I am Against Gay Marriage–And Straight Marriage Too
I am Against Gay Marriage–And Straight Marriage Too
Marriage is usually an official form of commitment between people who are in love and would like to spend the rest of their lives together. This type of agreement has been accepted worldwide in both the social and formal setting. The usual expectation in any society is that when two people are in love, it will lead to marriage whereby they will enjoy each others company for the rest of their lives. There is an American comedian by the name Dean Obeidallah, who wrote an article known as “I’m against gay marriage–and straight marriage too.” In this article, he explains why he is against the marriage institution between both the straight people and gays. I personally disagree with his opinion, as the institution of marriage is beneficial to society and hence should not be abolished.
Dean Obeidallah as a professional comedian implying that he may not mean everything he says. Comedians are known to taking up controversial and exaggerating the facts so that the audience can all have a laugh about it. This could be the case for Dean Obeidallah on the issue of marriages. He could be aware of the fact that the society highly esteems the marriage institution. By discrediting it, he manages to capture the attention of the audience manipulating his arguments in a funny way. This he does by first saying that he is opposed to gay marriages which is the norm for many people but goes ahead to state that he is even opposed to straight marriages. This could be a way of gathering the required comical effect to boost his career.
The comedian supports his argument by highlighting that the marriage institution is in its worst state that nothing can be done to make it more badly than the situation it is in. He says, “Marriage is a badly bloodied and battered institution. It’s thus mind-boggling when people claim allowing gay Americans to marry will somehow tarnish the sanctity of marriage” (Dean, 2011). He goes ahead to explain this fact by pointing out a couple of marriages between several public figures that have failed in the recent past. He fails to realize that it is not wise to discredit a certain principle because a few people have failed in implementing the same. He is discrediting the marriage institution because four public figures have failed in their own marriages.
Happy marriages do not advertise themselves but failed ones do. This means the media is a poor source of information on the rate of marriage failure or success. This is because the media will usually tend to report on the news regarding the marriages, which are failing and fail to mention on the health, meaningful and working marriages. The media did not highlight on the marriage between Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren when it was working. It was until he started having an affair, and the media started reporting on the issue making people to become aware he was indeed married. This shows on how the media was not concerned when the said marriage was working but had ample airtime play to report when Tiger Woods erred in his marriage.
The shock, which usually follows when people get to realize a certain marriage has failed is a clear pointer to indeed marriages usually work and hence the high expectations. The recent revelation on the separation between Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver was received with much shock by the world community. This shows how the society still has high expectations on marriages. If indeed the marriage institutions were debased as comedian Dean Obeidallah would like to point out, then the separations would not be received with much as they would be an expected occurrence.
Dean Obeidallah faults the marriage institution because he believes it is outdated. He says, “But just because you have the legal right to wed, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Marriage is as outdated as a Sony Discman and MySpace” (Dean, 2011). This example does not in any way support his argument that the marriage institution is outdated. By explaining that the marriage institution has been around for a very long time, he only gives evidence to the fact that the marriage institution is strong enough to last through the ages. Sony Discman and MySpace were not strong enough to withstand the test of time thus they ended up being useless with time. Marriage on the other hand has been practiced through the years and is still being practiced indicating that it is still relevant in today’s society and thus it cannot be discarded easily.
In the article, his advice to people is to remain as dating partners as opposed to married partners. He uses the high divorce rates in support of this. The above argument is not plausible as it is only one sided. The writer fails to recognize the rates at which dating partners fall out are much higher than those who are married. To point this out clearly, a married partner is bound to have been involved in more past dating relationships than married ones. People are not to have many past girlfriends and boyfriends but only one husband or wife whom most spend with the better part of their lives.
Dean Obeidallah further attempts to discredit the marriage institution by giving instances where certain married partners have failed to keep the spark glowing in their marriages. This is wrong because it is unwise for someone to say that a given principle based on the actions and inactions of the given partners. To highlight on this, when a person commits an accident because of reckless driving, it would be unreasonable to conclude driving is unsafe and should be prohibited. This is because someone’s failure or inaction should not discredit a given concept. In this case, people who fail to work on their marriages are the one who should be faulted and not the marriage institution.
Dean Obeidallah misguides his audience when he says, “As the late film director King Vidor so aptly put it, “Marriage is not a word, it is a sentence”” (Dean, 2011). He twists the statement made by King Vidor by implying that what was meant was marriage should be compared to a prison sentence. This is a fallacy because according to the context of the given statement, King Vidor meant marriage is a more than just a word or a term but a whole phrase. In saying this, the king was not discouraging people to marry but was advising them to make sure they think through what they were getting into.
Dean advices people to stay in dating relationships without the hope of marriage. He uses his own case as an example to justify this statement. What he fails to realize is marriage is considered as a show of commitment to the other partner. With commitment come responsibilities. People may fail to get married because they are afraid to take on the responsibilities pertaining to marriages. Girlfriends and boyfriends are not entitled to alimony or any other responsibilities of a marriage. This goes on to show how staying in a dating relationship for many years is a clear revelation the partner is not committed to the relationship.
I however do not deem Dean Obeidallah’s take on the marriage institution as entirely wrong. I personally agree with him when he says, “Certainly, gay Americans should have the same right to get married as straight people, and for two reasons: First, as various state courts have held, discrimination against Americans based simply on sexual orientation is wrong” (Dean, 2011). America is known as the land of the free where there is the impartial exercise of the law. With this in mind, barring certain persons to marry because of their sexual orientation discredits America as the land of the free.
In addition, the law and governance ought to reflect on the state of the society because as a democracy, the government ought to be for the people and by the people. If the American society has already come to terms with the issue of homosexuality, it is only necessary the law of the land to reflect this too.
In conclusion, it is not right to state marriage is an institution of irrelevance to the human society. The marriage institution is a tried and tested aspect of the human society. The writer errs in his judgments and arguments by discrediting the marriage institution based on the actions or inactions of the marriage partners. If people were more informed or better counseled on issues regarding marriage before they entered one, then the divorce rates are bound to fall.
Dean, O. ( 2011). I’m against gay marriage–and straight marriage too.” Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/29/obeidallah.gay.marriage/index.html.