“I Do” or “Please Don’t”: Hawaii’s Same Sex Marriages
With the recent decision by the Hawaii courts regarding the legalization
of marriage between same-sex couples, a political debate across the United
States has begun. Many people believe that this is a monstrous step to
legalizing same-sex unions country wide, especially since legal tradition
recognizes marriages performed in other states as binding within every other
state, but also because Hawaii is known for it’s liberal, ground-breaking first
steps that the other states often follow the model of. If the states have any
will, however, they will not fold to the pressure put on them by this state and
the gay rights groups, they will continue to not recognize a man and man or a
woman and woman as a man and wife.
What is marriage anyway? Isn’t it the union of two people who love each
other to prove their commitments to one another for the future? Yes, but there
is more. Webster’s Dictionary defines marriage as:
“a) the state of being joined together as husband and wife, b)
the state of joining a man to a woman as her husband or a woman to a man as
” Legally, however, marriage is more than just a statement of love.
Marriage comes with economic and legal benefits that one cannot receive alone.
For example, joint parental custody, insurance and health benefits, the ability
to file joint tax returns, alimony and child support, and inheritance of
property and visitation of a partner or a child in the hospital. In fact, the
Hawaii Commission on Sexual Orientation itself concluded that denial of marriage
licenses to same-sex couples deprived applicants of these legal and economic
benefits. So, are homosexuals fighting for the right of marriage to state their
love as the gay rights groups suggest or are they pushing for the right of
marriage because of the many benefits that come with it? The answer is obvious
they are fighting for the benefits that come along with marriage. If they were
fighting for love, then where would we stop these “feelings?” If homosexuals
were allowed to marry because they love each other and they consent, then
couldn’t a pedophile marry a younger child as long as both parties fully
consented? If homosexuals were allowed to marry because they love each other,
then couldn’t one man marry many wives because he loved each one and they each
loved him? If homosexuals were allowed to marry because they love each other,
then couldn’t a son and his mother, or even a brother and a brother, marry
because they love each other? As one member of the Episcopal Laity Group said,
“a line must be drawn and it must never be crossed.
Marriage is for a man and a
woman, and that’s the way marriage will always be.”
The gay rights’ activists claim that this denial of love, in the form of
marriage, is a form of discrimination. These gay rights’ activists claim that
this denial of love is similar to when slavery was being defended, women’s
voting rights were being denied, or even more specifically and more related, the
anti-miscegenation laws of a few decades back. This is clearly an attempt at
tugging at the nation’s heart chords by comparing the struggle for same-sex
unions to several notable, if not the most notable, equality struggles in the
history of the United States. The comparison to the defense of slavery or the
denial of women’s voting rights by gay right’s groups is simply unfounded.
Homosexuality has never been considered morally “good,” and it is a tremendous
jump from saying that black-skinned people should work for white-skinned people
just because of skin color or women can’t vote just because of sex to saying
that homosexuals can’t marry just because of their sexual habits.
There is a
clear distinction. First of all, Colin Powell once noted that skin color (and
gender in this case) and sexual behavior are completely different and
incomparable. Skin color and gender are born into, and they have absolutely no
effect on conduct or character, sexual behavior on the other hand, has
everything to do with character, morality, and society’s basic rules of conduct.
If anything, homosexuality is comparable to smokers, compulsive gamblers,
pornography fanatics, sex addicts, and pedophiles because these are all people
whose traits (whether inborn or not) directly effect society. This also
directly relates to interracial marriages because a person’s skin color does not
produce a certain effect on conduct or character. If polled at the time of the
respective movement .