This article addresses my thoughts on the issue of gay rights, from the perspective of a heterosexual male who is engaged to the woman he has dated for nearly 5 years. My thought on the question of gay rights is that it is not a question at all, at least insofar as the Government or anyone other than the gay/lesbian couple is concerned. The reason for that is simple: I believe that the Government has no business telling consenting adults what they can or cannot do with their lives and in the privacy of their homes; especially since there is no rational reason to deny gay people rights, and those who wish to deny such rights tend to be prejudiced or secretly gay themselves.

Gay rights is a privacy and autonomy issue
Just as in the cases of abortion and gun rights, the fundamental issues are the rights, privacy, and autonomy of the individuals.   The Government simply has no legitimate interest or right to intrude into the homes and personal lives of consenting adults.   For me, the inquiry ends here, however I’ve included the discussion below for the sake of completeness.

Gay rights don’t harm heterosexual relationships
I’m a heterosexual male who is engaged to the woman I’ve dated for nearly 5 years.  I’ve lived in the Chicago area for the majority of my life, and had gay/lesbian friends and colleagues.  Being around gay people has not “turned me gay”, as one’s sexual orientation cannot be changed.  Nor has there been a sudden collapse of heterosexual marriages in states like MA or CT that have legalized gay marriage.

Gay rights may actually help heterosexual relationship
There are countless cases of gay individuals hiding their sexual preference and getting married, only to have their marriages fail due to the fact that they will never be happy with a person of the opposite sex.  The result is a broken family, a hurt spouse, and often hurt and confused children.  Legalizing gay marriage will take some of the pressure off of these gay people who feel compelled to enter into a heterosexual marriage that they know isn’t right for them.  We can expect that this will result in fewer traditional marriages failing.

Gay rights don’t harm children
A person’s sexual orientation is not a choice, so it should stand to reason that were two gay individuals to raise a child, the child would not be “turned gay”.  Studies have shown that this is the case, and even gone as far as to find that the children of lesbians are more tolerant that the children of heterosexuals.  Being raised by gay parents doesn’t harm children.

The real reasons people oppose gay rights
I’m convinced that the real reason that people oppose gay rights do so because of their own unfounded prejudices, and/or due to the fact that they are secretly gay and ashamed of the fact.
1. Prejudiced – I cannot find one rational reason why a heterosexual person would want to prohibit gay people from marrying and enjoying the other rights of heterosexuals.  The only reasons that I can find relate to prejudices that are based upon religious beliefs, or other personal moral beliefs that should not be forced upon other members of society.  Just as atheists have no right to force their views on those who believe in god, religious people have no right to force their religious beliefs upon the rest of society.  Separation of church and state serves an important purpose in our society.
2. Secretly gay themselves and ashamed – Many of the most anti-gay-rights legislators in congress have turned out to be (allegedly) gay.  For example, senator Larry Craig was an outspoken opponent of gay rights, and was reportedly arrested for gay conduct in a public bathroom.  Troy King, the anti gay rights Attorney General of Alabama was reportedly allegedly caught having sex with his male assistant.  I could go on listing examples, but the point should be clear.

Note: This article is necessarily brief, as the riggors of law school and work prevent me from spending the 100+ pages I would need to discuss every aspect of this issue.  Those who wish to read a nearly exhaustive analysis of gay rights are enouraged to read the MA Supreme Court opinion in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003).