Should same-sex marriage be legalized?
The same-sex marriage issue has ignited worldwide. Joseph Chamie- the previous director- and Barry Mirkin-the previous Population Policy Section Chief- of the UN’s Population Division aim to present up-to-date statistics and information on the same-sex marriage debate in “Same-Sex Marriage: A New Social Phenomenon.” They mention that same-sex marriage is a “recent phenomenon” that will possibly stick around for years in many countries because societal, religious, and legislative controversies continually revamp its debate (544). The issue is labeled “recent” because “…SSM [same-sex marriage] did not exist until the twenty-first century when an increasing number of countries began permitting same-sex couples to marry legally” (Chamie and Mirkin 529). The writers report that, as of mid-2011, 10 countries, Mexico City, seven states in the US, and Washington DC, have made same-sex marriage legal (531). “Thus, 319 million people, or 5 percent of world population, live in jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage” (Chamie and Mirkin 531). In the US, 40 states have rulings prohibiting same-sex marriage where, in 29, the prohibitions are voter-backed blocking judges from overturning the legislation (Chamie and Mirkin 537). The statistics confirm that “… in the United States, the country remains divided over same-sex marriage” (Chamie and Mirkin 537).
The division in opinions here, at home, is no clearer than when analyzing the polar perspectives of La Shawn Barber (a freelance writer that has appeared in many well known radio stations and newspapers such as the Washington Post), and Anna Quindlen (a nationally acclaimed writer and a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine). Barber posted an essay on Townhall.com in 2007 entitled: “Interracial Marriage: Slippery Slope?” where she expresses her opposition for same-sex marriage. By deconstructing the common comparison of same-sex marriage to interracial marriage, she intends to defend her view that interracial marriage is not a slippery slope decision that will roll down hill in an out of control manner and head for the worst like, she claims, same-sex marriage will. Opposing Barber’s views, Quindlen wrote an essay in 2008 entitled: “The Loving Decision” where she sets forth her support for same-sex marriage by constructing a comparison between interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. She uses this comparison to suggest that same-sex marriage will, too, be validated by the courts because “the world only spins forward” (258). Even though Barber and Quindlen stand on opposite sides of the debate with views clashing on fundamental concepts like the meaning of marriage, the nature of homosexuality, and the applicability of the Loving v. Virginia court case to the issue, in various areas the two authors have common ground.
Marriage is an abstract concept that may have different definitions for different people. For Barber, marriage is the legal union...