The religious standards of Americans today have plummeted to a new low. Fewer people are going to church than earlier in the century. Many people are marrying without even going to a priest by getting a judge to marry them. Divorce is steadily on the rise. Today’s society accepts homosexuals! Now the issue arises over whether we should allow homosexuals to marry. And you know what? It is really none of the government’s business. America can no longer deny its homosexual citizens the right to have a legal marriage.
Looking at today’s society, we can see that there is no good eason to deny gay couples the rights that straight couples have in getting married. The United States has always had the idea of separation of church and state, and marriage is one issue that must maintain that idealogy in the eyes of the government. The key to separating church and state in the debate over marriage is taking the definition of marriage that best applies to society today. To do that we must look at marriage’s state in the 1990’s.
Religion is losing its dominance in the issue of marriage. We cannot argue the fact that there are more divorces in the country today that there were 0 years ago. This points to America’s increasing acceptance of divorce. Therefore, we can conclude that religion has become less of an issue for many Americans when marrying because most religions strongly discourage divorce, some to the point of not allowing it at all. This leads to the question, “What is today’s basis for marriage? ” Some propose that the sole purpose of marriage be to bring life into the world.
If this were true, then it would be unacceptable for many in this country to ever be married. There are many women and men who simply do not want to have children. Should we condemn them and not allow them to marry just because of this view? Should we not allow those who are physically unable to have children to experience the joy and happiness that marriage brings? Those who cannot bear children of their own can adopt children; would we rather they raised that child without one or the other parental figure? Obviously society does not operate with this as the basis for marriage.
So the argument that homosexuals should not marry because they cannot have children is entirely ridiculous. Adoption is considered a noble act, and it brings joy into the lives of any heterosexual parents and their adopted children. There is no reason why the same cannot happen for homosexual couples. I am sure that many homosexual couples in the U. S. are better parents than some heterosexual couples. The fact that there are people that cannot physically have children together does not mean that they have no parental instincts or would be incapable as parents.
Thus, this argument against homosexual marriages cannot hold in America. The government of America recognizes marriage as a secular entity, and with homosexual unions we must make s….. ure that we look at marriage in this way. Marriage in the eyes of the government consists of a legal license that states that it can look at two people as one unit. A court of law can perform a marriage, thereby eliminating all religious aspects of it. So, the government looks at a marriage simply as something that is put in the records.
This decade is the time of the paper marriage. More people sign pre- nuptial agreements, make sure their spouse has a space on their insurance policies, and have their own line on tax forms. While this seems impersonal (can you imagine someone proposing with “Will you be the answer to line #3a on y 1040 and W-2? “), the government must look at the entity marriage this way. Numbers and legal agreements are gender neutral, so government checks to make sure that all is well in those areas are feasible.
But the spiritual part of marriage is for the couple involved, not the rest of society. What I’ve said until now makes it seem that marriage as a whole has lost all meaning to the country. This is not what I believe. Taking the religious implications of marriage away allows us to show how much the government should or should not be involved in marriage. However, two people get married because they love each other very much. They have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
These reasons have nothing to do with religion; however, the Judeo-Christian religions use these two ideals in their services as the cornerstones of marriage. “To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do you part. ” This statement is not religious, and most couples who marry think of this as the “contract” that they are agreeing to. I use contract in quotation marks because the contract I am referring to above relates to the eligious ceremonies that take place in many marriages.
There are no reasons for the government to be involved in making the decision of whether two people will be uphold that “contract. ” The marriage of two heterosexual people, no matter how public they may be, has no impact on the lives of everyday citizens. This will be true for homosexual couples as well. The government only needs to be involved in what affects the rest of the public. Thus, the only thing that it is acceptable for the government to regulate is how one’s marriage should relate to the objective parts of society (such as taxes).
The government does not have the right to decide who should and should not be allowed to get married. The United States prides itself on separating issues of the church from state related issues, and it must do the same with this one. Though some religious groups may have problems with allowing homosexuals to marry, America as a whole must not be so restrictive. The American government must look at marriage as strictly a financial issue, because the only parts of marriage that the government actually gets involved in are the financial issues. Let line #3a be filled by anyone, gay or straight.