There are things about everyone that can not be changed, like the colour of their hair, and their skin tone. However discrimination against these aspects of one another is slowly depleating, marriage equality is still a concept that does not exist in many places. Around the world, people are not allowed to marry those that they love because of their sexual orientation. Even in countries like the United States, people bypass anti-discrimination laws due to their religion.
Everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, should have the right to marry. In 2016, same-sex couples make up 0.9% of all couples in Canada, with Ontario having the most with 26,585 couples, or 53,165 individuals. There are also more male same-sex couples then female, with 51.9% for males, and 48.1% for females. With all of this, people still believe that same-sex couples are wrong, and a sin. Even though statistics show that more and more people are supporting LGBTQ+ citizens, they still face a lot of stigma. So much that the LGBTQ+ suicide rates much higher then heterosexual citizens’. With all of this in mind, there are many reasons that marriage equality must be a part of everyday life, and that one must get rid of the stigma.
One of the countless reasons that everyone, despite what they identify as, should have the right to marry is that denying a group of people to marry based on their sexual orientation is discrimination, which then creates a second class of citizens. This happens everywhere, that the LGBTQ+ community is treated as a second class of citizens. In 2015, 8 states created laws that permit people to infringe on anti-discrimination laws. Families believe that discriminating is a way to uphold their religious and moral beliefs. In 2018, lawmakers in 6 other states considered the same laws.
This means that in those 8 states, people are allowed to deny certain rights from same-sex couples because of their religion. They use religion as an excuse to be able to speak their mind openly about the LGBTQ+ community. This is unacceptable because allowing people to discriminate against a group of people is saying that certain people’s opinions are worth more than others. To extent, there are people who provide goods and services that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, give them a reason to expect discrimination before it even occurs. This means that they take extra precautions or avoid scenarios where they might face hostility out of self-preservation.
Workers are able to openly discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them survice, or criticizing them in some places. This makes LGBTQ+ citizens feel isolated and unwanted. Laws that allows discrimination send a clear message that LGBTQ+ people’s rights and wellbeing are not valued, and do not matter. “We’re not being melodramatic. You’re being treated with disrespect, as a second-class citizen—not even a citizen, an outsider. And after a while, that begins to tear a person down, to hurt them emotionally and spiritually. Rejection is hard for everyone, and we get it over and over.” says Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear, a lesbian pastor in Mississippi.
Mangum-Dear makes it very clear that the LGBTQ+ community is not being treated equally, and that the discrimination tears people down. In a moving society where news travels fast over social media, discrimination makes a large impact on the world, and allowing people to discriminate without any reprocussions, makes the situation worse. People live in fear, and this is not alright. Although in many places the discrimination that causes the LGBTQ+ community to become a group of second class critizens is getting worse, there is hope for the future. With same-sex marriage legalized in 28 countries, our world is slowly becoming more accepting, and this is helping many people.
One big change that happened when gay marriage was legalized, is that suicide rates decreased, especialy among teens. LGBTQ+ people are three times more likly to attempt suicide, studies from 2018 say. This is mostly due to the stigma, and the mistreatment to same-sex couples. However, with the legalization of gay marriage, people feel more accepted. The legalization of same-sex marriage caused a 14% reduction to homosexual teen suicide attempts, and a 7% reduction overall. States that did not implement these laws saw no change in their sucide numbers.
“These are high school students, so they aren’t getting married any time soon, for the most part, still, permitting same-sex marriage reduces structural stigma associated with sexual orientation. There may be something about having equal rights—even if they have no immediate plans to take advantage of them—that makes students feel less stigmatized and more hopeful for the future” Study leader Julia Raifman, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School says.
This perfectly shows that although not everyone can take advantage of same-sex marriage legalization, the fact that it is legal helps with the stigma. Without the stigma, people feel less isolated due to their sexual orientation, thus lowering the suicide rates. In the new study, 29% of homosexual high school students reported to attempting suicide in the previous year, compared to 6% of heterosexual teens. This further shows that if everyone gets rid of the stigma, the world will be a happier place. No matter sexual orientation, everyone is still human, and should be treated as such. The legalization of same-sex marriage projects an anti-stigma image, and makes the world a better place. A common argument against same-sex marriage legalization is that the puropse marriage is procreation, and two people of the same gender are not able to have children.
However, going by that, if an opposite-sex couple does not want or can not have children, then they should not be able to marry either.In Arizona, there was an arguement against same-sex marriage. “Gay marriages,” lawyers in Arizona said, “do not advance that compelling state interest because they can never provide a child with both her biological mother and her biological father. About the closest they can come is by involving a third person, who will be a biological parent.”“For instance, many man-woman couples who do not plan to have children may experience unintended pregnancies, or may simply change their minds,” the Arizonian lawyer says. “Modern medical advances might affect otherwise infertile couples.” The argument is that same-sex couples can not have children, and should therefore not be able to marry. While if an opposite-sex couple does not want to, or can not have children, they can either change their mind, have an accidental pregnancy, or have medical help having a child. This way of thinking, while is factually correct, does not check out.
The Arizonian lawyer also states that a child must be raised by their biological mother and father. If this is true, then how do orphans ever get raised? If a child must be raised by their biological parents, then adoption can not exist, and therefore orphans have no future. In fact, the legalization of same-sex marriage has raised the number of succesful adoptions. Same-sex couples are One in five same-sex couples, 21.4%, are raising adopted children compared to 3% of different-sex couples.
Having more children being adopted gives kids without parents a chance at a good life. This moves the country forward, and has more educated children that can then help out in the workplace. Just because they may not be able to have children themselves, does not mean that they do not want to, or can not raise children. Marriage equality is an important topic, and must be talked about. While many places have legalized same-sex marriage, even more have not. As a whole, our society must change the way that we view people that are different. Everyone is human, and their sexual orientation does not change that. Everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, should have the right to marry. Some leading reasons for allowing gay marriage include: not allowing same-sex couples to marry is discrimination, and creates a second class of citizins.
Allowing same-sex marriage projects a positive, anti-stigma image. If marriage is only for procreation, then opposite-sex couples unable or unwilling to carry children, should also be prohibited from marriage. Once you accept love in all of its forms, you understand that although not all couples are the same, they should be heard and treated equally.