Rights for Homosexuals Essay

754 Words 4 Pages
Rights for Homosexuals

Gay marriage is a hotly debated issue in today's society. Andrew Sullivan and William Bennett offer opposing views in the June 3, 1996 edition of Newsweek. Sullivan's article, “Let Gays Marry,” offers several arguments supporting the issues of same sex marriage. Bennett counters in his article, “Leave Marriage Alone,” that same sex marriages would be damaging to the sanctity of marriage. Each author presents several reasons for the positions they defend and bring up valid points to defend their opinions. William Bennett and Andrew Sullivan share a mutual respect for the values and sacredness of the bond of marriage. Their disagreements stem from who they believe should be allowed to marry.
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Bennett concludes his article by acknowledging that as United States citizens, individuals are allowed to do as they wish, but he feels that any further weakening of the institution of marriage would not be a good idea.

Andrew Sullivan argues in his article that gay men and lesbians are citizens like everyone else, entitled to equal rights and equal protection (25). Marriage is central to the hopes of monogamous, committed homosexuals. Sullivan states that “no one is seeking to take away anybody’s right to marry, and no one is seeking to force any church to change any doctrine in any way” (26). He seeks to eliminate the connection of marriage with religion in respect to the issue of same sex marriage. Sullivan reminds his readers that the definition of marriage has changed in the past, making it possible for it to change again. He also points out the fact that marriage is about more than just raising children, giving different examples of childless heterosexual couples (26). Finally, Sullivan argues that same sex unions are a deeply conservative cause, “promoting monogamy, fidelity and the disciplines of family life among people who have long been cast to the margins of society” (26). He seeks only what heterosexual couples have already got.

Through their disagreements on given issues involving same sex marriages, William Bennett and Andrew Sullivan show how highly each of them views the commitment of marriage. Both authors