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The Political Rhetoric of Same-Sex Marriage

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Rutgers

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  1. Introduction
  2. Blending conservative and ascriptive elements
  3. Homosexual critics of same-sex marriage
  4. Jyl Josephson's contention that marriage and citizenship are indelibly linked in our society
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Same-sex marriage, the notion that two members of the same gender can be joined in a legally recognized union that is the civic basis of marriage, is a hot topic in the United States. The dispute over same-sex marriage has raged for years; the debate reached a fevered pitch after the 2004 presidential election, when ?voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments [?] limiting marriage to one man and one woman.? Four years later, the discourse that proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage employ has changed very little.

[...] Gerstmann makes no claims that homosexuals are entitled to special treatment because they are inherently superior to their heterosexual counterparts, although a certain conservative influence is evident in his approach to support same-sex marriage he ultimately derives the legitimacy of same-sex marriage from the Constitution, a document that could be seen as an instrument of the government and therefore reflecting the interests of society as a whole, rather than from a natural rights-based argument, as a traditional liberal might. Nathaniel Frank, writing an Op-Ed piece for the NYTimes titled ?Joining the Debate But Missing the Point,? makes a similar argument in support of same- sex marriage but reaches it following different logic. [...]


[...] Homosexual critics of same-sex marriage also have their own specific arguments against endorsing the institution, as outlined by Dennis Pilon in his article Freedom to Choose: Gay Marriage and its Radical Others.? He claims that homosexual opponents feel ?that the support of gay marriage represents a kind of assimilation to straight values and ideals.?[5] Their other argument is ?that the widespread acceptance of gay marriage would threaten the existence of a separate gay and lesbian community.?[6] Taking the second argument first, an obvious conservative influence can be seen, but with a completely different effect from the arguments Segura brought up. [...]

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