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In the Jan. 9 issue of the Kentucky Kernel, a letter to the editor titled “Support the respect for marriage act in Kentucky” was published. This letter contained several pieces of misinformation, which I hope to correct in the following letter.
The aforementioned letter’s main topic boils down to the following: Kentuckians should repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and legalize same-sex marriage because not doing so is “based on prejudiced and illogical motives.”
Along the way, the letter states “Equal rights are a social justice issue, not a religious one.” This statement is true.
However, social justice (and justice in general) is fundamentally grounded on the religious principles of loving your neighbor and doing to others as you’d have them do to you.
Therefore, equal rights is indirectly a religious issue as it deals with the belief that all men are equal in the eyes of God by the simple fact that we all share a common nature.
Thus, the religious arguments against same-sex unions have as much weight on the issue as the secular arguments for these unions.
The letter also maintains that there are “Only eight out of 50 states that allow legal civil unions between same-sex couples.” This statement misrepresents the facts. The fact is that only eight states allow SOLELY civil unions.
However, an additional 10 states allow for legal civil unions and another two allow limited domestic partnerships. This makes for 20 states that allow for legal unions of same-sex couples.
The letter further claims: “this vulnerable population (homosexual community) has been unfairly oppressed for years. … For this reason, if you have even an ounce of respect for society as a whole, you will become a public advocate for this cause (legalizing same-sex marriages).” First of all, the so-called “gay” community has not been unfairly oppressed.
No state or federal judge has ever sentenced someone to prison, death, or even community service just for being homosexual. The “oppression” of these people stems merely from the refusal of many states to legalize an official marriage of same-sex couples. However, there are several (non-religious) reasons for this refusal. The best of these arguments requires a bit of ground work, but runs in this vein:
The state is made up of a group of people living together voluntarily for the purposes of comfort, survival and safety. Thus, any laws made by the state should serve to benefit the state by increasing the comfort, survival and safety of its citizens. Now, let’s define marriage as the union of two people coming together voluntarily within the state with the intent of increasing the state’s population through procreation. With this understanding, the state felt the need to regulate and record marriages as they directly affected the entire community by giving rise to a larger community.
Now, with this background regarding the legal social aspect of marriage, one can apply these same ideas to same-sex unions.
Same-sex unions biologically cannot contribute to the growth of the community. Thus, there is no need for the state to spend extra money, time and energy on recording and regulating same-sex marriages. The state has no incentive to do so!
In closing, I believe that homosexuals should not be discriminated against or criminalized for their choice of a partner.
However, I maintain that there is no need for the state or the federal government to use their resources to regulate and record same-sex marriages which do not contribute to the expansion of society.
Michael Butler is a political science freshman. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.