I now pronounce you husband and husband

Yesterday I saw a commercial for one of those internet dating websites, but this one was different: it featured two gay men. I thought it was just as cute and mushy as any other one I have seen, but I’m sure some people didn’t like it. The person I was watching TV with said, “Ew! They shouldn’t show that stuff on TV!” Oh, goodness.

The issue of gay marriage is no doubt hotly debated and those with opinions about this matter are generally very unyielding to the opposing argument. Admittedly, I am one of them. I think gay marriage should be legal not because I think it’s morally right, but because I think it’s a right we all hold as American citizens.

Gay couples are denied certain rights the government grants to married heterosexual couples. Gay couples are not allowed the same tax breaks that married couples receive, they are not allowed to make medical decisions for their partner, they are not allowed rights to funeral or will arrangements upon a partner’s death, they are not allowed to share in employment and insurance benefits of their partner and they are not allowed conjugal visits. These are just of the few rights straight couples have that gays are denied. Is this fair?

These people are just as capable as the rest of us of having long healthy relationships, but are strangers before the law. As an advanced society, I think we should not tolerate this kind of injustice.

The most popular argument against gay marriage is that all major religions consider homosexuality a sin and it would ruin the “sanctity” of marriage. First of all, marriage by the state is a secular activity. The government should not make laws because a religion says they should. What’s next? Should we make taking the Lord’s name in vain a criminal activity just because it’s breaking the Ten Commandments? Secondly, the “sanctity” of marriage in its current state should be examined. Divorce and infidelity are activities that many couples, even the religious ones, take part in. According to divorcerate.org, 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. Within the last decade, incidents of adultery in America have risen to the rate of 50 to 70 percent.

Our society would greatly benefit from allowing gay marriage. If homosexual couples were allowed to marry it would discourage participation is promiscuous sex, thus slowing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Also, homosexuals wouldn’t be encouraged to marry people with whom they feel little or no attraction, which would likely end in divorce and be especially tragic if children were involved. Lastly, the number of child adoptions should increase since gay couples cannot procreate.

When I, a straight female, enter into a relationship I anticipate the possibility of marriage. It is a natural progression which shapes the way I date. For example, I don’t cheat because that would obstruct the path to marriage. If gay couples were allowed this progression, they could expect a deeper meaning in their relationship, which would permit strong family values and dissuade a high-risk sexual lifestyle.

The bottom line is that marriage should be a right granted to all Americans-technically it is, according to the Constitution. We must have not read it very closely.

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