Paving the Way for Same-Sex Marriage in America
Essay Preview: Paving the Way for Same-Sex Marriage in America
Report this essay
Same-sex marriage has a positive role awaiting itself in American society. Gays and lesbians may have the opportunity to write history when they become yet another minority to overcome oppression in America. Throughout world history, society has oppressed groups due to their religion, sex, color of skin and sexual orientation. Why do we question the rights of those who love someone of the same-sex, whether it is by genetic code or personal choice? Why should rights and privileges be extended to only those with a heterosexual mindset?
As studies progress, more evidence is provided that gay and lesbian traits are more of a biological than a personal choice. Similar to a child born with autism, they do not have a choice in what traits they are born with. Yet every person with morals would support an autistic child as , he or she, fulfilled their dreams. Why would we not extend the same courtesy to those born biologically attracted to the same sex? A recent report by Leslie Stahl on the CBS show “60 Minutes” brings forth a condition called “childhood gender nonconformity,” (Finkelstien, 2006) meaning that even though a child is born as a boy or a girl they will exhibit traits of the opposite sex. The study follows two twin boys at age nine. One boy, Jared, is the typical all-American boy who plays with war toys, trucks and airplanes; the other boy, Adam, white ponies and fingernail polish. When Stahl asked how they would describe themselves to a stranger Jared replies “Im a kid who likes G.I. Joes and games and TV.” (Finkelstien, 2006) Adam replies to the same question, “I would say like a girl.” (Finkelstien, 2006) When asked why he thinks that is, Adam shrugged. (Finkelstien, 2006) According to Finkelstien, “research shows that children with extreme gender nonconformity usually grow up to be gay.”(Finkelstien, 2006) In accordance to this study, and ones similar to it, we can begin to see how traits of gays and lesbians do not have a choice to be heterosexual beginning at birth. One could still wonder, what about those who live a partially heterosexual life before coming out into the gay community?
A study conducted by Simon Levay, PhD, observed a difference in a group of brain nerve cells called “INAH3.” (Levay, 2000) Levay compared the size of 40 brains obtained from autopsies and found that INAH3 was smaller in the brains of gays and women then that of heterosexual males. One of Levays most outspoken critics, neuroscientist and psychologist William Byne, questioned that if INAH3 existed at all there probably was no difference in the size from male to female. Byne suggested that “the size difference may be the cause of death” (Levay, 2000), the cause of death for all studied gay brains was AIDS. After a replication study Byne discovered that INAH3 does exist. As well, it was noticed that INAH3 was larger in males than in females. However, many years passed and there was no word on whether INAH3 was smaller in gay men than it was in the heterosexual brain or not. That was until August 2000 when Byne confirmed that INAH3 was larger in heterosexual male brains than that of a gay man. As well, AIDS did not play a role in the size of INAH3. Can one think of any reason a personal choice would affect the size of brain nerve cells? There is no such reason, thus negating the belief that gays and lesbians make a personal choice to prefer the same-sex. Studies are inconclusive to show if the process occurs before of after birth.(Levay, 2000) The process is feasible that INAH3 develops at different rates for different individual, thus explaining why heterosexuals turn gay in teen or latter years. However, there are studies that present evidence showing some humans are born feeling as if they are the opposite sex regardless of what sexual anatomic they are born with. A person whom believes to be the opposite sex from birth is known as transgender. We would not ask a heterosexual male to begin a relationship with a male and expect positive results, so why should we ask anything different from the members of our gay and lesbian community?
Are we, as humans to judge if white marries black; or if yellow marries red? The right to wed for gay men and lesbian women has been a controversial focus in American society. At one point or another it is a topic that has crossed the minds of almost all Americans. Everyone from politicians to religious fanatics has staked a claim in the matter, namely evangelical Christians and right-wing conservative republicans.
Christian values are commonly spoken about in politics, especially during election time. According to Adherents.com (2004) the Christian faith has the largest following in American religious society with 224,437,959 as of year 2004 estimation. As a politician, one would make a wise decision to adhere to Christian wishes to gather their votes? According to The PEW Research Center (2004), which compiled exit poll data from the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, evangelical followers accounted for 23% of religious voters in both 2000 and 2004 elections. Evangelist groups where second only to the “other” category, at 24%, which combines several non-Christian and Catholic religions. While deriving 68% of evangelicals votes in 2000 and 78% in the 2004 elections it becomes quite evident how crucial those votes are. According to PEW (2004) “the election underscored the importance of white evangelical voters to the GOP… In 2004, they constituted 36% of George W. Bush voters.” What better way to obtain a large portion of those votes than to streamline Bushs opposition to same-sex marriage and press family values as his headline for candidacy? While this example shows the influence evangelicals have on American elections, just how strong are the ties that bind this powerful organization of evangelism?
Evangelical Christian groups are outspoken when it comes to opposing same-sex marriage. Many past attempts at changing the way America operates has left evangelicals in question of their unity and if they are doing good by way of American life for fighting so diligently for their beliefs on human rights. An article in Christian Century (2004) provides a study performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research of more than 1,600 evangelical Christians showed that 85% opposed same-sex unity, but only 42% of those who oppose felt the Constitution needed to be changed to reflect the ban on marriage. Greenberg stated that “We fully expected that evangelicals would be opposed to gay marriage.” These statistics could leave one to wonder if the evangelists are as united in the opposing position as America is lead to believe. If a group is whole-heartedly opposed to a matter should not the 42% of those wanted the constitution changed be greater? Do the large voices of Christianity impose