Equal Opportunities for Joy and Happiness by Steve Stay

Is it wrong for a Dad to want all of his children to have equal opportunities for joy and happiness?  An equally insane question is: Should consenting adults be denied the right to marry on the basis of their sexual orientation?  My reasoning goes much deeper than that of a Dad sticking up for his gay children.

First, allowing same-sex marriage would strengthen the image and sanctity of marriage. At a time when divorce rates and unwed heterosexual cohabitation are at their highest, allowing and encouraging partners to make this commitment would promote a strong family unit.  It would also create a stronger social society in which committed relationships no longer need be hidden.  Furthermore, children would be more secure in the strengthened home environment.

Secondly, it is inhumane to withdraw basic dignity to loving partners at a time of need.  Such is the case when same-sex couples find their partner in the hospital.  In a large majority of states, without the legal status of marriage, the family of the one hospitalized has total control over medical decisions and who can be with the patient.  Also denied are tax and health insurance benefits while living and rights of survivorship benefits if one passes away.  These, along with many others, add up to over 1,000 benefits and rights that are lost through denying the right to marry.

Lastly, our nation was founded on the basic principle of equal rights.  For example, “… all men are created equal…with certain unalienable rights…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” is found in our Declaration of Independence.  Current laws are clear that equality under the law extends to persons of all races, religions, and place of origin.  Sadly, the United States of America has a tainted heritage of racial and gender abuses.  Applying the same rights and protections to men and women regardless of their sexual identity would honorably complete our promise of equality.

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