Why should same sex marriage be illegal in the U.S.?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With all due respect to the previous response, I have a different take on this issue.  The question assumes that same-sex marriage should be illegal in the United States, and that suggests a questioner who has already made a decision. 

First, we need to example what we mean when we say "illegal in the United States."  Presently, the United States Constitution does not allow the federal government to make same-sex marriage illegal. So the question posed also assumes a possibility that is non-existent. Legislation on marriage is left exclusively to each state, and as you are aware, some states have chosen to make same-sex marriage legal.  In order for the United States to make same-sex marriage illegal, there would have to be a Constitutional amendment proposed and passed.  This is exceedingly difficult to do, and I have provided a link that explains the process. 

Now, while I agree that marriage is a social construct, it is an odd hybrid today in that it is a social, legal, and religious construct.  In the United States, one can be married as a civil matter, a marriage sanctioned by the state, and never have a religious ceremony at all.  Some people do one or the other, while some people do both.  Given this situation, people who are opposed to same-sex marriage can certainly prevent these from being performed within their own religious institutions, which are exclusively private.  Since most of the opposition to same-sex marriage is religiously based, and since the First Amendment prevents the government from interfering with the practice of one's religion, whatever the religious reasons are, they must be respected within the confines of the religion.  The government can never force any religious institution to perform same-sex marriages, and that is as it should be.  People's religious beliefs must be respected and upheld in the United States. But that is not quite the same thing as allowing people's religious beliefs to dominate state matters. 

I must say that I do not understand what any of this has to do with the state allowing same-sex marriages.  Traditionally, society allowed slavery, child labor, domestic abuse, and any number of other social constructs that are now seen as abominable.  So, to argue that a social construct should continue because it has existed is not a compelling to me. 

krishna-agrawala | Student

The decision to make same sex marriages legal or illegal should take in to consideration the following question.

  • What exactly mean by marriage? Traditionally this has been a means adopted by society to promote continuation of a life long relationship between husband and wife. Also it has been a means to restrict sexual relationship within confines of marriage. This kind of pressure by the society was considered necessary for success and health of family, which is a very important and basic unit of organization in the society. Is it really necessary for the society to impose similar restriction on same sex couple.
  • When same sex coupe sex demand the right to marriage, really what rights they are seeking. As explained in paragraph above marriage is an interference by society on free choice of the couple and therefore a reduction rather than extension of individual rights. Marriage, as per its traditional role, allows society to interfere and place restrictions on choice of husband and wife to remain  together or separating as they desire.
  • Is it possible to achieve more effectively whatever is sought to be achieved for same sex couples, by legalising their marriage, by some other means.

It appears to me that adequate attention has not been paid to examination of these questions. And therefore, we are not in a position to take a meaningful decisions. A case for legalizing same sex marriage can be made only when supporters of same sex marriage justify their demands taking into consideration the questions posed above.

koolkid720 | Student

Because God intended for us to have a husband and a wife. Not 2 wives or 2 husbands. If the same sex marries, that is disobeying God.