“It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!” This is a song lyric from “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. “Same Love” is a very effective song supporting gay marriage. The lyrics are effective because of the different supporting reasons and examples brought up. When I first heard the song, itmoved me. The song also made me recognize how important the fight for gay marriage is. I am amazed that we are living in the 21st century, and we have legal inequality in this country, the land of the free. Gay marriage should be legalized in every state because everyone should have the right to choose his or her partner. This would entitle gays to the same benefits as heterosexual couples and help create more stable families.

Out of the fifty states in America, only ten of allow civil marriage between gays. Currently, eight states offer domestic partnership laws (Brown 39). The difference in lifestyle is tremendous under the numerous opportunities that married couples receive. Taylor stated, “There are roughly 1,100 benefits, rights, and protections conferred on married couples on the federal level. And hundreds more benefits, rights, and protections that married couples receive under state law. Among this is the right to joint parenting, joint adoption, status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions, and inheritance of jointly owned real estate” (Brown 37). Camilla Taylor is the Marriage Project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. According to Taylor’s facts, there are about 1,500 benefits, rights, and protections offered to married couples. Life is incredibly different when you are deprived from such a significant number of benefits, rights, and protections. The rest of the forty states are depriving gay couples, who are not allowed to marry, of that huge amount of benefits, rights, and protections.

I argue that every individual should have the freedom to choose who his or her partner is. I argue this very strongly because of the morals behind it. Our country was built based on the Declaration of Independence, which states that every person is entitled to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Having the liberty to choose your own partner is happiness. Being happy and accepted is life; if you cannot be yourself, then you are not living. How can the government hold such an important document, like the Declaration of Independence, and disregard what it states? The government should treat every individual equally. It is not the government’s business to control whom you choose as your partner in life. Take into consideration all the different mistreatments we have experienced throughout history as a country. Is it not visible to society that mistreating gays because of who they are is just as bad? I argue for gay marriage to be legalized in all fifty states because every individual has the right to choose his or her own life partner.

The many legal benefits that are offered to heterosexual couples are the reason why gay marriage should be legalized. In eight states, the closest benefits that we have for gay couples are the laws offered for those that declare domestic partnership. However, domestic partnership is a very general category that almost anyone can fall under. Domestic partners have to prove financial independence, shared living arrangements and a mutual agreement in the commitment. According to Andrew Sullivan, domestic partners do not need to have a sexual relationship or any kind of relationship at all. For example, an old lady and her live-in nurse can qualify for domestic partnership laws (614).However, the amount of laws offered under domestic partnership are not nearly as many compared to the amount offered to married couples. Domestic partnerships have a couple of small benefits from certain employers. These benefits include family or sick leave, or relocation benefits (Polikoff). Those that declare domestic partnership might also qualify for health insurance. Because there is no legal marriage binding the relationship, gay couples are forced to spend a lot more money. The main reason why they spend a lot more money is because of taxes (Brown).The number-one issue that most gay couples make sure to take care of is their profits. In a marriage, when someone passes away his or her significant other inherits all the money without any problems. However, for gay couples, it is not that easy because they have to fill out twice the amount of paperwork (Brown). If the partners do not take care of the many legal papers ahead of time, once a loved one passes away all of their profits go to a member in the bloodline, leaving the partner with nothing.Even if all the correct paperwork is prepared ahead of time, the money that is inherited by the partner will be taxed. By paying the huge percentage to taxes, the partner ends up losing most of the inheritance. This is just one of many negative aspects of not allowing gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Some might argue that there are negative aspects to allowing gay couples to adopt. The main reason why people would argue this is because of the psychological effects on the children. According to a study done by a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, “children with same-sex parents households may be more likely to have social and emotional problems” (Sathe). The social and emotional problems are related to self-identity. Naturally, the adopted children of the homosexual parents would want to get to know their biological parents. Most importantly, the kids would face social stigma at school. Kids would have to accept the fact that they have two mommies or two daddies, which goes against society’s norms. All this can lead into difficulty in finding their own identity. However, most people would also agree that not enough research has been done in order to back up such theories.

Nevertheless, allowing gay marriage in all fifty states will only help create more stable families. By accepting gay marriage, more children will be taken out of orphanages all across the world. According to the numbers reported by adoption agencies all across the nation, the number of gay couples adopting children has nearly tripled in the past decade (Michelson). However, by not acknowledging gay couples as real couples, adoption is much more difficult. Adoption becomes a much harder process because only one of the partners can apply as a single parent. Once the paperwork is approved for the single parent, the other partner has no legal rights over the child. As a matter of fact, the partner whose name is not on the adoption papers practically does not exist in the child’s life according to the government. For example, if the child is in the hospital, only the parent whose name is on the adoption papers is allowed to make any decisions, as well as visit the child. The same rules apply when flying out of the country. Only the parent on the papers is allowed to take the child out of the country due to legal documents (Polikoff 140). Lastly, for gay couples to be able to adopt more than one child is nearly impossible due to the finances. Married couples receive many family benefits that allow families to expand. However, by not having those benefits, gay couples are financially limited. Gay marriage should be legalized because America should be focusing on creating and stabilizing families in contrast to limiting or breaking them apart.

Gays deserve to have the freedom to choose their own life partners. Gay couples are entitled to the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples. By allowing gay marriage in all states, more stabilized families will be created. Aside from these three important points supporting gay marriage in all fifty states, there are many more. I truly hope that there are more people that will be inspired in supporting gay marriage along with Macklemore and myself. If we stand together we can fight through all the inequalities in our 21st fight.

Works Cited

Brown, Carolyn M. “Why Gay & Lesbian Couples Pay More.” Black Enterprise 43.8 (2013):            36-40. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web.

Michelson, Noah. “Number of Gay Couples Adopting Has Skyrocketed in Past Decade. “ The

Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Oct. 2011. Web

Polikoff, Nancy D. “Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law.”

Google Books. Beacon Press, Boston, n.d. Web.

Sathe, Akshita. “Should Same-sex Couples Be Able to Adopt Children? CON.” The Oracle:                University of South Florida. The Oracle, 24 Jan. 2013. Web.

Sullivan, Andrew. “A Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.” the New Republic, August 28,       1989. Conscious Reader. Reprinted by permission. P. 612-616. Print.

Anna Harea’s “The Equality Fight of the 21st Century” won second prize in 2015 in the Third Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. Anna is a freshman studying Interior Design at SVA.