"I Do" or "Please Don't". Same-sex marriage debate.

Essay by Widow MakerHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 1996

download word file, 5 pages 3.5 3 reviews

Downloaded 376 times

'I Do' or 'Please Don't'

With the recent decision by the Hawaii courts regarding the legalization of marriage between same-sex couples, a political debate across the United States has begun. Many people believe that this is a monstrous step to legalizing same-sex unions country wide, especially since legal tradition recognizes marriages performed in other states as binding within every other state, but also because Hawaii is known for it's liberal, ground-breaking first steps that the other states often follow the model of. If the states have any will, however, they will not fold to the pressure put on them by this state and the gay rights groups, they will continue to not recognize a man and man or a woman and woman as a man and wife.

What is marriage anyway? Isn't it the union of two people who love each other to prove their commitments to one another for the future? Yes, but there is more.

Webster's Dictionary defines marriage as:

'a) the state of being joined together as husband and

wife, b) the state of joining a man to a woman as her

husband or a woman to a man as his wife.'

Legally, however, marriage is more than just a statement of love. Marriage comes with economic and legal benefits that one cannot receive alone. For example, joint parental custody, insurance and health benefits, the ability to file joint tax returns, alimony and child support, and inheritance of property and visitation of a partner or a child in the hospital. In fact, the Hawaii Commission on Sexual Orientation itself concluded that denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples deprived applicants of these legal and economic benefits. So, are homosexuals fighting for the right of marriage to state their love as the gay rights groups suggest or are...