Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gay Rights: Our Opinion

My friends, Michael, Bailey and I had to write a paper about something we care a lot about. We chose to do Gay Rights. Here is our opinion:

Throughout history, many minorities have been discriminated against. The minority in this day and age being discriminated against are homosexuals. Like African-Americans and women in the past, homosexuals are being denied their civil rights. Homosexual citizens should have the same rights as heterosexual citizens.

            Marriage is arguably the most controversial civil right when talking about homosexual couples. Out of fifty states, gay marriage is only legal in six. The reason for the controversy is the religious beliefs that politicians bring into it. What ever happened to the separation of Church and State?  In the United States of America, we have the separation of Church and State. By Congress taking it upon their “duty” to decide whether or not gays can marry, they are bringing into the government, the issue of religion. Religious beliefs should not be affecting what we are deciding in Washington D.C. The government shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions about how people feel and the feelings they have inside themselves. They should be focusing on issues that really affect the country, such as war and international relations. One prime example of how politicians bring their religious beliefs into homosexual civil rights is Republican Presidential hopeful, Rick Perry. In one of his campaign commercials he states, “I am not afraid to admit I am a Christian, but you don’t have to be in the pew every Sunday to know there is something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military… Faith made America strong; we can make it strong again.” This is a prime example because it openly states that he wants to bring religion into Congress. We feel strongly that Congress should not be allowed to make decisions on how people feel. That is when the issue of gay marriage and rights comes into play. You can’t make a law restricting someone’s feelings.

            There are many stereotypes being held against homosexuals. One of largest is that if they become parents, they will affect the psychosocial development of the child. This in fact is not true based on studies that have taken place. One study from the American Physiological Association conducted by Dr. Charlotte Paterson said that, “The results of existing research comparing lesbian and gay parents to heterosexual parents and children of lesbian and gay parents to children of heterosexual parents are quite clear: Common stereotypes are not supported by the data…. In summary there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” This proves that children raised in homosexual households are not affected solely because they are being raised by same-sex parents. Judith Stacy of New York University states that, “The family type that is best for children is one that has responsibly, committed, stable parenting.” People do not want to believe this, but in fact it is the truth. Homosexuals should not be judged or denied the right to parent, because of their sexuality.

            In many situations, gays have been discriminated against when it comes to parenting. Many have been denied the right to adopt based solely on the fact that they are gay. This is completely unfair because a good parent is one that will stick by a child and help that child no matter what. Who are we to judge their parenting abilities; just because they are gay? There are many heterosexual parents who do not care for their child and take advantage of the privilege of having a child. “At the moment, three states- Florida, Mississippi and Utah-explicitly prohibit gay couples from adopting, and a similar law is being challenged in the Arkansas courts. Twenty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, on the other hand, explicitly permit such adoptions, and the remainders have imprecise language in their adoption statues. The reason most often given by opponents of single-sex adoption is that children do best with a mother and a father,” (New York Times). Many people will argue that “stable family” is one that includes a mother and a father raising a child. This is a stereotype that has brainwashed the country for centuries. What is the definition of a stable family? Every family is different just like every person is different. Everyone deserves the chance to have equal opportunities to raise a family, no matter your sexuality.

            The opinions surrounding gay rights are very dynamic. Many people argue against granting homosexuals equal rights, but in reality why should they be treated any differently than heterosexuals? You can’t help who you love and no one should constitute your feelings. Homosexuals in America should not be denied their civil rights based upon their sexuality.

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