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Discrimination is the Voice of Ignorance
Marriage is one of the fundamental establishments of the United States. As a young person, one looks forward to many goals in their lifetime: career success, a good life, and very often marriage to the person they love and a family together. This is one of the biggest parts of our "American life" and culture. Very few heterosexuals would be willing to put their right to marry on a ballot for voter approval, or even in their wildest dreams [nightmares?] have to consider doing that. However, in the past ten years that is a prospect gay men and women are facing all over our United States. Why is American culture so unaccepting of homosexual marriages and what are the reprocutions of this for homosexual couples and for all of our citizens?
Homosexuality, as a lifestyle has always been under great fire in our culture.
Homosexuality has been defined and termed in many contexts. The West Chester
University Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Services states that,
Given the variable aspects of sexual orientation and given evidence that an individual’s sexual orientation may change over time, it is difficult to provide a precise and universally accepted definition of homosexuality. In general terms, homosexuality may be described as the capacity to find affection and or sexual satisfaction with someone of the same gender.
Focus founder and fundamental Christian leader, James Dobson, however, simply defines homosexuality as a sin and says homosexuals can be cured in God’s name (Egelko, 3/2000 p2). As one can see from these two examples alone, the definition of this lifestyle isn’t focused solely on what a homosexual is, but rather how individuals feel about the way of life.
In day to day living, the homosexual lifestyle is most likely not much different from the heterosexual or "straight" lifestyle. A homosexual still gets up in the morning and goes to work or to school. They still have dinner with family or friends, participate in sports and community organizations and events. And yes, they still hold stable relationships, just like a man and women would, they still go through the ups and downs of a relationship, facing the same joyous moments, and same hard times with an individual they love. The homophobia that has spread through our country like wildfire since the "outing" of homosexuals became more common and acceptable undermines these common variables between homosexual and heterosexual couples.
One of the largest differences for a homosexual is living a life of fear. Along with all of their day to day activities that mirror any heterosexual, they must also deal with the stress of being "different" and being "unacceptable" to the society which they are a part of. They must know the places they are welcomed as an "outted" gay person, and the ones where they must hide their true identities. As well, they are not granted many of the rights a heterosexual takes for granted. They cannot file for taxes along with their partner, cannot receive medical benefits or health insurance under their partners coverage, as most husband and wives do, and most essentially, they cannot create a bond of unity to express their love through a legal marriage (France, 2/2000 p2).
Marriage has been a unique part of our culture since its beginning. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines marriage as "to join or unite a husband and wife." As well, many churches quote like definitions. The Catholic Church, for example, relies on Jesus’ statement about a man and his wife becoming one flesh, never to be separated ( Egelko, 3/2000 p1). And West Virginia Governor, Cecil Underwood, just asked the legislature to put on all marriage licenses and applications: "Marriage is designed to be a loving and lifelong union between a woman and a man" (Bundy, 1/2000 p1). The debate comes over whether or not these definitions are simply traditional in their wording of "man and wife" or if that is truly the way it is meant to be. This brings up the issue of whether religious or secular definitions should prevail and how to go about changing or amending these definitions. If a marriage is truly a unity of two individuals in love, however, who is the final
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LGBT history, Same-sex marriage
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