More Gay Marriage Arguments

I recently finished a gay marriage argument paper for my Pop Culture and Philosophy class and would like to share it with my readers. I've previously authored an essay for a different class and posted it here, but this essay makes new and stronger arguments. Unfortunatly, this paper could only be three pages, but that's okay. As always, feel free to agree or disagree and make comments. Enjoy.

Homosexual marriage, a marriage between two people of the same sex, is a very controversial issue that splits society and leads religious demagogues to become very active in politics. Religious groups are tremendously concerned with gay marriage because they feel that marriage should only be between one man and one woman; their holy books and traditions, they say, dictate this. The Knights of Columbus, for example, have funneled over one million dollars into anti-gay marriage initiatives to uphold Proposition 8. They also produced and sent an anti-gay marriage DVD to Catholic households in Minnesota. Others, both religious and non-religious, may oppose gay marriage because they feel that “the institution of marriage” is being threatened or because they just don't like homosexuality. Homosexuals, of course, want to have the ability to marry the people they love. Homosexual marriage does not harm anyone and can be extremely beneficial to society, therefore it should be legalized.

Some philosophers feel that gay marriage should be illegal because it is not beneficial to society. This includes Jeff Jordan who argues that homosexuals cannot benefit society by providing the following benefits that heterosexuals do: children, gender-differentiated parenting, and prevention of out-of-wedlock children via affairs (Jordan PowerPoint 5). Jordan also argues that if homosexual marriage is legal, polygamy would also have to be legalized (Jordan PowerPoint 6).

Some philosophers such as Jonathan Rauch and Jacob Held feel that gay marriage should be legal because it is beneficial to society. Held argues that there is no reason to restrict gay marriage because it does no harm, but added rights must be shown to benefit society in order for homosexual marriage to be legalized (Held PowerPoint 14). Rauch argues that homosexual marriage benefits children and domesticates homosexuals (Rauch PowerPoint 6-7).

I will argue that homosexual marriage should be legalized. To defend my conclusion, I will show that homosexual marriage is beneficial to society because homosexual marriage will benefit children, marriage makes for more stable households and well-adjusted children, the sexual orientation of parents does not affect their children or make the parents unsuitable, homosexual marriage will “settle down” homosexuals and therefore reduce the prevalence of AIDS and STDs, and gay marriage will help normalize homosexuality.

Opponents of homosexual marriage typically argue that homosexual marriage will harm children because children need a mother and a father, but this isn't true. Children need a stable household and parents who care for them. If gay couples are married, this will provide more stability for children because the couple has an obligation to stay together and has various legal incentives to do so. Jordan argues that homosexuals can't benefit society, but severely limits himself. Although homosexuals can't produce children or provide gender-differentiated parenting, they can provide various other different benefits to society.

Various studies have shown that homosexual parents are fine parents who do not even influence the sexual orientation of their children (Rauch PowerPoint 10). According to researchers, “measures of children's gender roles were generally unrelated to parental sexual orientation. Parents' attitudes and behaviors were more strongly associated with children's gender development than was parental sexual orientation” (Fulcher, Patterson, and Sutfin 330). Psychologist Patricia J. Falk dismisses various arguments regarding children and their lesbian parents; she notes that “Courts [...] have assumed that their children are likely to be emotionally harmed, subject to molestation, impaired in gender role development, or themselves homosexual. None of these assumptions is supported by extant research and theory” (Falk 941). Other researchers note that “children [of homosexual parents] develop normally, showing no particular behavioral, social, or emotional problems. Research on these children also reveals that they show typical development of gender identity, as well as sex-typed behaviors and preferences” (Sutfin, Erin, et al. 503).

Society reveres marriage because people have a committed partner to care for them and help them in their hour of need. Married couples also enjoy benefits such as tax breaks, hospital visitation, and death benefits. Unmarried homosexual couples are currently unable to realize all of the benefits that straight married couples enjoy. Rauch says that “it is good for society to have “settled down individuals” (Rauch PowerPoint 7). Marriage of gays will also help diminish the gay sexual underworld. If couples are married, individual partners will not be having sex with so many different people because they are committed to a monogamous relationship. Because of this commitment, the rates of STDs and AIDS will greatly diminish. Rauch notes, “A sexual underworld is inevitable in every society, but in a marriageless society its extent is greater and its allure stronger. And, of course, its cost is higher” (Rauch PowerPoint 8).

Homosexuals are often stigmatized in society and viewed as immoral, disordered, abnormal, sexual deviants, and child molesters. Because of this stigmatization, stereotypes are perpetuated and homosexuals are afraid to reveal their identities. If gay marriage were made legal, homosexuality would start to be normalized because society says that it is permissible for homosexuals to marry. Opponents of gay marriage argue that if gay marriage were legalized, gay couples would have children who are teased because their parents are gay, but if the homosexual perspective were normalized, this would cease to happen. People who make fun of these children need to change their attitudes and be educated to accept other lifestyles. Less teasing, oppression, ignorance, and stigmatization certainly makes for a better society.

Gay marriage won't lead to polygamy as Jordan argues because we would need to demonstrate that polygamy benefits society. If we wanted to legalize polygamy, this would be a different argument. It does not follow that legalizing homosexual marriage would lead to legalization of polygamy.

Since homosexual marriage is beneficial to society, it should be legalized. Children benefit from gay marriage, sexual orientation of parents does not affect their children or make the parents unsuitable, homosexual marriage would “settle down” homosexuals, diminish the gay sexual underworld, and legalization of gay marriage would normalize homosexuality.

Works Cited

Fulcher, Patterson, Sutfin. “Individual Differences in Gender Development: Associations with Parental Sexual Orientation, Attitudes, and Division of Labor.” Sex Roles 58.5/6 (2008): 330-341. Print.

Falk, Patricia J. “Lesbian Mothers: Psychosocial Assumptions in Family Law.” American Psychologist 44.6 (1989): 941-947. Print.

Sutfin, Erin, et al. “How Lesbian and Heterosexual Parents Convey Attitudes About Gender to their Children: The Role of Gendered Environments.” Sex Roles 58.7/8 (2008): 501-513. Print.