Word Count: 703Marriage is understood to be the decision of two people to committhemselves to each other. Marriage has no conditions, which wouldprohibit same sex partners. If we look closely at the purpose ofmarriage, we would see that it is actually in the best interest of oursociety to allow same-sex marriages. Marriage is an institution whichpromotes stability, family, and is societies lawful way of connectingtwo people.Marriage is more than just a way of making relationships permanent. Society recognizes its importance by attaching benefits such as specialtax treatments, social security, veterans’ benefits, lower insurancerates, and property and supports rights upon divorce. Therefore,restricting the rights of marriage also restricts the many privilegesthat go along with it.
Homosexuals want to marry for the same reasonthat heterosexuals have and there should be no reason why they are notallowed to. America went through the same sort of arguments with,whether or not to allow interracial marriages, and I believe that thesame outcome will follow.Homosexual couples are now trying to win the privilege of marriage,just as interracial couples were fighting for the same thing some 35years ago. In Loving vs. Virginia, the state was challenged by aninterracial couple who married in Washington D.C.
and then moved back toVirginia (Price). Virginia did not accept their marriage license asvalid and the couple was sentenced to one year in jail or to leave thestate of Virginia for 25 years. The sate of Virginia had a law thatprohibited marriages between people of different races, which read:”All marriages between a white person and a colored person shall beabsolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process.” This is a horrifying resemblance to South Dakota’s anti-gay marriagebill, which says:”Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of South Dakota: Anymarriage between persons of the same gender is null and void from thebeginning.”These laws against interracial marriage were common years ago, just asthe state laws against gay marriage are now common.
When the Loving vs. Virginia went to the U.S. Supreme Court, it ruledthat “The freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another raceresides with the individual and cannot be infringed by thestate”(Richardson). Before that decision, California was the only statethat had made interracial marriage legal. This is exactly what ournation is now looking at with the state of Hawaii in the process oflegalizing same-sex marriages.
The two issues also have similarities inour Presidents’ opinions. Just as President Clinton signed the Defenseof Marriage Act which limits federal marriage rights to homosexualcouples, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman agreed that races should notintermarry years ago.Another issue that is similar is the fact that racist and gay marriagelaws were never at the top of the list of priorities. The governmentdid not think that America was ready for such a dramatic change in 1954,when the whole discussion of interracial marriage was brought up. Butby 1967, the court had been hearing the same arguments over and over andeven the Brown vs. Board of Education law had been passed.
The firstmention of gay marriages was brought up in 1972. If history has any wayof repeating itself, this could mean that homosexual couples have somehope. Also, by the time Loving vs.
Virginia was finally heard, thecouple had three children. An argument about this was that it was wrongto let the children have two illegal parents. This also led to the factthat all marriage-based benefits were denied and inheritance rights arelost. This is a major argument in the gay marriage issue as well.
Manypeople used to see interracial marriage as a threat to the natural orderof things, many people also see this as a reason to keep same-sexmarriage illegal.It is unbelievable how similar the arguments once used against peopleof different races wanting to marry are to the ones now used againstsame-sex couples. Both were based on the fact that marriage is only aright to certain people. Both were seen as unnatural and forbidden byGod. Both were seen as how things always have been and are meant tobe. Both have similar histories in court.
Now we can only wait and seeif both will have the same outcome.