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 two people. 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 ates, 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 beginning. ” 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 ation 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 marriage illegal. 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 God. 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.