of our personality and the makeup of our brains influence our judgment and decision-making process.  Why should sexual orientation be any different? 

     So, if homosexuality is, at least for most homosexuals, natural, why are men in power trying to keep homosexuals from having the same rights as the average person?  Why not allow them the right to marry?  Socially, it poses no threat.  Legally, it is not a crime.  Since only a small percentage of the population in the world is homosexual, there is no logical reason to be concerned with a sudden drop in the world’s birthrate.  So why?  While I don’t know for certain, I believe that religion plays a role.  Which, to me, makes no sense in the country in which we live. 

     Religion should not be a factor in the decision to prevent same-sex marriage.  If religion is allowed to dictate law, what would come next?  An amendment requiring everyone to attend church on Sunday—or maybe Saturday; after all, good, God-fearing people must attend church and offer their respects.  It’s one of the ten amendments—I mean, commandments.  It does seem logical that church-goers would be better civilians, so why not make it a law?  That’s an extreme example, I know, but that’s only because it hasn’t been proposed yet. 

     Maybe religion is not the controlling factor, or maybe not just the sole factor.  After all, politicians may be trying to stop gay marriages but they aren’t trying to stop homosexuality altogether.  Perhaps the true reason is more insidious; perhaps it is just plain old fashion discrimination.  Homosexuality is not understood and therefore it is feared.   What they seem to fail to realize is that it will help to eliminate discrimination against homosexual if the law recognizes them in all aspects; the option of marriage will help to relieve the stigma that homosexual are promiscuous. 

     Those who argue that marriage has been traditionally between men and women, forget that all traditions are subject to change with the passing of time.  Being able to marry and make a commitment is also tradition.  Besides, don’t quickie, Las Vegas marriages hurt the traditions of our society?  Obviously those that argue against same-sex marriage have selective view as to what constitutes a break in tradition. 

     Some might argue that same-sex marriage is pointless because it serves no function, that they can not reproduce, so hence, marriage is irrelevant.  Again, those people fail to recognize that regular married couples may not choose to have kids or may not be able to have children.  Should they be banned from marriage as well?  Should impotent men and sterile women be denied marriage licenses?  Or will elderly marriage become the next thing that the government tries to ban, because if there is no chance to procreate, then why bother. That’s an interesting view: if it’s not necessary, get rid of it.  Well there are other things that aren’t necessary that I don’t see anyone trying to get rid of.  Like male nipples.  They serve no evolutionary or biological function.  Where are the laws against having those disgusting, unnecessary, wastes of flesh?  

     Why not just stick with the civil unions and commitment ceremonies that have become so popular lately, some might ask.  They are alternatives to marriage, yes, but should that mean that marriage itself should never be considered as an option for homosexuals?  Does that mean that commitment ceremonies are just as good to everyone?  I know if I’d proposed that instead of marriage, I would not be married or committed to anyone right now.

     Maybe the government feels that homosexuals are more likely to try to buck the system for medical benefits, but that, again, is still discrimination.  There are plenty of people trying to get married to obtain citizenship, or just to use someone else’s insurance. Perhaps I’m not particularly good at researching, but I have not been able to find one current law that bans the marriage of people from different countries or places restrictions on the length of time that adults need to know one another before they are allowed to obtain a marriage license.  In fact, other than cases of fraud for green cards or some other financial gain, it seems that all people of either the age of consent or with the consent of their parents are allowed to marry for whatever reason they choose—expect, of course, for homosexuals.  Every one else need not even demonstrate, let alone prove, a love for one another.  They do not have to prove their desire to marry nor have the validity of their love challenged or scorned—not by the law anyway. 

     If the government draws the line at marriage, will they eventually push the line back to ban homosexual behavior altogether?  And why not?  If it’s so wrong that they must make it illegal to share two lives, why not root out the problem from the beginning?   

     As for those who look toward the future and are frightened that allowing same-sex marriage will have unforeseen complications, I have this to say:  I am not so foolish as to believe that a nationwide acceptance of homosexual marriage and adoptions will not lead to some problems along the way?  But whether it is defining gender roles in the marriage or creating a new set of etiquettes for dealing with same-sex married couples, or with dealing with the possible confusion children of these marriage may incur—just as some children of interracial couples have trouble defining themselves—the answer to easing the transition is understanding and acceptance.  The more open we as a society are to new things, the easier it will be for everyone to cohabitate on this planet. 

     Just as long as we get rid of those nasty, pierceable, male nipples, we’ll all be fine. 

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