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Marriage Discrimination: Ending Soon Essay

1302 words - 6 pages

Same-sex marriage is defined as a union between two people who are of the same gender or biological sex. And marriage equality refers to giving equal treatment to same-sex marriage as compared to heterosexual marriage. Due to the varying definitions of marriage, this topic carries with it a large amount of controversy. In her literary piece, “Marriage just lets the state back in”, Kerry Howley opposes the claim that the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage are of any use whatsoever and supports her claim by emphasizing that GLBT people should not have to wait for public opinion or government’s approval for establishing or continuing their relationships. On the other hand, in his article “What are we fighting for?”, Wedgewood asserts that couples marry not only to make a legally binding commitment to each other, but also to get the rest of the society to understand that they have a serious commitment to an intimate relationship. Although I concede Howley’s argument that public opinion should not matter to LGBT couples, I still insist that gay marriage be legalized because it will provide homosexual couples with both legal benefits and society’s approval, strengthen the Constitution's commitments to liberty and equality, and bring about a positive economic change.
While Howley’s argument for privatization of marriage may sound lucrative, it is not entirely viable. In her article, Howley maintains that “Marriage is whatever the state decides it is, at any given time, subject to change under any given administration”. Her point is that the state exerts more power over the institution of marriage than the people getting married. She strongly believes that the state should have no authority to define the terms of personal relationships such as marriage and advocates that gay couples should not seek state’s permission for their union. She reasons that government intervention in marriage has led to a decline in the number of couples getting married and sharply increased the number of cohabiting couples. I tend to share her belief that GLBT people should not have to wait for public opinion to justify their union because public opinion is often emotional and unstable as it changes over time based on new information. However, I oppose her argument that the state should have absolutely no role in dictating the terms of the contractual agreement and strongly contend that government intervention is compulsory in a marriage contract. Without government intervention there would be no uniform set of guidelines for a marriage contract as everyone will get to draw up their own contract or choose from a number of ready-made generic contracts. This will make enforcing those contracts a lot harder and complicated as they will vary from couple to couple. Often choosing terms and conditions for the contract will be harder for the couples themselves as they will have more choices to deal with. A few couples would still find privatizing their marriage appealing and look...

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