The Pursuit of Happiness: a right for All

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Kayla Robb

English 1010

Mrs. Welker

Strong Response Essay


The Pursuit of Happiness: A Right for All

They walk the streets. They shop in local stores. They look like average citizens. Why? Because they are! The only difference is some of these citizens are homosexual, meaning attracted to the same sex. In most states, same sex marriage is prohibited. In The Case for (Gay) Marriage, A.J. Chavez strongly supports same sex marriage. Why shouldn’t gays be allowed to marry? Are gay couples unfit parents? The right to marry is a simple human liberty most Americans have, but homosexuals lack.

A.J. Chavez wrote The Case for (Gay) Marriage as an essay for a classical argument assignment for his school. The essay begins with Chavez describing a reverse world in which gay marriage is legal, straight marriage is illegal, and straight couples do not have the same liberties as gay couples. He then continues the essay by giving four reasons why gay marriage should be legalized in the United States. His reasoning is gay marriage would ensure equality for gay couples, outlawing gay marriage is a religious choice that is infringing on the separation of church and state, studies have shown that legalizing gay marriage would result in saving money for states, and that history has shown that being gay is not abnormal like many people claim. In the next paragraph he lists the different oppositions to gay marriage such as marriage is between a man and a woman, there is concern for children raised by gay couples, gay marriage is against moral and scriptural code, marriage is only for procreation, marriage should be left to the states, gays already have marriage benefits, and finally, allowing gay marriage is a gateway to the legalization of stricter laws. Also, he states that some people in the gay community believe gay marriage is wrong because it’s only an attempt to copy a straight person’s lifestyle. In each of Chavez’s following paragraphs he addresses and supports his main points and argues the opposition. Then he sums up his arguments and states, “gay marriage affirms both the “liberal” ideal of equality and the “conservative” value of community stability and individual rights.” Finally, he leaves readers with the idea that “[gay marriage] affirms the dignity of all mankind.” Although A.J. Chavez gave some solid points about the intolerance towards gay marriage, I believe he was too formal with his essay and should have incorporated ethos to make it more personal. He could do this by explaining the aspect of love shared between gay couples and how this could be enhanced by marriage, or stories from children in foster care that desire good parents and a secure home.

A lot of Chavez’s points brought up in his essay were relevant in supporting gay marriage and they made me think about my own friends who are gay. I have four male friends who are gay, one who is lesbian, and one who is bi-sexual. Even though I’m not gay myself, I understand their struggles in society, and am shocked of their lack of rights. I also know two people who have same sex parents in long term committed relationships. One set is a lesbian couple, who have been together solid for over two decades. The other has two dads that have been in a monogamous bond since she was a child. These couples truly love each other and have dedicated their lives to collectively building strong and happy families. This also made me think about how difficult it is for gay couples to adopt children of their own. All across the world, including America, millions of children are in foster care, group homes, and orphanages. In his essay, Chavez said that children raised with gay parents grow up to be normal, productive members of society. These same sex parents have the same mental capacity and emotional devotion as any traditional parents do. Gay couples should have the right to adopt the millions of parentless children and teens in our country. This wouldn’t only help the children find the families they dream of, but it would also lead to the acceptance of gay parents in our society.

The facts presented in the essay supporting gay marriage were very informative, and persuaded readers to share his views. He used statistics, findings, research, compare and contrast, and examples. In fact, this essay was so formal and written purely for intellectuals, making it less appealing to other crowds such as teens, young adults, or average Americans with little time on their hands. To them, this essay would seem like rambling facts and not really worth their time to read or care. Chavez’s essay lacks the emotional aspect that many readers crave in order to keep their attention. To people who want to learn important facts about gay marriage and the laws against it, this is an excellent source of information. However, Chavez should have used ethos to absorb readers’ consideration.

I absolutely agree with legalizing gay marriage! Just like Chavez explained, they deserve the same rights as straight couples such as protection from federal anti-discrimination acts. American culture is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to its narrow views of gender. A person in North America is either male or female. It is a black and white issue, with no lenience towards a middle ground. Contrary to our society, the majority of the earth is full of cultures that accept a wide range of inter-sexed gender, such as transsexuals, bisexuals, transgender, transvestites, and hermaphrodites. In fact, most cultures view the gay man to have an excess of testosterone, verses the North American, who believes him to be feminine. Modern day cultures that legally acknowledge same sex civil unions include Sub Saharan Africa, India, Arabia, Northern Europe, China, Polynesia, Japan, Philippines, Latin America, and many Native American tribes. Cultures throughout the world have openly accepted their gay communities. There is no excuse why Americans should marginalize theirs. All over our nation, the gay community faces discrimination, bullying, and sadly, violence every day. In contrast to Chavez, I believe that people in America would alter their opinions on the gay marriage issue if they had an emotional attachment rather than just being informed. The law prohibits sex couples to be married to their life partners, and takes away their rights to adopt children. To me this is a clear violation of the United States Constitution. Article XIV states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In his seventh paragraph Chavez states, “children [of same sex parents] grow up just as well-adjusted and are no more likely to be homosexual than children living with straight parents.” Even though this is very true, it doesn’t go into detail of examples or primary sources. To add more emotion to his essay, Chavez should have added stories of children who love their gay parents and live normally in society. By adding stories of adopted children to the essay, readers would have a better understanding of the needs of these underprivileged children, and their right to belong to a family, to wanted, and to be loved; regardless of their parents’ sexual orientations.

Unfortunately, Chavez doesn’t elaborate on his own sexual orientation. In paragraph one, Chavez says, “[the group of] gays and lesbians, a group of which I am a part.” which indicates that he is indeed a homosexual. Instead of offering more details or stories of his own life experiences, he simply drops the matter in the paragraph at the beginning. If Chavez had added accounts of the trials he faces every day, it would have become more relatable to the reader. In this way he would have become relatable, changing the tone of the essay from informative to persuasive.

In The Case for (Gay) Marriage, A.J. Chavez gave an abundance of facts supporting gay marriage, but I believe that most people won’t care to read all of his information because ethos was not employed in his essay. Adding personal experiences to essays inflicts a certain tone to the work, which in turn connects the reader to him. When emotionally tied, the reader tends to see the perspective of the author. This important connection is difficult to achieve when the author is too formal and factual instead of personal. Ethos would not only have improved his essay, but also persuaded more people to support his cause.

Works Cited

Chavez, A.J. “The Case for (Gay) Marriage.” An essay written for a classical argument assignment for his school.

The United States Constitution

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