Homosexual Marriages and Civil Unions.

Essay by elevenHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 2005

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In the United States, marriage is currently defined as matrimonial union between one man and one woman. Civil unions have a similar definition, although a civil union is not a religious ceremony. With the exception of the state of Massachusetts, same-sex marriages and civil unions are banned. Five states (Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and New York) have no specific laws concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender marriages. A few states allow civil unions between homosexual couples. Currently a homosexual person can not inherit his late partner's life insurance, possessions, or be considered "immediate family" in health-related emergencies in many states. Eight states allow adoption by homosexual couples, fifteen states allow it in some jurisdictions, four states oppose same-sex parenting, and twenty-three states are currently undecided.

About half of the nation's population is currently in favor of either same-sex marriage or civil union. The argument for this position is based primarily on the Constitution's declaration of equal rights for all citizens.

If heterosexual couples are legally allowed to marry and share possessions, homosexual individuals should be given the same rights and benefits. Supporters of same-sex unions argue that necessary benefits are received when two people marry or participate in a civil union. They claim that discrimination against homosexuals is the same as the persecution that was practiced years ago against women, and the racism that was common following the Civil War.

Those who oppose homosexual unions base their arguments mainly on religious morals. Their religion, whether it is Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or another, teaches against homosexuality. The argument in opposition to same-sex marriages is focused around the dictionary definition of marriage---a union between a man and a woman. They claim that the sanctity of marriage will be undermined and made insignificant. They debate that, as two members...