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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.

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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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    • adjkp25 profile image
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      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      StegToDiffer - I support some kind of official classification for two people to enter into a relationship, whatever it may be called. It pains me to see two homosexual people not getting the same things that a heterosexual couple can get. I guess I'm not a fan of the discrimination because they have chosen a path that isn't "normal".

      Regarding your question, I'm not sure about marriage being protected or regulated. My guess is the people that write the laws have certain beliefs, be it religious or whatever, and they feel that the rest of the population needs to abide by them.

      Thanks for the comment and the vote.

    • StegToDiffer profile image

      Spunk Nellie 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Well-written Hub. It's apparent that you support the legalization of gay marriage, but here's a curveball: do you think any kind of marriage should be protected by the law in the first place? What exactly is it about marriage that requires regulation? Just putting those questions out there. Still, good and clear writing. Voted up.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      ImKarn23 - Very true. Hate is just such an easy avenue for some people, certainly easier than becoming educated on an issue. Thanks for your comment.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      Love is love and people trying to keep people separated and labeled are doing so out of ignorance and superiority. Those who lean on their 'religion' to support their right to hate or deny are the most laughable because isn't 'god' supposed to be loving? of all? or - only the 'all' who consider themselves better than others - which isn't very 'godly' at all! The hypocrisy is blatant, and yet - they just don't get it - or - they just don't want to get it cause it's easier to hate. These are the same people who are against abortion, but wash their hands or shrug their shoulders when issues such as homeless kids, increased crime, gangs, and overfull prisons are a direct result! Oops..

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Mmargie1966 - Thanks, it was a fun one to do.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Excellent, thought provoking hub!

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      pagesvoice - thanks for the kind words. I concur that picklesandrufus contributed a beautiful comment. Thanks again.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      You have written a very compelling article on marriage. I couldn't help but notice your own candidness regarding your personal struggle over this issue. I think picklesandrufus answered best with everyone being created equal. True and undeniable love is not in the physical appearance, but rather in the heart and in that vain, who am I to dictate that 2 males or females can't be wed.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      picklesandrufus - I cannot disagree with your line of thinking. Thanks

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Good topic and good writing. For me it is simple. We are all created equally and should all have the same rights. I am in no position to judge anyone and wish everyone as much love as possible in their lives. Vote up

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      formercal - I don't think it was necessarily an irrational stance but it certainly was not the standard we are used to seeing from a politician. An issue like this is generating a bunch of national attention so it kind of is on that national platform, whether most people want it to be or not.

      I do recall hearing him say during the interview that he still wanted it to be a state decision so that should help with those concerns.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      TahoeDoc - thanks for sharing your real life story. I too find it a little bit ironic that so many people oppose same sex marriage, claiming the sanctity of the vows, but are OK with divorce. Marriage isn't what is used to be way back when. I can't recall what the divorce rate is here in the US but I thought it was somewhere around 50%? What exactly are we "protecting" anyway?

    • formercal profile image

      formercal 5 years ago

      If it were any other President it would be political suicide. Voters, in this instance, are too emotionally involved with the fact that Obama beat Bush, that they cannot see the irrational stance, he as a politician took. These gay marriages are matters for the States to take up. It is not, nor should it be, a National political agenda. As for the subject matter, it does not make me uncomfortable at all. I don't support gay marriages. That is not to say that I am a follower of some false biblical belief (because the bible support slavery, in its own language). But, I take the position that, that particular union is between a man and a woman. And frankly, I owe no one an apology or explanation for my belief. I applauded North Carolina's rejection of their most recent attempt to bring it to the ballot. I live in a state that do not condone it.

    • TahoeDoc profile image

      TahoeDoc 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

      Definitely a topic that makes some people uncomfortable. I have same-sex couple (all women) friends. These families are just like ours, except for the genders of the parents. Their kids go to school with my kids, have playdates at our houses, are on baseball, soccer and science teams together. They feed and clothe their kids and make them do their homework. The parents have good days and bad days. The parents love each other and their kids. Some days, they bicker with each other, other days they are love and hugs. NORMAL married life. If you just read the description without knowing the genders of the parents, there would be nothing different about their marriage or family life on a day-to-day basis. Get up, get dressed, go to work or school, take care of each other, family and community, repeat. I'm sure it's a better environment for those kids than my own messed up, poverty-stricken, fear-filled childhood with a "normally-structured" family but an alcoholic, violent father and more anxiety and fear than love in the house.

      People get upset when they equate homosexuality with deviant behavior. They "can't imagine" kissing a person of the same gender, as the pastor in North Carolina recently spewed. But, guess what? No one has to imagine it. No one has to do it. If that--and the religious morality judgement -- was removed from the equation, it probably wouldn't be such a big deal to so many people.

      And we all know by now that the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is being destroyed just fine by heterosexuals themselves. There is a group that I found on FB that says that if you want to preserve the sanctity of marriage, then you must also oppose heterosexual divorce. They have thus, introduced a bill to outlaw divorce in CA. Sarcasm sometimes makes a good point.

      Anyway- your hub is great and thought-provoking. My thoughts here are not directed at your opinions or the hub, just my most recent ramblings on the subject.