The gay community in today's society faces both structural and attitudinal obstacles. Laws have been set forbidding gay marriages in 49 U.S. states, and people's ignorant attitudes towards the gay community have also presented a problem. Overall, there are a few commonly shared ideas about homosexual unions that detour the heterosexual community from agreeing with it. Those opposed to legalizing homosexual marriage claim that:
1. Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.
2. Marriage is for procreation.
3. Same-sex couples aren't the optimum environment in which to raise children.
4. Gay relationships are immoral.
5. Marriages are for ensuring the continuation of the species, and gay unions do not ensure this.
6. Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage, because it is traditionally a heterosexual institution.
8. Same-sex marriage is an untried social experiment.
9. Gay sex is unnatural and immoral.
In addition to people's ignorant attitudes on the topic, a number of states have passed laws forbidding gays from marrying or barring the recognition of a same-sex marriage performed in another state.
The federal government's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act affirms that states are not required to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. The act also defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." While there are many barriers facing the gay community regarding the legalization of gay marriages, the main opposition to granting marriage rights is ultimately lodged in homophobia. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what homosexuality really is, and also the assumption that gay people enjoy the same civil rights protections as everyone else. There are also a lot of stereotypes about gay relationships, and even a great deal of misunderstanding of what marriage itself is all about. One claim...