Same-sex marriage is first and foremost an exception to the rule. Catering to same-sex marriage opponents that are part of the Religious Right, Arizona state attorneys have filed court papers using ideas that are thinly veiled right-wing concepts. In their defense they parrot the conservative ideas of family only being valid if there is a mother and father. The state’s defense of their ban on same-sex marriage states that same-sex couples are at a distinct disadvantage because they can never provide a child with both biological parents.
This argument is flimsy at best. Given the fact that unmarried couples are on the rise and today one in three children of single mothers live in poverty, one would expect a better understanding of the plight of children without fathers. Many of these children have been failed by a system that is completely apathetic to their needs for the tools to rise from poverty. Things such as providing easily accessible child care without restrictions are deemed unimportant, and there is no emphasis or concern for ensuring that absentee fathers provide for their children or even be a part of their children’s lives. So why do same-sex opponents ignore this glaring fact and focus on same-sex marriages, which can provide a loving, two parent home that shares child rearing responsibilities? Why do they ignore the fact that a two parent home can provide the security of two incomes and a stable, balanced household?
Also, the argument that same-sex marriage is not natural due to an inability to procreate is rigid and self-serving, contributing to homophobic ideas that the Bible should dictate the guidelines of marriage. This is why the founders of this country created the separation of church and state. This important part of the constitution was put in place to prevent any religion to dictate what laws should be followed in America.
American society is not created to see the gray areas in life. Things are often cut and dried with Americans, and either black or white. People discuss the mundane and cater to primal needs that are insignificant, and these are the type of people who find comfort in controlling or condemning anything that makes them uncomfortable. Same-sex marriage flies in the face of conventional ideas of love and sex but it is valid, true, and real even though it is an exception to the rule. Why, in a world rife with what the Religious Right call immorality, are same-sex couples singled out? Hardcore porn can be easily accessed by children with the right keywords. Songs and rap lyrics glorify mistreatment of women. The absence of love in male-female interactions is reaching epidemic proportions, although our “moral leaders” fail to contribute to proactive solutions for preventing unplanned pregnancies.
Arizona courts must look at this situation with empathy and not judgment. If procreation is so important, why do lawmakers turn a blind eye to unwed mothers? Arizona state attorneys argue that heterosexual couples be allowed the “protections of marriage” citing unintended pregnancies as a reason for marriage. They fail to see that a marriage focused on merely being married because of an “unintended” pregnancy will potentially create a home where a child could be neglected and abused.
The state attorneys completely gloss over the struggle of infertile couples, citing modern medical advances as a remedy to the problem although the expense is out of reach for many couples. They make no statements concerning third parties such as a surrogate or birth mother. This indicates thoughtlessness on the part of the state and is a weak excuse for defending their ideas of protecting procreation. Same-sex couples, although they could never conceive a child in the “natural” way should be understood as an exception to the rule, and unique. As for the state’s defense of procreation, they fail to understand or care for diversity in marriages and diversity in conception.
This nation has a duty to recognize every individual relationship between couples is a choice, not a deviation from anyone’s particular standards of right and wrong. Our ancestors fought hard for freedom and racial equality, and people should understand that homosexuality is not a choice or a sickness that should be treated. Homosexuality is merely an exception to the rule.
Opinion by Adrianne Hill