By Rajena Laffey

Age 18

Natomas High School student

Protest_against_a_constitutional_amendment_banning_same_sex_marriageGay marriage is a very important topic in the United States. Everyone wants to voice his or her opinion on the topic. Some people believe it’s bad for the country and will ruin the next generation of children. Some also believe that it will bring more acceptances into the world and make the world a little more peaceful. I am for gay marriage. I believe that everyone should have a choice of whom they want to marry. It doesn’t matter what gender they are as long as they are happy.

As of November 7th 2012, gay marriage had been legalized in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine and Washington. Every amendment in the constitution was meant to protect human rights. Isn’t this one of them? Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or “family values.” A study published on Apr. 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found that “laws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage.” The divorce rate is going up, but not because of gay marriage but because people don’t want to work out their problems. Denying same sex couples his or hers right to marry is discriminating and sends a message to everyone that discriminating is okay. Gay marriage will make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt children.

If marriage were solely about reproduction, then infertile couples would not be allowed to marry. Ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington, often referred to as “the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and neither did four other married US presidents. In the US, 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted. A study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems. A July 2010 study found that children of gay fathers were “as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents.”

The inability of surviving partners in same-sex relationships to receive Social Security or death benefits became a problem after September 11th. Larry Courtney lost his partner of fifteen years when the plane struck the World Trade Center. Larry could not afford to live alone: he had to move out of his apartment, missed out on $20,000 in Worker’s Compensation benefits under the New York Law, and he was ineligible for his partner’s Social Security.

When married heterosexual firefighters and police officers are killed in the line of duty, “their loved ones will continue to be sustained”. However it is not the same case for their homosexual counterparts. It’s Its disappointing to see California, one of the most liberal states in the U.S. is still not allowing same sex couples to wed.  Despite the arguments against same-sex marriage and the struggles that follow, same-sex couples have one goal on their agenda: to be treated just as other people.