The Governments Right to Decide: The Issues Surrounding Gay Marriage
Going into the 2004 Presidential and Congressional elections the issue of gay marriage was an important platform for conservatives. Four years later the issue had been put on the backburner, but it may surface again as the 2008 elections approach. The issue surrounds conservative religious groups and homosexuals who continue to battle over who has the right to marry and who doesn’t. There are basically two main schools of thought at war here. The conservatives feel that marriage is a religious institution that should be between one man and one woman; while gay activists feel that not allowing homosexuals to marry is a form of discrimination. But the real question here is not whether or not homosexuals have the right to marry, it is whether or not the government has the right to decide one way or another.
The debate over gay marriage begun in Hawaii, when in 1993 their state’s supreme court was the first to rule that limiting marriage to be between one man and one woman was unconstitutional. (Bronski, 1) The state later amended this ruling to define marriage more clearly, but the seeds had already been planted and, many states would begin to ask the same question posed by Hawaii.
One of the main issue that gay marriage faces is the idea that marriage exists as one of the oldest institutions and that it exists for the purpose of procreation. However in her essay “Desecration ? Dedication?” Anna Quindlen argues that a recent census showed that twenty-eight percent of gay couples already had kids and that there are plenty of heterosexual couples who don’t have kids and do not have to answer to anyone about why.
The other main issue is that the institution of marriahge is already in trouble and allowing same sex unions could further damage it. However, in a time when divorce is at an all tiem high and less and less teens are waiting to have sex, some might argue that things...