Sullivan and Bennett views concerning Same Sex Marriage


            Marriage is a legal state of being united to another person as a wife or husband in contractual relationship that establishes the rights and obligations between the two. The term wife and husband are most often connected to the opposite sex. However, two partners of the same sex can also have and experience a feeling similar to opposite sex relationship. Same sex marriage has been on the rise and is accepted practice in some states even though the majority of states still prohibit it. In the US, the Supreme Court passed a ruling that accords same sax marriage as the legal right in 27th June 2015. This essay is an argumentative synthesis of same sex marriage from the two articles by Sullivan “Let gays marry” and Bennett “Leave marriage alone” is done and evaluation is based on the; logic and evidence, emotional appeal and assumptions.

            Same sex a marriage

            According to Sullivan, both straight and guys are citizen like any other individual citizen and therefore are supposed to be subjected to the same rules guided by the same rights. He proposes that same sex marriage partner are ordinary men and women with weaknesses and strengths just like the straight people. Owing to the evidence, Sullivan feels that same sex marriage partners should be socially accepted and legally recognized to enable them give back to the society without being forced to hide in their actions, lie about their ordeal or live as a second class citizen. On the other hand, Bennett is concerned about the resulting effect of legalizing same sex marriage on its effect on meaning and understanding of marriage. He feels that legalizing same sex union would weaken the marriage institution rather than strengthening it. Similarly, he accepts that the guys are citizens who deserve equal rights just like the straight, but argue that through their social acceptance and legal recognition, same sex couples would shatter the conventional meaning of marriage change the rules which govern behavior, endorse practices which are completely antithetical to religion, send conflicting signals about marriage and sexuality and obscure marriage’s enormously consequential function which is procreation and child-rearing.

            On the emotional appeal, Sullivan argued that the same reason why the straights have a right to marry, meet the person one truly loves and commit the love for the rest of their lives in front of their family and their country, is equally their reason to seek the same sex marriage right  too. He wonders why anyone in his or her right state of mind would oppose a simple, most natural and most human instinct of love expression to the other partner. He further acknowledged that traditionally, marriage has been recognized as love partnership between opposite sex couples, but went ahead to propose slight changes in the definition of marriage to encompass the guys. In his argument, he recognized the changes that have been made on marriage definition (from wife being considered as husband’s legal property to the equal partner marriage and from same race marriage to marriage that is open to entire human dignity whether one is a man or a woman, black or white) and wondered why further changes couldn’t be made to allow same sex marriage. Just like the straight people having a love feeling to the opposite sex, it is not within the choice of same sex couples to feel so. It is a natural feeling that does not come by through learning. He explained some marriage doctrines that lie within the traditional marriage role, such as raising children as the part of the tradition that ought to have been surpassed. In his support for this, he wondered why childless heterosexual marriage was socially accepted despite failure to raise children, but same sex marriage within the same situation was not recognized.

            Bennett similarly gave an emotional appeal concerning legalizing same sex marriage based on the norm, consequences of marriage definition changes and defense of traditional view of marriage. Legal recognition of same sex marriage would subject the world to unaccepted ideals that will eradicate the marriage norms. He argued that same sex marriage owing to its openness of the contract would undoubtedly give rise to promiscuity. Bennett views marriage not as an arbitrary construct, but rather as an honorable gift, institution of God and built on moral sexual, religious and human realities. According to him, marriage is an institution that should not be tempered with for the persistence of the norms and the doctrine values. Therefore, based on these values, he defended a traditional view of marriage.

            Lastly, the two articles’ view point on same sex marriage also differs on the assumption. Sullivan assumes that traditional heterosexual marriage is more conservative cause that merely seeks to promote monogamy, fidelity and the disciplines of family life among people who have long been cast to the margins of society. However, according to Bennett, broadening the definition of marriage to include same sex marriage would also give rise to new attempts to promote acts as polygamy and incest.



Bennett, William. “Leave marriage alone.” NEWSWEEK-AMERICAN EDITION- 127 (1996): 27-29.

Sullivan, Andrew. “Let gays marry.” NEWSWEEK-AMERICAN EDITION- 127 (1996): 26-26.


RELATED: Gender Stereotypes Research Paper