Monday, June 17, 2013


1.0 Introduction Bennett, William J. “Gay Marriage: Not a Very Good Idea.” The Washington Post (May 21, 1996) This paper explains and critiques the argument by William J. Bennett in “Gay Marriage: Not a Very Good Idea”. In this article by Bennett which was published on May the 21st on Washington Post. As indicated by Wardle et al (2003) same sex marriage is one of the most controversial topics in the 21st century. Bennett clearly and vehemently argues against the legalizing of gay marriages claiming that making gay marriages would not only erode in the respect accorded to the institution of marriage but also transform the description of “marriage”. Bennett argues that the legalization of gay marriages would not only lead to increased rates of incest amongst same sex siblings in gay families but also lead to confusion in society particularly amongst children. In his deliberations Bennett makes sure to quote credible scholars for instance Professor E. L. Pattullo-formerly of Harvard University who wrote that “a very substantial number of people are born with the potential to live either straight or gay lives”. More over in Bennett (p. 288) also mentions an investigative study conducted in the year 1993 and published in the Washington Post. The respondents in this study were parents and counselors from numerous schools in a local region as well as 50 teenagers. This study found out that teenagers thought it would be “cool” for people to make public their gay preferences. 2.0 Review The article by Bennett has a number of strong points. Firstly, it is very obvious that Bennett depicts a very strong mind through out his article. Secondly, his argument is very objective and does not favor any one side. In p. 290 Bennett appreciates the fact that gays experience great difficulties in coming to terms with their status as well as making others understand their sexual preferences. In addition to this, Benett poses a strong argument and serious oppositions against gay marriages, in a manner that is not only engaging but also informative. Nevertheless, Bennett’s article lacks specific scholarly studies and references from peer reviewed articles by experts on the subject of gay marriage since he only vaguely refers to one investigative study. More over, there are many exaggerations in Bennett’s piece of writing. On p. 288 for example, Bennett argues that legalizing gay marriages “would be the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society's most important institution”. Moreover, Bennett also tends to over generalize his ideas on same sex marriage when he claims that “...nor is this view arbitrary or idiosyncratic. It mirrors the accumulated wisdom of millennia and the teaching of every major religion”. Moreover a slippery slope by Bennett in clearly evident when he claims that legalizing gay marriages would cause brothers to want to marry or even bisexuals to desire marriage to two partners (p. 289-290). 3.0 Conclusion Despite the weaknesses in this article, William Bennett should not be casually brushed off. I agree with most of his arguments. Since the classical times love, companionship and procreation are believed to be the foundation of marriage, same sex couples are indeed faced with many set-backs. Ione such issue is procreation; it is common sense that same sex couples cannot procreate. In recent days there have been increased court cases between lesbian and homosexuals when the homosexuals donate sperms for lesbians to have children and then come back later demanding paternity rights. Gay marriages leads to confusion and the victims most of the time are hapless and innocent children who do not understand the adult ways. 4.0 References Wardle, Lynn D., Mark Strasser, William C. Duncan, and David Orgon Coolidge: Same-Sex Unions: A Debate. Westport, CT: Praeger (2003)