Duke It Out: Gay Marriage

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like plastic surgery!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

OK, I can already feel this one’s gonna get messy, so hold on tight folks.

I admit, I’ve put off talking about gay marriage here for a while, in part because, well, I went to a liberal arts school in NYC – I have way too many gay friends to really be impartial here. Then last week, the assistant managing editor of the Notre Dame student newspaper resigned during the controversy over an anti-gay joke that appeared in the paper’s comic strip and I realized that this is an issue that still affects us all, and we need to talk about it.

Now I’m not going to get into a moral argument here – I doubt that I could change anyone’s opinions one way or another about that particular issue; my questions instead are logistical – is gay marriage inevitably going to become legal and if so, what’s the point of fighting it?

Right now, five states allow gay marriage and several other have passed bills allowing it only to have them repealed. Regardless of your moral standpoint, the legal (and yes, marriage is considered a legal institution, not a religious one in the US) arguments for gay marriage are persuasive. Now, admittedly, there’s a lot of strange and old-fashioned laws still on the books that just hang around (did you know that it’s illegal to let a donkey sleep in a bathtub in Arizona?), but that’s mostly because people forget about them. Same-sex marriage is one issue that people are fighting for and are probably going to continue to fight for, so why not just let it go?

On one side, we’ve wasted enormous – like huge, gigantic – amounts of money fighting about gay marriage in the courts. Plus all of the money that’s been spent on propaganda on both sides is way up there too, which seems ridiculous given our current economic climate. Why not put all of that cash toward social programs and just admit that the battle is lost? Same-sex marriage would mean equality (supposedly the most American of all virtues) and it could also help clarify a lot of sticky legal situations about partnership rights and help ease up the burden with the foster system by allowing gay couples to adopt more easily. After all, 70% of Americans believe that the LGBT community deserves the same rights as straight individuals, so it just makes sense, right?

But at the same time, (and this one shocked me) the same percentage of Americans are opposed to gay marriage. And we have always been a country where, if nothing else, your opinion matters and you fight for it. So if that much of America – the “by the people, for the people” nation – doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage, should we really make it a law? I mean, ultimately we Americans have always been about doing what we believe is right – sometimes that has led to bad things, but it’s also the spirit that pushes us to pitch in and help big time with things like the disaster in Haiti.

OK, you tell me, same-sex marriage – yay or nay?
Should we go with the flow, or keep on fighting?
What would you vote for?
Keep it clean people, but duke it out!

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