The very controversial topic of legalizing gay marriage has been the subject of many debates, and with the Supreme Court set to rule on its constitutionality in the coming months, the debate has come front center once again. Those supporting the legalization of gay marriage argue that denying anyone the right to get married to whomever they please is a denial of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They argue it is unconstitutional and reflects a stigma that disseminates discrimination against gays and lesbians. They also argue that marriage has many social, health and financial benefits for local and state governments as well as for gay and lesbian couples. These include an increase in state and local revenues from higher income taxes and marriage licenses, access to their partner’s health coverage, easier ability to adopt children, hospital visitation rights during an illness among others. Those against gay marriage argue that the institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as between a man and women. They are protecting their sacred institution from a union that is forbidden in most religious scripts and believed even greater divorce rates that would arise if same-sex marriage were allowed.
While those who oppose gay marriage may argue that are seeking to protect a sacred institution, the debate concerning gay marriage does not stem from someone be for or against the actual marriage. Rather, it arises from the ideological, religious and emotional differences among those for and against gay marriage. Getting married really changes very little besides gaining a piece of paper, a few health benefits and being legally bound to your partner, in most cases temporarily. Marriage today represents far less as compared to 25 or 35 years ago. In our society many people, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, outwardly partake in relational actions that were once reserved for marriage. 30 years ago these actions were socially unacceptable. Today, such actions are the norm. I find it difficult to believe that those who oppose gay marriage do so out of respect for the value of the institution itself. Rather, it’s those ideological differences that lead someone to oppose the existence of homosexual relationships. Being against gay marriage is merely a front for a loathing of homosexual behaviors and relationships. The real issue with legalizing gay marriage is that it makes homosexuality more socially acceptable and homophobia more socially unacceptable.