In a 2011 survey by the Williams Institute, 3.5% of all adults in the United States identified as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual, implying that there are nearly 9 million LGB individuals (Gates 1). Despite this, same-sex marriage is only legalized in seventeen out of fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia (Freedom to Marry). In thirty-three states, the government has decided that it has the power to intervene in who its citizens want to marry and love, as if they could decide our friends and family. Though the question is often “Why should same-sex marriage be legalized?” no one seems to wonder “Why should I, or anyone else, have the power to choose who marries who?” Same-sex needs to be legalized throughout the United States because it is a human right.
Banning same-sex marriage is a violation of human rights. As American citizens, we have many rights and liberties. According to the Constitution, “all men are created equal … with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” How can we claim to be the land of the free when homosexuals and bisexuals are denied their own chase of happiness? In many states, same-sex couples are banned from legally celebrating their marriage in public, which is a hindrance to their happiness. In addition, according to Article 16 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Men and woman of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality, or religion, have the right to marry and found a family.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Therefore, banning same-sex marriage is an explicit violation of human rights.
Legalizing same-sex marriage also means that it would be easier for same-sex couples to adopt children. There are currently 104,000 children in the foster care system. Many will remain there, without being adopted, until they age out of the foster care system (AdoptUSKids). Additionally, while there is evidence that supports having same-sex parents can be beneficial, there is none proving that they are harmful. A study by Pediatric has shown that the sons and daughters of lesbian mothers were rated higher in “social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts” (Gartrell and Bos 28). Another found that the children of gay men were just as sound in health and mind as the adopted children of heterosexual couples (Farr, Forssell, and Patterson 175). However, we unfortunately live in a country where there are more children wanting to be adopted than there are couples willing to adopt. A Washington Post columnist argues “We should be begging gay couples to adopt children. We should see this as a great boon that gay marriage could bring to kids who need nothing more than two loving parents.” (Klein)
Same-sex marriage can also bring financial gain to the government. Weddings are lucrative...