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An Argument for Marriage Equity

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Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

By Sayre Quevedo

It's difficult for me to argue for gay marriage, because I'm so baffled by the arguments against it. I'm gay. How does me enjoying the same rights you enjoy, taint those rights? Why as a society, wouldn't we want everyone to be equal?

We have the separation of church and state, yet the arguments most often made against gay marriage come more from the Bible than the Constitution.

People often argue that gay marriage flies in the face of "the traditional family" in which a man and woman marry in order to have children. This fails to recognize that many heterosexual couples don't fit into the traditional box. Society recognizes the marriages of heterosexual couples who--for whatever reasons--choose not to have children. And there are also couples who have children and choose not to marry, and they too are accepted.

When it comes down to it, many families in The United States are not "traditional" in any sense of the word. If society does not legislate against non-traditional heterosexual families, why do we do it against gay families?

The "sanctity of marriage" is a phrase often found escaping the lips of those who oppose gay marriage. Ironically enough a 2007 study by the U.S. Census Bureau found that the United States has the highest divorce rate in the industrialized world, an ignoble title we've held for the last 27 years.

This country was founded on principals that are supposedly inalienable: equal rights and justice. Our nation is slowly creeping forward in the fight for civil rights, and I believe that this issue is no different.

There's substantial evidence suggesting that Americans under the age of 30 explicitly support gay marriage. I'm confident that one day we'll look back with shame for ever having denied gay marriage, the same way we feel shame for our ugly history of slavery and denying voting rights.

The fight for gay marriage means more than just the right to love someone, though that certainly is important. It is the fight to be seen as legitimate citizens of the United States with the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

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