Written by David Buchanan
President Obama gave an inaugural speech on Monday that will certainly go down in the history books as he is the first President in history to refer to homosexuals, particularly gays, as an accepted (yet in many societies, only considered as tolerated) sexual orientation or preference. In addition to this, he also declared that gays and lesbians struggling for equality were on par with the civil rights movements of the past.
The President’s view regarding gay marriage has certainly changed from when he was first elected. He started out as being openly opposed to gay marriage, and then in 2008 said that his position was “constantly evolving.” Last May 2012, he became the first President who had publicly stated that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married.
And when it comes right down to it, why not? Washington politics continues to push to define marriage as between a man and a woman but where does that notion actually come from? Religion. When it boils right down to it, the notion that marriage should be between a man and a woman comes from the biblical notion that man should not lie with man.
However, when looking at the law, what practical purpose does it serve to define marriage as opposite sex couples? If you listed to Republican arguments about “preserving marriage”, many of those arguments center around societal concerns and concerns about children being raised without a father or a mother.
These concerns mostly surround the traditional roles of mothers and fathers. Studies have shown that children without fathers in their lives are less likely to be successful than those who did not have a traditional two parent home.
The problem with this argument is that it assumes that having opposite sex parents is the only viable solution to the problem. What benefit does the child get from having a father or mother that does not want to be around, or worse still, is a detriment to the development of the child.
If you listen at the core of most arguments against a same-sex union, it all revolves around religion and morality or social concerns that are more concerns revolving around principles established over 200 years ago and not in line with modern principles. The problem with this sort of thinking is that America is supposed to be a land that embraces freedom of religion and diversity. Part of that is accepting other belief systems even if they differ than yours.
Same-sex marriage isn’t about destroying the institution of marriage, it is about couples having the same rights regardless of whether they are gay or straight. Looking past the moral implications surrounding the issues, marriage is a contract between two people and same-sex couples who want to have the same rights to execute their contract.
When the Supreme Court looks at this matter later this year, they need to look past the moral objections and focus on the legality of banning same-sex marriages. If there is a legitimate reason to declare marriage as a union between a man and a woman, then that needs to be clearly defined. If instead the banning of same-sex marriage is based on morality, then it is time to allow same-sex marriage in this country.