“Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle. “We are all created equal”… This morning the Supreme Court recognize that the constitution guarantee marriage equality. Doing so, they reaffirm that all American are entitle to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally regardless of who they are, or whom they love… “(Whitehouse). This is part of a speech made by President Barrack Obama after the Supreme Court passed the decision on marriage equality on June 26, 2015. In the past 30 plus years, marriage equality has been a constant issue that we cannot avoid.
It is an issue that is often on the news and for some it affects the outcome of their lives. There are always two sides to any debate and there is no exception when it comes to marriage equality. There are those who strongly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman then there are those who are more open-minded and support marriage equality. Everyday, we make multiple decisions ranging from what to eat to when to sleep. For most of the time our cognitive schemas is good enough for some decisions, but it also leaves us vulnerable to cognitive bias.
The issues of marriage equality has become such a big, complex issue, so examining the issue of marriage equality and learning about the cognitive bias present from both side of the argument would allow us to have a better understanding of each side. Although there are many arguments for marriage equality, two arguments that stand out are it is a right and it should grant the same access to benefit it does to heterosexual couples. For those who support marriage equality, they strongly believe that it is a right that should be protected under the constitution.
In 1974 in the case of Cleveland Board of Education v LaFleur, the U. S. Supreme court rule that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause” (Gay Marriage – ProCon. org). The US Constitution should protect marriage between homosexual couples. Whether it is the right to vote, or the right to religious freedom, every individual wants to live in a nation that protect his or her inalienable right. In this instant, it is the right to marry whoever they choose.
Aside from the equal right clause, supporter of marriage equality address the issue of having access to benefit given to heterosexual couples. “There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections available to married couples in federal law alone, according to a General Accounting Office assessment made in 2004” (Gay Marriage – ProCon. org). These benefits ranges from taxation break, access to family health benefit, inheritance rights and more. For examples a couple that are married may receive tax benefit while those who are not married would not receive those benefits.
Couples who are unwed are not able to adopt kid while their counterparts are. Same-sex marriage should be able to receive the same protection under the law if they are wedded. In the US we strive to live in a society that anyone can chose to live where they want and love anyone they love. Despite many arguments for marriage equality, there are also those who are against marriage equality. Those are marriages are strictly between a man and a woman and marriage is a privilege, not a right.
In bible it is often quotes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. So in the case of Baker v. Nelson, the Supreme Court of Minnesota found that “the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within an family is as old as the book of Genesis” (Gay Marriage – ProCon. org). So two couple of the same sex getting married is contradictory to that belief. Many Christian believers believe that it is morally wrong to allow same-sex marriage. These can be attributed to religious texts.
Oppose group of marriage equality believe that marriage is a privilege and not a right. The classes that are protect under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include “(1) a history of longstanding, widespread discrimination, (2) economic disadvantage, and (3) immutable characteristics… ‘Sexual Orientation’ does not meet any of the three objective criteria shared by the historically protected civil rights categories” (Gay Mariage – ProCon. org). Same-sex marriage contradicts nature. Two people of the same sex will never be able to marry because it is biologically impossible.
Despite all of these arguments let step back and take a look at it from a different perspective. If we look at each side of the arguments, each side has valid reasons to argue for, or against marriage equality. Similar to the Frank and Debra’s relationship issue in “Mistake Were Made But Not By Me” by Tavris and Aronson, they were able to delve into relationship issue that the couple had. Frank and Debra are married and like every married couple they had their disagreement. The story started when the couple finished their dinner with a loving couple.
Debra brought up the issue of why they are not like the couple they just had dinner with. Debra wanted Frank to see the problems in their relationship and Frank did not want to have anything to do with the conversation. Debra thought that Frank was being passive and he did not care; likewise, Frank thought Debra was needed and not satisfy with what he has provided. Because each individual had their own implicit theories, they left the arguments not achieving anything except distance and hatred toward each other.
Each of them had their own implicit theories that explain, “why we and other people behave as we do… ” Similarly, if we were to look at marriage equality through the lenses of an unbiased perspective, we may see the point that each side of the argument is making. For both group, through implicit theories, they would think that the other group is the way they are because of their belief. For the group who support marriage equality, they would think that the reason why those who does not is because of their religious belief.
If pro-group were to think differently, it can be due to con-group’s upbringing because “we live in a country in which people have a wide range of different religious belief, and we agree in respecting the space within which people pursue those beliefs” (Nussbaum). Everyone has the right to think and that right is one’s choice to choose to support, or not support marriage equality. Getting rid of cognitive bias is something that we would not be able to do if we are not open minded.
One of the argument for marriage equality is it is an equal right that every citizen who lives in the United States should be able to have access to. Similar to having abolished slavery, or women’s right to vote, the idea of two person of the same sex getting married is not traditional. If we look over the years, changes have always been a part of the U. S. history. In July of 1863, if a school teacher from Maine did not lead his men in a charge against the confederate army at the Battle of Gettysburg, the abolishment of slavery would never occurs (Andrews, 182).
If the con-group who are against marriage equality, denying the right of marriage equality to everyone, this mean that the United State is not what it stand for. Hence, if the pro-group only argument is equality and right, this would enhinge on con-group’s ideaology of marriage and what it mean to be married. Despite many arugment for and against same-sex marriage, it is a matter of a fact that marriage will always continue. People will marry who they have form a relationship with and, sometime these relationship ends in a break up.
Nevertheless, the government is not a a position to allow one group to marry and not the other to marry based on what the Constitution stands for: equality. When women were able to vote and interracial marriage allowed, we should look at this change as the same. Through generation, there have always been significaint changes and this is just one of the manys. Both group should understand that same-sex couple seek to marry those who they love similar to heterosexual couples.