Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage: Improving Health
by NathalieG on February 27, 2013 - 11:41pm
The article "Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in the New York Times from February 25th, 2013 explains that many important Republican figures in the United States signed a brief saying that gay couples had the right to marry. Though the Republicans are not usually associated with support for gay rights, some of the signatures have said that legalizing homosexual marriage could even help conservative family values because the children of same-sex couples could grow up in houses with two parents. People including Laura Bush, a former first lady, and Dick Cheney, a former vice-president, have signed the brief in support of this cause. This brief will be handed over to the Supreme Court to support a case trying to overturn California's Proposition 8: a law that bans gay marriage in the said state. Many conservatives are against this change in position from many powerful Republicans, since laws define marriage as “the union between a man and a woman.” Polls have shown that the general population of the United States has become much more accepting of gay marriage over the past years.
In another article entitled “French Assembly passes gay marriage, adoption bill” by Jamey Keaten and the Associated Press from February 12th, 2013, it is explained that gay marriage has been legalized in France. Gay couples will also have the right to adopt children in this country. According to Corinne Narassiguin, a socialist representative, having this law pass will benefit society in general and marks a social evolution. However, despite the bill passing by 329 to 229 votes by the National Assembly, polls have shown that only a slight majority of the population is for gay marriage. In August, there were even major protests against it.
In the academic journal article “Health and Happiness” by Erin Dean published on February 1st, 2012 in Nursing Standard, the author makes a point about same-sex couples in civil partnerships being much happier than people in couples who are not. The article explains that being married has many positive effects on a person, from reducing cancer risks to better performance at work. However, many gay, lesbians, bi- and transgender people have less good health and happiness, especially if they are not open about their sexuality. Civil partnerships are also not accepted by everyone in society, so the journal suggests education on equality. The academic discipline the journal article relates to health, since it focuses mostly on how someone’s health is improved by being in a civil partnership.
Although Dean says that civil partnerships have the same good effects on people as a regular marriage, he admits that the laws in Britain do not help equality campaigners since they do not legalize same-sex marriage. Not only France is making a huge step towards greater equality by legalizing gay marriage and adoption, but it is also improving the health of many people in the country by giving them this right. The United States is also making advances since people who have long been against same-sex marriage are now starting to support it. It’s nice to see that family values are more important to some conservative people than the law of marriage being solely between a man and a woman. Changing the laws in both these countries is a good start, but it is important that society accepts these relationships. By accepting them, people in gay couples have a better chance of living the happy and healthy lives they deserve just as much as others. Luckily, in Canada, same-sex couples already have the right to marriage, but it is important for these couples to have this right everywhere in the world.