University of Oregon Politics News Post Classifieds

Why I Support Same-Sex Marriage

By Max Londberg on March 28, 2013
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I want to make this abundantly clear: I support same-sex marriage as staunchly as I support interracial marriage, international marriage, marriage between people with different religions, philosophies, education levels, financial backgrounds, careers, passions, hobbies, eye colors–if you love someone enough to tie the knot, then who the expletive is to say you can’t do so?

The fact that people still believe that gays and lesbians can’t marry is, in my opinion, an elitist discrimination borne of ignorance and who knows what else, perhaps an irrational fear of progress or basic human rights.

I want to delve deeper into this issue that has a simple answer–to grant every human being the right to marry. The fact that this answer isn’t obvious and hasn’t been adopted yet is outrageous and, really, inconceivable to me.

In court hearings, Supreme Court Justices are debating the topic. (I’m writing this the day after their hearing of Proposition 8, and the link is to “key moments” from that March 26 session.)

“There’s substance to the point that sociological information is new,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more.”

I understand Kennedy means that the idea of institutional marriage between heterosexuals has been around for 2,000 more years than for homosexuals, but that is a result of the denial, suppression, and covering up of homosexuality by the larger heterosexual culture.

Sociological information concerning homosexuality is not new, it’s just been buried by the bigots of history.

Same-sex marriage, however, is very new. According to Justice Samuel Alito, it was first adopted in the Netherlands in 2000. This fact prompted him to remark that “there isn’t a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing.”

Alito failed to compare this to the data on heterosexual marriage. It’s difficult to track divorce rates, but Paul Amato, a Penn State sociologist, published a report on interpreting divorce data in the U.S. in which he writes that the commonly cited statistic of 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce “appears to be reasonably accurate.” In 2011, the Huffington Post reported that despite a decline in divorce rates, “nearly 1 out of 2 first marriages (are) estimated to end in divorce.”

Fifty percent is paltry; it’s a coin toss and a failing grade in school.

According to this data, Justice Alito must consider heterosexual marriages to “not to be a good thing.” With this in mind, should he consider stripping heterosexuals of the right to marry? Of course not. So it’s absolutely absurd to use the “insufficient data” as an argument to not give homosexuals the right to marry.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor thinks that the Supreme Court should give society more time to “figure out its direction” on same-sex marriage.

“We let issues perk,” she said, “and so we let racial segregation perk for 50 years from 1898 to 1954.”

I’m sorry, but while racial segregation was “perking,” black people were tortured, stabbed, shot, hung, raped, drowned, and dehumanized in a thousand different ways. Racial integration didn’t end that abhorrence, but it was the beginning of the end for the most gruesome of it.

So for Justice Sotomayor to imply that the Court should let the same-sex issue perk, should allow homosexuals to continue to be discriminated against by the injustices of unequal treatment, is an atrocious foresight on her part.

Now that you know my stance on the topic, I want to explain why I’m in a relationship with a man on Facebook, even though I’m not gay.

Legalize same-sex marriage.

Some of my friends on Facebook think same-sex marriage should not be allowed–that for some senseless reason, homosexuals do not meet the requirements for marriage as heterosexual couples do, and thus homosexuals do not deserve that right. I’d wager that some of those same friends of mine think lesser of me after finding out I might be gay.

But you see, the content of my character does not sway according to my sexual preference, just as it does not shift with the color of my skin. If I am intrinsically granted the right to marry as a straight man yet intrinsically barred the right as a gay man, but the only difference between these two selves is the person I love, then that is the very definition of inequality for I am the same person being treated differently based on my sexual preference.

I hope that makes sense. I hope I haven’t offended anyone. My goal of being “in a relationship” with a man was to show people that to judge others on the basis of sexual orientation is a blind and pointless endeavor. Instead judge on the words they utter, the acts they perform, and the respect they deem fit to give others.

And for expletive’s sake, allow people in love to marry.

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Max is a senior journalism student at the University of Oregon. He likes books, astronomy and Kobe's footwork but loves to write. Follow him on Twitter @MaxLondberg

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