Gay Marriage Promotes Equality

By Ella Moniz

This narrative explores the idea that gay marriage should be fully legalized because all citizens of the United States are guaranteed equality under law. This narrative argues that marriage is a given right, despite one’s sexuality, and gay couples are denied it. Therefore, they do not qualify for the hundreds of additional benefits and rights that are provided with marital status. It is based mainly on the idea that it’s outrageous that gay marriage is illegal.

Because it is an easy concept to understand, as we progress as humans and move farther away from our once dominating religious politics, the population that supports same sex marriage has increased. Many large organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and the Freedom to Marry organization, support and advocate for the LGBT community, with goals to spread worldwide education among the same communities, and eventually wish for same sex-marriage to be legal worldwide.

There are 1,138 benefits, rights, and protections provided with marital status that one can not receive unless you are married. That means that gay couples do not have these basic rights that other married couples have. In 2012, Kathleen A. Murphy, was left a widow when her wife died of cancer. After her death, Murphy applied for spousal survivor benefits. Murphy was turned down because of they were married in Masschusets, and in Texas, gay marriage was not recognized. Because of this Murphy was not entitled to bereavement leave from work, to file wrongful death claims, to draw the Social Security of the deceased partner, or to automatically inherit a shared home, assets, or personal items in the absence of a will, all of which are spousal survivor benefits that she required and petitioned for.

If an unmarried couple lived in a state where gay marriage was not legal, they could not have joint adoption or parenting. In addition to this, if you are not married and a partner dies, the money that the deceased partner makes would go to the government instead of the living one. Miriam Stahl, a teacher at Berkeley High, had a civil partnership for reasons that dealt with their money and insurance, because they needed that stability but did not want to be married. So the civil partnership was perfect for them. However, when gay marriage was legalized in California, Stahl and her partner were no longer recognized as partners because the partnerships were seen as a stepping stone to marriage, and were therefore abolished because there was no need. They then were denied their rights until they chose to get married. If Stahl had not researched this and they had chosen to continue with their civil partnership instead of marriage and her partner suddenly died, all her money would have gone to the government, and not to her and her daughter.

With the knowlege of Jacqueline Coates’s wives cancer, they decided to prepare themselves for the worst and apply for spousal health insurance. The Gay and Lesbians Advocates and Defendants and Jacqueline Coates filed a case of discriminations against Wal-Mart after her request for for spousal health insurance was denied. By the time Walmart caved and allowed same-sex couples to have this right, Coates debt had surpassed 100,000 dollars in debt. 

Supporters of gay marriage believe that the couples denied gay marriage should have that basic right, because then they are denied those rights, which without them they can have detrimental repercussions that can tear families apart.

In 2003, Evan Wolfson, a civil rights attorney, launched the The Freedom to Marry organization. Wolfson is considered “the architect of the national marriage equality movement.” He was also named one of the top “100 most influential lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal, after his presence in the Boy Scouts of America V. James Dale case. Wolfson once said, “Marriage is also a social statement, preeminently describing and defining a person’s relationship and place in society. Marital status, along with what we do for a living, is often one of the first pieces of information we give to others about ourselves. It’s so important, in fact, that most married people wear a symbol of their marriage on their hand.” This quote sums up the general consensus about why gay marriage should be legal, it is that simple.

The Freedom to Marry organizations main goal is to persuade the supreme court to make gay marriage legal nationwide, their slogan is “the campaign to win marriage nationwide.” They are interested in raising money and promoting awareness of the rights denied because gay couples can not get married. Through their journey they have managed to gain support nationally at around 59 percent. In June 2015 they plan to address the supreme court and come to a resolution.

With more than 1.5 million supporters and members worldwide, the Human Rights Campaign is the largest non-profit, civil rights organization working for worldwide marriage and equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Corporate partners include Apple, Coca Cola, and Microsoft. The Human Rights campaigns main goals are education around the gay community and encouraging the understanding and acceptance around LGBTQ policies. They have several different programs for youth, around religion, and community education. Their full vision is for members if the LGBT community to be seen as equals.

Founded in 1979, the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders main goal is to create a society free of discrimination against the LGBT community through education. They operate mainly through bringing cases regaurding sexual orientation or preference, and see every small triumph as a step towards equality. Throughout their existence, GLAD has benefited the LGBT community immensely, from winning small scale cases involving same-sex prom dates, to large scale cases involving walmart. They also produced a helpful “ Rights Card” handbook for wallets, to prevent unjust police harassment. Included in their triumphs, GLAD won one of the first honorable discharges for a U.S. service member that was targeted at members of the LGBT.

The World is coming closer and closer to reaching a general census around gay marriage. These organizations are growing everyday, gaining supporters, and spreading their knowledge. The amount of people that are in support has shown substantial increases throughout the decades. According to a poll, in 1996, 27 percent of people thought that same sex marriage should be legal. Today, that number has steadily increased to 55 percent.  This percent will only increase, especially due to the substantial number of states that have passed same sex marriage recently. In addition, studies have shown that the younger generations of today are more accepting of the gay community, and believe they should be permitted to get married. If these trends continue, the United States may reach their consensus in the near future.

This meme sums up this narratives point of view, basically, “It doesn’t effect you…so whats the problem?” It’s a pretty straight forward logical statement.

This graphic depicts the amount of people that are willing to permit what the statements offer. As the age declines to youth, it is apparent that the younger generations are more accepting of the gay community. This means that progress for nationwide permission for same sex marriage will only grow.


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