Should marriage exist as an institution?

Essay by trojanbebeCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2005

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According to Chapter 1 of title 1 of the United States' Code, "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife" (The Defense of Marriage Act). Marriage has long been an institution that was based on the love of two individuals and their future together. While procreation is also considered in the definition, there are no laws in our society stating that it is necessary, or even important. With the Defense of Marriage Act bill, the United States government is not defending the "tradition of family" but instead, enforcing prejudice and hatred against a group that is already struggling to gain equal rights and acceptance in a society that has long closed its collective mind to homosexuality. I agree that the institution of marriage should be defended, for it creates opportunities for children to grow up in better environments and it is affiliated with many positive influences in a couple or family, however I will only pertain to this idea only if by marriage our government and society is referring to a union based on the love between two individuals.

Since the dawn of American History, equal rights among U.S. citizens has been a hotly debated issue. With the Civil War and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was prohibited. On August 26, 1920, with the ratification of the Constitution's nineteenth amendment, women gained the right to vote. African Americans were still discriminated by the government until the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How come then that in today's modern American Society, an institution that prides itself on being "the home of the free and the land of...