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E - Everyone

Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Legal?

by Sylar

Imagine you are in a restaurant in California. At the table next to you, there are two men eating dinner. They’re talking, laughing, and acting like a normal couple. Then, one of the men pulls out a ring. Same-sex marriage is a controversial topic and an important one. It has been discussed in Congress, and the country has split beliefs on the topic. Same-sex marriage should be legal in every state of the United States of America because same-sex couples would like equal legal benefits, they will improve the economy, and they deserve the Pursuit of Happiness.

First of all, same-sex couples in America deserve equal legal benefits. In a survey by PEW, 60% of gay men said legal benefits were the biggest reason why they would like to get married. In America, taxes and other legal matters run most peoples lives. If a same-sex couple is together but not married, and one of them dies, the family of the deceased partner will get their property. It may leave the other partner with nowhere to go. Some same-sex couples say that they wouldn’t like to be married, that they already feel married each day. All emotions aside, most same-sex couples would like to be treated like normal couples, in life and on tax papers (Huffington Post).

Second, same-sex couples will improve the economy. In another survey by PEW, married couples tend to spend $35 more a day than their unmarried counterparts. Married Americans have higher incomes on average. They can then pool their incomes together and spend more than single people. If gay marriage was legal, the US economy might grow more. From other surveys by PEW, we can see that the population of married couples is decreasing, and same-sex couples are more eager than most. They could add to the American economy more than opposite-sex couples (Huffington Post).

Lastly, same-sex couples deserve the Pursuit of Happiness. The first amendment of the Constitution states that, “a person’s religious beliefs or a lack of thereof must be protected” (US Constitution). Technically, this means that the United States government shouldn’t be allowed to ban same-sex marriage. If a person has a belief to marry a person of the same sex, a person should be able to. Although, some people like eleven- year-old Grace Evans believe everyone should have a mom and a dad. She also believes that God made people to marry the opposite sex ( Still, people deserve to be happy, and if marrying someone of the same sex makes them happy, they should have the right to.

Same-sex marriage has been in the public eye as a disputed topic. After years of work, thousands of same-sex couples have been married in 17 states including California, Hawaii, and Iowa! Still, 33 states have banned same-sex marriage. We need to keep fighting this battle until we win. Even if people believe, “everyone should have a mom and a dad,” or, “it’s immoral.” Everyone deserves to be happy. Same-sex marriage could help boost our economy, and it could give millions of people in the United States a happy life, with legal matters sorted out.

Works Cited:

Strachan, Maxwell. Huff Post Business. Copyright 2013, Inc. 10/28/2013. Web. 10/30/2013.

McDonough, Kate. Salon. Copyright 2014 Saloon Media Group, Inc. 3/28/2013. Web. 1/28/2014. Copyright 2014, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. 1/6/2014. Web. 1/29/2014.

AllieJo2619. Teen Ink. Emerson Media. Web. 10/29/13.

The US Constitution. 1/28/14. Web. 1/29/14.

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Points: 7676
Reviews: 93

Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:52 am
emeraldfox wrote a review...

What a beautiful essay! This is the perfect example of everything a good argumentative essay should include. You had a clear opinion on the subject, multiple sources, an explanation why the opposing side is incorrect, and supported details. This article was very professional and clearly written. I also liked how you used some evidence to back up your argument that many people would not think of right away, such as economic and legal benefits of marriage.

I didn't catch any spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, or quotation errors. Although this isn't a major detail of the essay, you should clarify what PEW is. One minor correction would be to write out the number seventeen in the last paragraph because it is less than twenty.

As a lesbian myself, I was very pleased to see that you were able to show why it is unjust for LGBTQ+ couples not to receive the many benefits of marriage that some straight couples take for granted.

Sylar says...

Thanks so much!

*Follows you for being awesome*

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1727 Reviews

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:46 am
BluesClues wrote a review...

PEW--what is it? General rule of thumb is that, the first time you name an organization in a paper, you should print the full name, then put the acronym in parenthesis, and then use the acronym for the rest of the paper. So PEW would be "according to Pwhatever Ethis Wsays (PEW)" and then the rest of the paper it can be called PEW.

From other surveys by PEW, we can see that the population of married couples is decreasing, and same-sex couples are more eager than most.
The wording of this is a little weird, because you say that the number of married couples is decreasing, and then that same-sex couples are "eager." This makes it sound as if same-sex couples are eager to decrease the number of married couples, which I believe is the opposite of what you meant.

Okay, those are my two nitpicks. As far as essays I've seen on this site go, this is definitely one of the better ones. You used the five-paragraph essay format, supported your thesis with research and sources, and included a counterargument by the opposition, which you then rebutted.

Now, if I may make a suggestion, I'd play up the Constitutional aspect further. In America we have separation of church and state, and since the primary argument people use against gay marriage is that it's against their religion, separation of church and state is a strong argument. You used it a little, but your use could be stronger, because your use frames it as "pursuit of happiness"--which the Declaration of Independence guarantees, but the Constitution's First Amendment is what says that Congress "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Which means that a) the government cannot force a church to perform a marriage between same-sex partners if the religion says it's wrong, BUT b) the government cannot deny a same-sex couple a legal marriage because a religion says it's wrong.

(I mean, I'd be thrilled if the Catholic church said, "Come, our queer brethern, and be married in the eyes of God!" but the government can't force it to do so, is my point. But at the same time gay marriage should be legal, like a gay couple should be allowed to go to the courthouse and be married by a justice of the peace, for the same exact reason.)

Also, you have a couple sources, but a paper is generally stronger the more sources there are.

Anyway, I hope this helped, and well-done.


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530 Reviews

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Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:14 pm
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Renard wrote a review...


This is a very thoughtful essay that deals with an important topic.
You have cited your references well.
You open conversationally and provide an anecdote which helps the reader relate. It also reinforces your point that people who are against same sex marriage don't have a leg to stand on.

I wouldn't necessarily get carried away in saying: 'Lastly, same-sex couples deserve the Pursuit of Happiness.', because it's not about that per se. More that, they should have the same rights as everyone else.

You write well, clearly and use statistics and facts from relevant sources to reinforce your argument. I would love to see an extended version of this, perhaps more discursive.
I think, until we understand why people are so vehemently opposed to same sex marriage, we can't shoot them down properly. XD

-refrains from sounding like a maniac now- :D


ongoeslife says...

Just one thing, though; I noticed that all of your data came from the same source. This is really not the best way to present a convincing argument. What is looked for is many people (sources) all agreeing on the same thing, not a whole dump from one party.

Does that make sense? Also, you used the acronym 'PEW', but never explained what that is. You should always put the full name the first time, followed by the acronym in parentheses. Then you can use the acronym in the rest of the essay.

My data came from 5 different sources, so I don't get what you're saying.

Actually, it's not an acronym, just a family name. In the sources that used PEW, the name was always capitalized like that.

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43 Reviews

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Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:34 pm
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Love says...

It's sad that this is still controversial ._. I used to believe we lived past the medieval period.

I know rtfrhight!

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74 Reviews

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Reviews: 74

Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:59 pm
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WindSailor says...

Though I am a strong Christian, I do kind of agree with you a little bit. Everyone has a right to their happiness, and although I personally have a belief against same - sex marriage, people should be able to do so, and our beliefs shouldn't run their lives. The essay was well written and presented good points. Good job, keep writing. :)


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46 Reviews

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Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:03 pm
Astronaut says...

I don't think you're allowed to do this. Shame on you.


This is your Reading/Writing Workshop essay, isn't it...

Yeah, who cares? I already handed it in%u2026

Oh, ok

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56 Reviews

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Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:40 pm
dianneece wrote a review...

This is a very bold essay you've written, simply because the topic of same-sex marriage is so controversial right now. Which is one of the reasons I think you may need to do some re-writing in this essay.
First and foremost, the first couple of sentences do not fit into the first paragraph. Yes, they are on the same topic, but the little scenario you wrote does not serve a purpose. So you see this man pull our a ring, then what? All you state is that it is controversial but you don't say what the conflict is in the scenario and it's not mentioned in the rest of the essay. I like the idea of starting with the situation as it is a more creative introduction and paints a picture, but that picture needs to be more vivid. Perhaps you can say something like some people gasped and aww'd while others stared with tight-lips and stern expressions.
I like how you set it up straight off the bat that same-sex marriage is a topic that needs to be discussed. It sets the premise, however, your argument for why same-sex marriage should be legal is pretty weak. People aren't convinced or persuaded because someone says they want something, like same-sex couples are saying they want equal rights. You have the right idea with appealing to the economy and the right of happiness, but your thesis needs to make an impact. I would say humanize same-sex couples (instead of just presenting the idea of them) by making them more realistic in your thesis, like maybe bring back the couple from the first couple of lines and talk about how that specific couple deserves the right to marry and how their marriage fits into the argument you are making.
I agree with the previous reviewer that the presentation of your essay is bland, but only because you use the common phrases "first of all," "second," and "lastly." I would suggest removing them, but then your body paragraphs all have the same beginning: "Same-sex couples...etc." You can change up the transitions to make this a more interesting read. A suggestion I would make is to write like you are telling this information to someone close to you. Give this essay more of a voice, but make sure that voice is level-headed and making clear arguments or else the essay won't work at all.
Your reasoning is well paced and understandable, but you could make a stronger argument by adding some pathos. Like I said before, making the couple from the first lines more involved in your arguments, especially by speaking specifically about what would happen to them under laws that punish homosexuality or laws that make same-sex marriage legal, you can make a stronger argument.
Also, there is a line in the conclusion:
"We need to keep fighting this battle until we win."
And that line should not be in there. Using plural first person in an academic or professional piece of writing does not look well and should be avoided. The sentence could be changed to something like, "This is a battle that needs to be fought until it is won." Also, if you include personal opinions in this, my advice would be not to state it is your opinion, but rather state is as fact. It makes the voice stronger and more compelling.
A last note, your works cited should be in alphabetical order but that's a quick fix.
Oh, and about the review from the person before me, you can actually include that in your essay. There is a separation of church and state and their Bible scripture means nothing in a legal setting. Religious beliefs are oftentimes some of the most outspoken arguments against same-sex marriage, but their relevance in law and legality is unwarranted.
Keep writing and good luck,
Dianne E.C.E.

Thanks! I will certainly add in the bit about the beginning. I'll also change the conclusion.

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32 Reviews

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Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:21 pm
pony123 wrote a review...

Hi there! Pony123 here to review.

First off, may I say I don't agree with your points. I'm going to guarantee that you are going to get some controversial replies. In the Bible, in Leviticus 18:22, it states: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. This goes for women as well. Now to the actual writing;
You elaborated on your points well, but at the beginning of each paragraph, you started it with "first of all" or "lastly". This makes it read kind of boring. Maybe fix that. Otherwise the writing was good.

Keep Writing!

Thanks, but I've never read the bible. I'm a Buddhist.

The person who has no opinion will seldom be wrong.
— Anonymous