As he urged Congress to vote in favor of a ban on same-sex marriage, George W. Bush claimed that children need to be raised in a good family atmosphere. I agree with this completely, but just what is a family? To Bush, a good family is a "Christian" family--a man, a woman, and their children. Let's set aside the religious aspect of this issue for now. Under Bush's theory, children are better off being raised by a man and a woman than a man and a man or a woman and a woman. But if that type of parenting is really best, shouldn't we ban single parenting as well? A child being brought up by only their mother or only their father isn't being raised by a man and a woman.
Families can be anything. When I was in the band at my high school, the other band members were my family. When someone lives in a dorm at their college, their roommates become their family (whether or not the roommates become that relative you just never seem to agree with is another story). Even Webster gives the word "family" these broad definitions: "household," "parents and their children," or "relatives." Nowhere is it stated that one parent must be a woman and the other must be a man. That is a Christian concept, and this is where religion comes into the issue. I am singling out Christianity in the essay because Christians seem to be the only group speaking out so avidly against same-sex marriage. I realize there may be other religious groups who teach that homosexuality is wrong, but they do not seem interested in speaking out against it.
This argument goes deeper than what type of environment is best for children or what makes a family a family. Marriage is a practice of many religions, and every one of them, not to mention every individual, gives it its own unique meaning. In most denominations of Christianity, marriage is seen as a union between a man and a woman, so I would understand if a Christian church of one of those denominations refused to perform a ceremony for a gay couple. However, the government has no right to ban same-sex marriage. By doing that, they would be imposing Christian ideals on everyone in this country and violating the separation of church and state. If two people of the same gender want to be married and there is a church, priest, or priestess willing to perform the ceremony, their union should be legal. Any ban on same-sex marriage is nothing more than a blatant act of prejudice and homophobia.