Friday, May 15, 2009

Student asks governor to legalize same sex marriage

One of our class assignments was to write a paper describing a policy to a government person, either an elected representative or executive, or else to an agency head or administrator. Many students wrote advocacy letters.  This is an example of a student writing to the new governor asking him to support same-sex marriage in Illinois.

I am a social work major at University of Illinois at Springfield.  I am writing to you today regarding an important matter that needs your attention.  I am urging you to implement a policy regarding same-sex marriage.  Currently, there are five states which have this policy already in place.  I would propose to you that this is not a matter of personal belief, but rather a matter of a basic civil right.

In Loving vs. Virginia in 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriages must be allowed.  Today, we, as a society, would find it unbelievable that people, of different ethnic backgrounds, were unable to marry.  However, we still do not allow people of the same sex to marry.  Because gays are not allowed to marry, they are not subject to many of the amenities that heterosexual couples get to enjoy.  Among these are the right to inherit property, tax benefits, medical benefits, and retirement benefits.

If this policy is implemented, there will be many people who oppose it.  For example, many church organizations believe that being gay goes against God. They argue that it is in the Bible that man should not marry man, but man should marry woman.  I would like to remind you that similar arguments were made by the church when Americans sought to create equal rights for African Americans.  The Bible is frequently quoted when it comes to civil rights.  Another argument presented by the Church is that legalizing same-sex marriage will ruin the institution of marriage.  They propose that legalizing this type of marriage will eventually lead to legalizing marrying animals.  This is a weak claim, and clearly they are grasping for straws.

I firmly believe that the proponents outweigh the opposition.  If this policy is presented as a matter of civil rights, most Illinois residents will be in favor.  Not only are most Illinois residents compassionate, but also reasonable.  I do not believe that they would oppose this policy if presented in the correct manner.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

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