Word Count: 703
Marriage is understood to be the decision of two people to commit
themselves to each other. Marriage has no conditions, which would
prohibit same sex partners. If we look closely at the purpose of
marriage, we would see that it is actually in the best interest of our
society to allow same-sex marriages. Marriage is an institution which
promotes stability, family, and is societies lawful way of connecting
Marriage is more than just a way of making relationships permanent.
Society recognizes its importance by attaching benefits such as special
tax treatments, social security, veterans’ benefits, lower insurance
rates, and property and supports rights upon divorce. Therefore,
restricting the rights of marriage also restricts the many privileges
that go along with it. Homosexuals want to marry for the same reason
that heterosexuals have and there should be no reason why they are not
allowed to. America went through the same sort of arguments with,
whether or not to allow interracial marriages, and I believe that the
same outcome will follow.
Homosexual couples are now trying to win the privilege of marriage,
just as interracial couples were fighting for the same thing some 35
years ago. In Loving vs.
Virginia, the state was challenged by an
interracial couple who married in Washington D.C. and then moved back to
Virginia (Price). Virginia did not accept their marriage license as
valid and the couple was sentenced to one year in jail or to leave the
state of Virginia for 25 years. The sate of Virginia had a law that
prohibited marriages between people of different races, which read:
;All marriages between a white person and a colored person shall be
absolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process.;
This is a horrifying resemblance to South Dakota’s anti-gay marriage
bill, which says:
"Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of South Dakota: Any
marriage between persons of the same gender is null and void from the
These laws against interracial marriage were common years ago, just as
the state laws against gay marriage are now common.
When the Loving vs. Virginia went to the U.S. Supreme Court, it ruled
that "The freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race
resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the
state"(Richardson). Before that decision, California was the only state
that had made interracial marriage legal.
This is exactly what our
nation is now looking at with the state of Hawaii in the process of
legalizing same-sex marriages. The two issues also have similarities in
our Presidents’ opinions. Just as President Clinton signed the Defense
of Marriage Act which limits federal marriage rights to homosexual
couples, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman agreed that races should not
intermarry years ago.
Another issue that is similar is the fact that racist and gay marriage
laws were never at the top of the list of priorities. The government
did not think that America was ready for such a dramatic change in 1954,
when the whole discussion of interracial marriage was brought up. But
by 1967, the court had been hearing the same arguments over and over and
even the Brown vs.
Board of Education law had been passed. The first
mention of gay marriages was brought up in 1972. If history has any way
of repeating itself, this could mean that homosexual couples have some
hope. Also, by the time Loving vs. Virginia was finally heard, the
couple had three children. An argument about this was that it was wrong
to let the children have two illegal parents.
This also led to the fact
that all marriage-based benefits were denied and inheritance rights are
lost. This is a major argument in the gay marriage issue as well. Many
people used to see interracial marriage as a threat to the natural order
of things, many people also see this as a reason to keep same-sex
It is unbelievable how similar the arguments once used against people
of different races wanting to marry are to the ones now used against
same-sex couples. Both were based on the fact that marriage is only a
right to certain people. Both were seen as unnatural and forbidden by
Both were seen as how things always have been and are meant to
be. Both have similar histories in court. Now we can only wait and see
if both will have the same outcome. .