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Morse’s “8 Is Not Hate” and Wolfson’s “What Is Marriage?”, Essay Example

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The essays by Morse, entitled “8 is Not Hate”, and Wolfson “What is Marriage?” provide two different views on the topics of homosexual marriages. In the case of Morse’s text the author argues against gay marriage, whereas Wolfson favors the rights of the gay and lesbian community to partake in marital unions. When shifting through these arguments, however, it appears that Wolfson’s claims are more robust. Gay marriage should be legalized because it is an extension of individual rights that found the American country.

Morse says that gays, lesbians, queers and transgenders should not be allowed to walk the aisle of the matrimonial ritual. This is because Morse believes, and I quote, that “I view marriage as a gender-based institution that attaches mothers and fathers to each other and to their children.« But Morse’s independent judgment of what an institution is is irrelevant. Institutions are man-made creations that are radically shifting throughout the corridors of time. Marriage is a process of the state and states are also susceptible to changes. This, in other words, means that institutions are the products of individual liberty and individual decisions. We are the ones who create institutions, not institutions that create us. This is the American way, since individual liberty is always prized and minimal governmental intervention is a foundational stone of the nation. We must leave our laws open and flexible so that they emphasize the individual and not restrict the individual.

In this regard, Wolfson’s arguments are of great relevance. Wolfson says that marriage is something supported by the social community: it is a symbol of love. By excluding the gay community from experiencing the symbol of love through the annulment of homosexual marriage, the greater social community is making a discriminatory claim. This exclusion essentially is the intervention of the government apparatus into deciding who is allowed to love and who is allowed to partake in the symbolism of love. This is almost a fascistic claim about individual love.

Accordingly, the arguments against the gay community’s love as consecrated in the marriage ritual seem entirely inconsistent with issues of individual rights. We must leave institutions open and flexible to change and so to our legal definitions as we continue to better define our individuality. Furthermore, institutions should not discriminate as to who is allowed to share in the social symbolic ritual of love that is marriage.

Works Cited

Morse, Jennifer Roback. “8 Is Not Hate.” National Review Online. November 1, 2008.

Wolfson, Evan. “What is Marriage?”

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