Same-sex marriage: a right.

I’ve obviously been fired up lately about the struggles that the LGBT community faces every day. Last week in my college newspaper The Herald, a student wrote a letter to the editor arguing as to why same-sex marriage should not be a right. Naturally I was livid and wrote a response, which was published in today’s issue of the paper*. Read it below!

In last week’s letter to the editor, William Kazyak gave some “down-to-earth” reasons why homosexuals should not be allowed to marry. I highly disagree on the basis that heterosexual marriages are nowhere near as perfect and loving as society makes them out to be. Because of this, I believe if a man and woman who do not even truly love each other can marry, two women or men who are completely devoted to each other should also have that same right.

By your definition, “the primary purposes of marriage are the procreation of children.” By this definition, those who are infertile should not be allowed to marry, straight or not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 6.7 million women in the United States alone who are infertile. Do you agree then they should not be allowed to marry simply because they cannot contribute to the procreation of the human species?

The second part of your definition of marriage: “the promotion of mutual love and caring of the spouses for each other and their children.” First, I would like to point out that the Administration for Children and Families reported in 2011 there were approximately 742,000 cases of child maltreatment. Also in 2011, there were 252,320 children in foster care in the United States. If a marriage between a man and woman is defined as caring for their children, why do we have so many children in the foster care system?

There are countless women who get pregnant at a young age because of rape or lack of access to birth control, spinning the family into a never-ending loop of poverty and neglect of the children because the parents weren’t ready for children. These children who are in foster care could be adopted by gay or lesbian couples who are solid in their relationship’s foundation, who know they are financially and emotionally capable of caring for a child that would receive more love in their home than with their biological parents who gave them up.

If marriage is also “the promotion of mutual love and caring of the spouses for each other,” why are close to 3 million men abused in the U.S., and 1 in 4 women? Should a woman marry a man who abuses her just to contribute to the procreation of the human race? According to Safe Horizon, children in a home where partners abuse each other are 30-60 percent more likely to also suffer at the hands of abuse. That doesn’t exactly sound like the definition of love to me.

You claim the only point of a relationship between gay people is so they can gain instant sexual gratification. Are you aware there are actually gay people who do not partake in sexual encounters? There are people who are asexual, which means they lack sexual desire for anyone. They can, however, have romantic, loving feelings for a person, be they the same sex or opposite.

As for instant gratification, according to The Social Organization of Society, 85 percent of married women and 75.5 percent of men reported infidelity. Gay men? Only 4.5 percent. I believe that says quite a lot about a heterosexual person’s feelings on instant gratification.

And my final point comes with the sexually transmitted diseases. There are indeed high rates of STDs across homosexual couples. But 1 in 6 people aged 14-49 have genital herpes, and you can get the herpes virus as a cold sore, something 90 percent of Americans get. There is no cure for this disease, whereas there are cures for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.

The earth is 4.5 billion years old and modern humans have been here a mere 200,000 years. I think it is safe to say we will only inhabit this planet a short time compared to other species. Instead of trying to control basic human rights and force one definition of love on every single person, can’t we just spread love and take care of each other while we’re still here?

*My views do not reflect those of The Herald’s, and I post the original letter to the editor not as a means to attack the author, but to provide context for my own letter.


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