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Jarrah Isom

Charity Welker
EN1010 2A
November 9, 2015

Should gay marriage be legalized? A Response to A.J. Chavez


The subject of gay marriage has become an extremely controversial issue. At one stage or
another, every man, woman and child will be faced with the issue of gay marriage. At the age of
only seventeen, I have been faced with this touchy subject countless times. As time goes on,
more and more of my friends are coming out, and/or supporting the ethicality of same-sex
marriage. However, just because it is becoming more and more accepted, does that mean it is
morally right? This heavily debated and ethical question leads into another tough inquiry in
todays time: should gay marriage be legalized? Why or why not?
In his anthropology first-year composition paper, The Case for (Gay) Marriage, student
writer A.J. Chavez proposes his support of legalizing gay marriage in the United States.
Throughout the paper, Chavez focuses on four main reasons for supporting same-sex marriage.
First, Chavez argues that gay marriage, is the easiest and most effective way to ensure equal
rights for all in this country. With this equality, Chavez states that they, [gays and lesbians],
would be provided the same rights of heterosexual married couples in terms of actual marriage
protection laws. Secondly, he believes that it is necessary for marriage to be defined through a
non-religious, secular framework, and that allowing religious belief to determine what
marriage itself should be violates the tenement of the separation between the church and the
state. If gay marriage is legalized, religions would still be allowed to possess their opinion of
what marriage should be. Third, Chavez disputes that legalizing same-sex marriage would

benefit gay partners, with additional benefit to the states of reducing reliance on state assistance
programs and bringing medical insurance to many children. According to facts provided by
Chavez, government savings could add up through increased reliance between same-sex couples
and reduce reliance on government assistance programs. Lastly, Chavez voices that same-sex
unions have, in fact, existed for hundreds of years within many different cultures. He declares,
Gay marriage is not sick or a perversion-it exists across all cultures and times in one form or
another. Chavez concludes by saying, legalizing gay marriage affirms both the liberal idea of
equality and the conservative value of community stability and individual rights It also
affirms the dignity of all mankind. Although Chaves analysis has relevance and a few
strengths, I think he overlooks the long-term effects of legalizing gay marriage in terms of
money and disease, as well as the and downright distorted influence it will have on the wellbeing of the children of such couples, further diluting the value of marriage and weakening of
family bonds.
A few of Chavez points seem both relevant to the matter and realistic, as well as match
some of my personal experiences. I agree that same-sex couples should not necessarily be
discriminated against and have protection, if you want to refer to it that way. America was
established for freedom from oppression and the ability for every individual to create their own
life. Discrimination, in any form, is wrong and should not happen in any circumstance. Samesex couples should not be oppressed for their values, but loved despite the fact that their choices
do or do not match our own. Likewise, Chavez point concerning the fact that individuals who
are attracted to their same sex should have the right and choice to live honest and open lives,
rather than closeted ones, is also an acceptable argument. Individuality and agency should always
be encouraged. Everyone has his/her own choices in life that make them unique.

Chavez, speaking as a unique and actual homosexual himself, also provides a different
perspective by claiming that the most effective path to equality in this country is through
providing the same rights for anyone and everyone. I agree with this claim somewhat. Chavez
states that with gay marriage being legalized, gay couples would and should be obliged under the
same laws that protects the rights of married couples. This is where I drift away from Chavezs
mindset. Personally, I believe that all people should have the same rights. This principle should
apply to gays and lesbians as well. However, they should be able to call that union marriage.
The noun, marriage, by definition, is: the state of being united as a man and woman. That is
the way it has always been, and that is the way it should stay. Therefore, same-sex couples
should have the same rights as straight couples, but should not be allowed to refer to it as
marriage.
In addition, Chavezs claim that legalizing same-sex marriages could save money is also
agreeable, but this perspective is a limitation because statistically, homosexuals live unhealthy
lifestyles, and have historically accounted for the bulk of syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, the
"gay bowel syndrome", tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus, and many other STIs. To add to that
statistic, it takes approximately $300,000 to take care of each AIDS victim, so the promiscuous
lifestyle of homosexuals skyrockets medical insurance rates for all of us. Although the
legalization of gay marriage is the money that could be saved in state budgets annually, it is
almost certain that it would backfire and end up costing much more that it could ever have saved
in the matter concerning the state's annual budget.
Besides overlooking long-term effects of legalizing gay marriage, Chavez also seems to
have invalid points supporting his claim stating that there is no evidence that the opinions and
habits of homosexual couples will influence their children. He states that the children of same-

sex couples are no more likely to be homosexual and have homosexual lifestyles as children of
straight parents. That could not be any more false. It is completely valid fact that family
(especially parental) influence has the greatest impact on who the child will become. No matter
the circumstance, parents opinions and lifestyles will always rub off on their children, and will
surely alter the type of person that child will become.
Also in complete contrast to Chavez, I believe that marriages thrive when a mother and
father are present in the childs life. Same-sex couples could have the similar parental roles as
straight couples, however it is nowhere near the same concept. The legalization of gay-marriage
denies children the presence of a father and a mother automatically. Children need both a father
and a mother in their lives, not just their roles, to avoid many unhealthy problems due to not
knowing how to cope with their absence. In the world around them, children see mothers and
fathers as married couples. Wouldnt this observation lead the children to question their parents
values, further creating tension in that family? Gay marriage dilutes the value of marriage and
will further weaken the family bonds society tries to maintain.
Furthermore, Chavez disputes that gay marriage is not abnormal or perverted, where in
all reality, it is just the opposite. In terms of abnormality, the majority of Americans, being the
standard of what is perceived as normal, live in a heterosexual world. Along the lines of
perversion, it unquestionably a perversion for male and female genders to switch roles and
pretend to be the other, further proving both the abnormality and immorality of gay-marriage and
the fact that legalizing such a union would encourage these lifestyles.
In sum, Chavezs research is important because it examines why legalizing gay marriage
should be legal from a different point of view: the perspective of an actual gay individual. It
offers partial explanations for why gays and lesbians, in general, believe uniting homosexuals in

marriage should be a civil right for all individuals and have a positive outcome. However, I
believe that same-sex marriage should not be legalized due to the massive expense it will cost the
country to compensate for same-sex marriage lifestyles, the impact it will have on the children of
same-sex couples (if they decide to adopt, because they cannot have children of their own), and
the fact that gay marriage is, in fact, abnormal and a perversion. Legalizing gay marriage does
meet the liberal ideology of equality, but in no way meets conservative values of any kind. After
all, there is no dignity in distortion or perversion.

Works Cited
Chavez, A.J.. A Case For (Gay) Marriage.