The issue of same-sex marriage is a topic that has been prominent in the news as of late, drawing heated debate from both sides. David P. Gilmore takes a stand in his recent letter to the editor published in The Sun, stating that to prohibit same-sex marriage would not encourage homophobia. He argues that those who take this stance are interpreting marriage incorrectly. Gilmore states that marriage exists solely for the purpose of providing the children of these unions with the support due to them from their father. Since a gay couple would not be able to have children, marriage would serve no purpose for them and is not necessary. Gilmore further states that society itself exists only for the production of offspring who will, in turn, mature and have offspring of their own. The relations between homosexuals does not contribute to society and, because of this, discrimination in the area of marriage is a perfectly natural, even justified, thing. A same-sex marriage would bring nothing useful to society. For Gilmore, preventing same-sex marriage is not discriminatory or homophobic; it simply follows historical and biological standards.
Gilmore bases his whole argument on the idea that the purpose of marriage is to provide for the children of the marriage union. His claim that same-sex couples have no need of or right to marriage because they cannot produce children would be correct if his definition of marriage was accurate. It would simply be common-sense that gay couples would not need to marry; there would be no homophobia or discrimination involved. However, Gilmore’s definition of marriage is lacking in several points. He is correct in his idea that the function of marriage is to provide for the children of the union and give them the support from their father that they need, but there are other factors in the marriage. His opinion that gay couples are unable to provide any benefits to society is also drastically askew. Gilmore uses his incorrect assumption of the purpose of marriage to sway support to his side without giving a full view of the information.
The institution of marriage does far more than simply provide for the offspring of the union. Gay couples asking for marriage rights are trying to gain more than just equal respect and a way to show their love and devotion to each other; they are fighting for the legal rights that are given to married couples. When people are legally bound by marriage, they gain many rights and advantages. Married couples can receive tax breaks, insurance cuts, the legal right to visit one another in the hospital, etc. Gay couples who function just like married couples but lack the official “married” title have none of these benefits
The major benefit which gay couples seek when arguing for their rights to marry is the honoring of their will and testament. Gay couples have no guarantees that their wills will be followed when they die. One member of the couple may leave money and/or possessions to their significant other but, because there is no legal union, the family of the deceased can take the document to court and essentially prevent the will from being honored, taking everything left to the significant other. This is often the case in families that did not support the relationship in the first place and, as the significant other is not legally related in any way, this disgrace to the deceased can be accomplished more easily than one would think. Marriage would eliminate this, providing security to gay couples who wish their partners to be cared for after they pass on.
Gilmore’s idea that gay couples “…bring forth nothing essential to society.” is simply incorrect and, in itself, discriminatory. It is true that homosexuals unions do not produce offspring through the most typical means, but this does not mean that they are useless. If for no other reason than diversity, such unions are important. Society today likes to think of itself as open-minded and diverse but, by discriminating against homosexuals and other “different” people, this concept is proven wrong.
If same-sex marriages are legally approved, gay couples will be more likely to gain permission to adopt children. Though most states allow homosexuals to adopt, it is still commonplace to reject a possible adoption candidate because of their sexual orientation, claiming that because they are not a two-parent household and because their lives are lived in a different manner than the norm, they do not provide a stable and safe atmosphere for a child. Married couples are much more likely to be allowed to adopt simply because of the two-parent household. If homosexual unions were to be legally recognized as binding marriages, gay couples who would make exceptional parents and are eager to begin a family, would be much more likely to be allowed to adopt. There are millions of homeless, parentless children throughout the world that are looking for families and homosexuality does not take away from one’s ability to love and care for a child. Gay marriage would greatly increase the number of families who could adopt and take in these children.
Though it may seem that David P. Gilmore poses a good point in his argument against same-sex marriage, his ideas are one-sided and incomplete. Marriage does far more than simply provide for the children and it is the right of all humans, certainly including homosexuals, to enter the legal union of marriage and claim the benefits that they deserve. Where Gilmore states that homosexuals cannot contribute to society, he displays his own discriminatory beliefs. Gay marriage is a positive thing and, if looked at from a well-rounded point of few, there really are no cons.
Gilmore, David. “Reasons to rule out same-sex marriage.” The Sun