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President Obama Same Sex Marriage: Rights and Benefits

Updated on June 18, 2013

Picture Holding Hands

Two women holding hands in support of same sex marriage
Two women holding hands in support of same sex marriage | Source

Gay Marriage Arguments

One of the biggest debates facing our country right now is the issue of same sex marriage. Some people are in favor of it while others are not; it seems that just about everyone has an opinion on the topic.

I live in California and we had a proposition get passed a couple of years ago, prop 8, which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. This proposition has been stuck in the legal system since and appears that it will never make our books as a law as it is currently wrote, because it violates the constitution since it discriminates against a specific group of people.

Equality for All

For me the biggest problem with this issue, besides each individual’s personal belief, is giving some basic benefits of marriage to same sex couples. It is disappointing to hear the stories about these couples not getting the same rights that married couples enjoy because they aren’t “married”.

I remember hearing how a gay man was in the hospital and his partner couldn’t be there with him because he wasn’t related to the ill man, even though they had been together for decades. His family wasn’t there either because they hadn’t spoken in a while, since they didn’t approve of his lifestyle. Here in the US these things simply cannot happen, whether you are for or against same sex marriage.

Legalizing Gay Marriage

I understand, and appreciate, how people are trying to protect the sanctity of marriage on this issue. For some people it is a religious issue and for others it is a personal choice; whatever their reasoning they are more than entitled to their opinion.

Personally, being a man married to a woman, I kind of go back and forth on this. I would like to keep the term 'married' strictly to men and women relationships but I respect homosexual relationships and want them to get the same things that I get by being married. I recognize that some people feel it is their obligation to judge people and their decisions; I am not one of those people. This is a free country and for me to be critical of someone else’s decision of how they are going to live their life, or who they are going to be attracted to, is something that I will simply not participate in.

I do know a few gay men. I work with a couple of them and actually have some friends from high school that are gay. One of my co-workers lives with his partner, wears a ring on his ring finger and periodically talks about him. My friend from high school occasionally likes photos of men he finds on Facebook so I see this activity on my account. Neither one of these situations bothers me but I know it would probably upset some people. Again, this was their decision on how to live their lives and if they are OK with it so am I.

Same Sex Marriage Poll

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Gay Marriage Debate

With our President ‘coming out’ and giving his support to same sex marriage discussions have been taking place on it. Some people swear that the position is purely political (part of it probably is since he is a politician) while others have said they will not vote for him because of this position (these people probably weren’t going to vote for him anyway) and some others are now going to vote for him solely because of this position (these people might have been more on the fence on the election).

I acknowledge that the timing of this position might be a little bit suspicious but I think his disclosure was a wee bit forced by VP Joe Biden kind of spilling the beans; he can have a problem controlling what comes out of his mouth sometimes.

Whether you agree or disagree with the President on this you have to at least respect him for saying what he said. With a close election brewing it is very rare for a politician to say anything that can lose votes or even taking a solid position on an issue, especially one as volatile as same sex marriage. Don’t we aspire for our politicians to be clearer on positions all of the time since they have a tendency to be a little bit waffling sometimes?

Gay Marriage Laws

Obviously some states in our union want nothing to do with same sex marriage. In fact North Carolina has just passed a law making same sex marriage illegal, joining numerous other states. With some states allowing same sex marriage and others not, are we creating a rift in our nation that has the potential to boil over somewhere down the road? I certainly hope not.

Public Opinion on Gay Marriage

Recently public opinion on same sex marriage has been changing, or evolving if you will. In 2000 less than 40% of the country supported same sex marriage but now in 2012 that number is over 50%. This shift shows me that our country, as a whole, has started to accept homosexual relationships as a part of our nation; if you are for it or against it these relationships are not going away so maybe people are just accepting them.

I appreciate that some people’s religious beliefs will not allow them to accept same sex marriage but for others it might not be so predetermined against it.

Hopefully we will continue to evolve and some kind of mutual ground will be reached on this issue. Sure some people will never approve of this lifestyle but let’s be honest, it is here to stay. Personally I hope something can be decided to give a same sex relationship the same benefits that traditional married couples enjoy, regardless of how we define their associations.


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