Dalton: In this day and age everyone makes a huge deal about everything, but one of the biggest controversies that is highly debated in our society is same-sex marriage. It seems like every day I see something new about the movement. Go to any of your gay friends Facebook’s and then scroll through their old profile pictures I bet one of them is a little red equal sign but it wasn’t only the gays it seemed like almost anyone was changing their picture before congress passed their vote on how gender should play a role in marriage back in March of this year. And even just yesterday, December 2nd, as famous Olympic diver Tom Daley came out as bisexual he is already facing major discrimination throughout the LGBT community itself, we are rushing to label him instead of just being happy that he has found someone that he truly loves. Today people are so worried about what others are doing, especially celebrities, and finding out if they are in fact gay, or not. The question is, why does everyone care so much about things that have no effect or bearing on their lives? And some people just have no respect for him at all, tweeting horrible things about him, saying he just wants a medal for being gay, amongst other things.
Haylie: Society has changed immensely on how they view homosexuality culturally. It used to be that you never heard anyone discussing even the topic of homosexuality, let alone the topic of gay marriages. Today in our society events such as marches, protests, and parades are being held for homosexuality equal rights. Also, many more people are now open about their sexuality today because the norms of society have been altered over the years. We now view homosexuality as something that is happening and growing whether we like it or not. This has caused many Americans to just accept it and welcome that lifestyle into our culture. Many people look at the situation as they do not mind it as long as it does not affect them and the way they live their lives. The rights of homosexuals are not being fought for and they want the discrimination to cease. All they ask is to be accepted into society like any other person.
Biying: According to USA today, the total amount of Americans who support same-sex marriage has been increasing. In the middle of 1990s, opinion poll showed, at most 1/4 of people supported gay marriage. Research by Micheel Klarman, who is a Harvard law professor, wrote From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the struggle for Same-sex Marriage. It states that people’s mind would change and open when time goes. Everyone is equal and have the right to choose their own love. There are more than 15 years to a September poll by Bloomberg, which found that 55% of Americans support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The national poll found 36% were against. It clearly supports that more than half American people think gay marriage is acceptable.
Dalton: I have heard some of the most reasonable arguments for why there are no real reasons to oppose gay marriage, and if there are, they are all invalid. Comedians love to talk about gay marriage, and they are often right in a hilarious way. Why is everyone so concerned about it? If I got married to man, it doesn’t affect anyone’s life except for my own, but still today people insist that they need to “protect marriage.” In reality, the only thing that is really a threat to marriage is divorce; so many marriages today end in divorce.
Haylie: Also in Illinois a terminally ill woman was granted the right to be married to her partner as her last dying wish. This was before Illinois officially passed the marriage equality law. The two women were together for over 5 years and one was only given weeks left to live because of being diagnosed with terminal cancer. A lawsuit was then filled to let the couple immediately get married before the woman died. Many other cases such as this one have been granted across the United States.
Biying: I personally think gay marriage is acceptable. I have gay friends around and they are really nice. My first American friend is also gay, but I don’t feel he is different, he helped me a lot and just as normal as us. I think choosing to be a gay or not is just like making other decisions we make in our life. It’s not a big deal. So I think gay marriage is reasonable. We should support and respect their choices.
Dalton: Another thing opponents like to use is the bible, they say the bible says it is wrong, but there is only one problem. This country was built on the idea of separation of church and state. What the bible says has no bearing on the laws of our government. Even if it was, then doesn’t the almighty God say that he is the only one that can judge you? Many Christians would agree that God is the final judge, so if that is true then why are you going around doing all the judging for him? In addition there is a really awesome video by a popular Youtuber that dispels some of the Bible’s passages against homosexuality. He talks about how the word translated for homosexual in Corinthians is earlier translated in Timothy to mean pervert. Is the Bible even a good source? Nobody is even sure of the true authors for every book.
Haylie: Many other people in the United States and the world argue that same sex marriage would violate God’s laws. They bring up certain passages and scriptures in the bible talking about how one man should not lie in the same bed as another man. In this article protestors argue that same sex marriage goes against the laws of God that this nation was founded and built upon. These Americans are upset and believe that we need to follow all of God’s intended laws because he created the this world for us.
Biying: We all know that there could be some religious problems about gay marriage. For example, Islam and Christian do not support same-sex marriage. They think it’s opposite with the nature. The total amount of people of these two religious counts a lot in the world. It’s one of the main reasons that why there are some people do not support gay marriage. Personally, as a Buddhist, I think it’s totally fine. We respect each different choice that everyone makes.
Dalton: Another event currently affecting the LGBT community are the Sochi Olympic Games coming up this February. Russia currently has an anti-gay propaganda law in place, which is threatening to the Olympic Principle 6 which states that sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise. The company American Apparel has partnered with at least 34 Olympians so far to oppose the games. The craziest part is that in some parts of the world the LGBT community is not only denied the right to marry, but they are denied their basic right to live as they are. But, currently 16 other countries are allowing same-sex marriage. So in the end I think it is time for the United States to live up to its motto Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave.
Haylie: There are 16 countries around the world that have legalized same sex marriages so far. They are England and Wales, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, Denmark, Argentina, Portugal, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The first country to legalize same sex marriage was the Netherlands in December of 2000. This law gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children. Their legislation now reads, “A marriage can be contracted by two people of different or same sex.” The most recent country to adopt this law is England and Wales. They just passed it on July 17th of this year. The law will come into complete effect by 2014 giving any same sex couple the right to marry. However, unlike the other countries who have passed this law, England and Wales still prohibits same sex marriage in the Church of England to honor “the traditional understanding of the institution of marriage being between a man and a woman.”
Biying: As an international student, I would like to talk about something about our native country. China is a big country in the world. In political side, China is a Communist country. In religious part, most Chinese people don’t have any believes. It seems like there should have a lot of people support gay marriage in China. However, a poll conducted in 2009 that there is about 30% people support same-sex marriage in Beijing. (Wikipedia: Recognition of same-sex unions in China) The others are unsure. According to CNN news: In China, activists fight for gay marriage, it is really hard for traditional Chinese people to accept same-sex marriage. A Chinese socialist named Yinhe Lin said, gay people still can’t make their voices heard and they have no representation in the legislature. Compared to the US, probably China has to take a longer time in the way to legalize same-sex marriage.
Dalton: Although there has been a lot of progress in the United States, currently 16 states allow same-sex marriage, 33 have bans on same-sex marriage, and 1 state, New Mexico, has no laws on same-sex marriage. Although this is better than nothing, still over half of the United States does not allow gay marriage, which I see as a problem. Even now in Indiana the House Joint Resolution 6, which if passed, would prevent future legislators from allowing same-sex marriage by adding an amendment to the constitution of Indiana that would ban same-sex marriage permanently. Currently the bill has been passed through the Senate, and if it passes the House of Representatives, then it will go to the popular vote in the fall of 2014. It is sickening to think that the state I was raised in is trying so hard to deny my human right to get married.
Haylie: Marriage equality was granted for Illinois and now many want Indiana to look at the changes they have made to possibly pass a similar law. Illinois believes that in order to have a state that is progressing and continually making changes for the better, they cannot deny the changes that our happening in today’s society; such as gay marriage. They claim that these people have nothing wrong with them and they should not discriminate against people who are just as talented and qualified as any other person who is not homosexual.
Biying: According to the news, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act in June opened the door to an explosion of activity by gay marriage proponents. Gay marriage is now legal in Hawaii after Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill in Illinois. Until now, there are 16 states, including District of Columbia, legalize the gay marriage. (Marisol Bello, USA TODAY)
Dalton: There is a really cool video made popular by Upworthy that sheds light onto how everyday homosexuals actually relate to the lives of their straight counterparts. Gay couples like to do a lot of the same things that straight couples also enjoy. The bottom line is that marriage is a lot different today than it was even just 100 years ago. Just because someone seems normal, doesn’t mean they always are, but shouldn’t you grant this handsome young man the right to marry his boyfriend?
Haylie: Gay marriage is a controversial topic in our society today. It is not seen the same as it was many years ago in our society. It used to be that the norms for our society were opposite sex marriage; same sex marriage was frowned upon and rarely happening. If it was happening, it was never public as it is today. A young boy by the name of Duncan McAlpine Sennett in Portland speaks out during in his Bar Mitzvah about his opinion on same sex marriage. “Today, in the United States, marriage is very different,” he said in his speech. “No longer do fathers arrange marriages, and women can marry whoever they want. The traditional definition of marriage is nothing like what we think it is today.” This child spend about a year preparing for his Bar Mitzvah and this specific part of his speech by learning Hebrew and studying the Torah and other scriptures. His speech spread all over YouTube and was eventually featured on the Huff Post. This proves that no matter your age or title in the world, you can make a difference in something you truly believe in.
Biying: I’ve found a video that given by a boy who was raised by two lesbian women. (Video: Zach Wahls speaks about family) He talks about several reasons why people should support gay marriage and how he was treated when he was growing up. He graduated from University of Iowa just like any other teenagers who are from normal families. Actually he did better than most of them. He scored in the 99th percentile on the A.C.T. He is also an Eagle Scout. He put up with his opinion that he is not different with the others at all. He thinks the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other, to work through the hard times. The point he was trying to make is that the sexual orientation of his parents has had zero effect on the content of his character.
Dalton: Just recently former Fear Factor host released a podcast about gay marriage. He stated that anyone who is against gay marriage are “weak ass bitches,” and that being against it is “so stupid its hard to believe.” I think it is people like Rogan, straight allies, who will help get gay marriage passed. The more people we have on our side, the closer we get to legalizing gay marriage. For example, I bet a lot of guys look up to Joe Rogan, and if they see him supporting it then they might also change their views. This goes for any famous celebrity, such as Josh Hutcherson, who recently appeared on the cover of OUT describing what he thinks about sexuality.
Haylie: Then there are people such as the Croatians that have a constitution that does not specifically define marriage. Recently 65% of the Croatian population voted to ban gay marriage. This was a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union’s newest nation. This vote was to amend the constitution by placing an official definition on marriage as “union between a woman and a man.” Many people such as the liberal groups argue that this infringes on everyone’s basic human rights. Over 700,000 votes were collected for this vote by the conservative party. Many people that are a part of the conservative party base their opinions, arguments, and decisions on what the scripture contains in the bible. That one man or woman shall not lie in the same bed as another man or woman. They believe that God created these laws and that since he was the one to create the land we live on today, we should honor and respect those laws. Although not all people that believe in the word of the Lord believe that this referendum was a good thing. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic labeled it as “sad and senseless” and voiced hope that it was the last vote on this issue. He finds it to just be another excuse to argue on a topic that defies social norms. He sees it as something that gives them a reason to boast about their opinions.
Biying: Everything has two sides. If you got someone support you, there must have someone against you. Since there are about 55% American people support same-sex marriage. There still have almost half amount of people against same-sex marriage. Some public figures could also against same-sex marriage, or even slam gay people. For example, former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson slammed “Glee” in a column after the hit series aired a kiss between two gay characters. Based on the Huffpost Gay Voices, there are 17 famous public figures said something against gay in public.
Dalton: There are always two sides to every issue, as Biying pointed out, but at this point the country needs to come together and stand for what is a right I should have as a human being to marry the person I love, no matter who that is. I think slowly the tides will turn, eventually people who support gay marriage will greatly outweigh those who oppose it and that is when then change will come.
Haylie: Many people believe that if they can pass one marriage as a dying wish to one couple, that is should not be any more difficult to pass the law for marriage equality in all states. This is only a problem in our country for some people because this is not what our society is used to or how it began. The matter of the fact is that our society changes all the time. This is just another thing in our society that we must accept and make changes around. Just like something such as a war or education tactics, we must be able to accept and adapt to the changes our society is going through. These changes are going to happen no matter what we try and do to stop them. This being said, we must embrace these changes and accept them and the people they affect in our society.
Biying: Same-sex marriage is probably the most controversial topic in today’s society. People from different countries, religions, or educational levels could have different opinions about it. Obama—President of the U.S. once announced that he believed marriage could only exist between men and women. However, he changed his attitude now and supports same-sex marriage. He also granted some gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as married heterosexuals. There are around 120, 000 legally married homosexual couples in the US. CNN even claimed that shifting public opinion and old fights over judicial power are at the nexus of possibly the most important social issue the high court has addressed in recent years. That’s same-sex marriage. I believe that everyone would have their own opinion, but no matter what, we should respect others’ choices.