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Family Values

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Jon W. Davidson, Senior Counsel for the Lambda Defense and Education Fund says, “Marriage strengthens individuals and society. When you have two people who are willing to be legally responsible for each other, to have each other’s best interest at heart, this benefits the entire country”  (Kotulski 53). All that matters in a family is love; it should not matter what that love looks like. Legalizing same-sex marriage strengthens society by encouraging and creating additional families in America. Currently, same-sex couples are living in a constant state of singlehood. No matter how many years they have been together, they are still “dating,” and filing single on their taxes. Relationships, gay or straight, are stabilizing; marriage locks in security. 

Married or not, many same-sex couples have the option of adopting and bringing up children in America today. According to Rauch, there are between two and three million children with same-sex parents (4). While the government in America spends so much time protecting the children, would not it be in everybody’s best interest if the parents of these children were married? Not only does marriage set a good example, it allows children to feel safer and more secure at home.

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Many believe, as our traditions and values have weakened over time, that so have our traditions of the nuclear straight family. It is a common argument that allowing gay marriage will only add to the problems threatening our normative values. Late nights, promiscuous sex, drugs, and clubs are common assumptions made by conservatives about the gay lifestyle. For example, former education secretary Bill Bennett and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer both say that “gay men are inherently more promiscuous than straight men and that a same-sex marriage would therefore inevitably be more likely to involve adultery than would a heterosexual marriage; and so gay unions would demean the institution as whole” (Sullivan 280). Gay, straight, black, white, yellow, and red, we are all the same. Straight people commit just as much adultery, have as much unprotected sex, do as many drugs, and are susceptible to all the same health risks gay people are. Senator David Vitter, who has described himself as a “clean-as-a whistle champion of family values,” is a known opponent of same-sex marriage in Louisiana, and commonly challenges the ethics of fellow politicians who are for federal recognition of gay marriage. Mr. Vitter, who is married, was implicated in 2007 for involvement in a prostitution ring that federal authorities traced back to the early nineties (Nossiter).

Making marriage available to the gay community does not promote promiscuity; it would however give lesbians and gay men something to be responsible for, which encourages monogamy. The pressure of not being fully accepted by society and their relatives commonly forces gay and lesbians into the heterosexual lifestyle, which, in the end only contributes to broken families and divorce (Sullivan 146). Are members of religious organizations the only people entitled to family values? Allowing gay marriage encourages acceptance, and has the potential to redefine what traditional values are. The prospect of same-sex marriage gives America’s families hope by creating additional loving and supportive home lives.

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