The issue of gay marriages in the United States continues to be a source of an epic war of words between the conservatives and the liberals. Arguments of all manners have been brought forth with those strongly opposing the civil unions claiming they go against the natural laws and God’s wishes. Those that vehemently support gay marriages maintain it is their constitutional right. This controversy is unlikely to end any time soon with the church voicing its strong authoritative opinion into the matter. It is in that light that David B.
and Jonathan R. have voiced their opinion into the matter with suggestions on how to tackle the issue in their article titled, “A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage. ” (February 21, 2009). This paper shall provide a detailed analysis of the article, examining its proposal to have the congress passing a bill on federal civil unions. The article begins by recognizing a fact that is on everybody’s lips in regard to gay marriages; that the issue is headed for a major conflict and is the high time that a compromise was reached.
The authors are convinced that a federal recognition of gay marriages through the congress is the only way that the issue stands to be settled once and for all. They believe that in such recognition, the federal laws should not compel the religious organizations to accept or sanction same sex marriages; this hence will strike a compromise between the same-sex marriage rights activists and the religious organizations, while conferring the various rights and benefits of marriage to the gay community.
In a clear analysis of the situation at hand and in clear recognition of the raging opinions, the article vividly outlines the sentiments that have been echoed, capturing the reservations held by each group. The article notes that any decision made on whether to decriminalize or criminalize same-sex marriages is likely to run into a conflict due to the dialectically opposing opinions held by the parties involved. It observes how the same sex marriages have been widely criticized by religious organizations.
The first amendment confers religious organizations the freedom to carry out their duties in accordance to their beliefs unencumbered by the law. The law cannot coerce the religious organizations to sanction same sex marriages. On the other hand, the article recognizes same sex marriage activists concerns. The position held by gays is that the current stand by the law and the religious organizations is discriminatory in nature. It is in this atmosphere that they are seeking protections from the law in regard to civil unions.
This is being compounded not only by the raging opposition from religious organizations but also by the current Marriage Act which defines marriage as a consensual union between a man and a woman. It is in the understanding of these underlying factors that David and Jonathan propose the striking of a compromise to reconcile extreme stands held by the gay rights activists and the religious conservatives. Such a compromise is also necessitated by the fact that past and present opinion polls point to the reluctance by many Americans to accept the legalization of same sex marriages.
However, as the authors observe, such Americans “can live with federal civil unions-provided that no religious groups are forced to accept them as marriages. ” (David & Jonathan, 2009) Federal civil unions according to the article are the only way out of the current quagmire. This ensures that the provisions of the First Amendment in regard to religious freedom are upheld and also in the same breath granting gays, the many benefits and rights enjoyed by the heterosexual partners.
This, the article concludes, remains the perfect way to reconcile both extremes. Indeed as the title of the article has appropriately captured, A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage, the authors have attempted to weigh in on the opinions of both sides in reaching their opinions. The gays and the religious organizations are voicing their genuine concerns. The authors’ believe that despite the religious concerns, the time to grant the gay’s their rights and accept same sex marriages is ripe.
To give credence to the debate and indicate that indeed gays deserve what they are asking for, the article compares the current debate, though in passing, to the abortion topic. It is important to mention that abortion was legalized at a time when it was receiving immense opposition from religious organizations. Notable though, is that the authors despite the bias towards the gays, have been able to present a balanced view of both sides and reach a conclusion adorned with a reconciliatory tone.
The article however has also used persuasive language but has failed to back some of the various claims with statistical evidence. The only available statistics is the results of PBS opinion poll that established “that 58 percent of white evangelicals under the age of 30 favor some form of legal same sex union” (David & Jonathan, 2008). The rest of the article uses quantifying words like many and most without statistical support. The authors too throughout the article have made a number of assumptions.
The article purports to reconcile between the gays and the religious organizations views based on an assumption that it is only the religious organizations that are against same sex marriages. It fails to identify other stakeholders such as the politicians and the general public not affiliated to the religious organizations. Though the conclusion reached in the article may be representative, it was important to incorporate other group’s views. Indeed as reiterated above, the issue of same sex marriage and the acceptance by religious organizations is a stormy debate.
I would wish to state however that like the many issues that have before been deemed controversial and divisive, it has to be brought to an end. The decision to be made and should recognize the fact that times have changed and same sex marriages have to be accepted. This article has in an apt manner represented a verdict befitting today’s society that prides itself of civil and political liberties to all Americans. I have lauded the paper for emphasizing on gay rights and also for recognizing their fundamental needs.
This is in the probable knowledge that the issue has been debated for long and is also in the cognizance of the fact that it has to reach a conclusive end. From the late 1960s, the debate on gay rights has been extended gradually from the comfort of our own houses to the public’s court. The public has eventually come to accept gays and lesbians as normal people and accorded them their dues. Cases of sexual discrimination have also been taken up by the courts which have affirmed that indeed homosexuals have their rights.
I concur with the articles views on the denial of same sex marriage rights as a form of discrimination and also recognize the diverse views on the subject. The passage of a federal law on civil union remains the only way that will accord the gays their rights and also be mindful of the views held by some religious organizations.
Reference David B. & Jonathan R. (February 21, 2009). A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage. New York Times Company. Retrieved on March 4, 2009 from http://www. nytimes. com/2009/02/22/opinion/22rauch. html? em