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Homosexual marriage is one of the old but controversial issues around the world. Compared to the past, it seems to become a more open debate among people. At the same time, people seem to be more swayable than before, but towards the gay marriage, different voices have still been hovering in the air. Gay people and their supporters have been striving for their rights to get married legally, while others who against gay marriage have never stopped deterring it.
Strongly against gay marriage is the central theme of Louis P. Sheldon’s article Gay Marriage “Unnatural”. According to the author’s views, gay marriage is ‘unnatural’, and it is contrary to the essence of the marriage. Meanwhile, it disobeys Americans social values as well as against their standards.
In explaining his perspectives, the author has stated that “homosexual marriage” is rejected by main Americans according to the polls. In particular, he assumes that gay marriage is both culturally and physically incompatible since the gay people lack of reproduction capacity, to do so, third person has to be involved, which violates the nature of marriages. Drawing on to sustain his views, the author claims that the majorities’ wishes and values of their communities have been unconcerned by judges. Instead, the gay people start to gain more special rights from the judicial tyranny throughout America. Therefore, churches might have to face civil suit for failing to perform homosexual marriage.
To reinforce his views, the author insists that it is a chosen behaviour rather than genetic because no reputable medical organizations have ever asserted that is biological. Finally, in the article, Sheldon has restated the poll that 80 percent of Americans are opposed to homosexuals marriage.
How believable though, is his statements that according to every reputable public poll approximately 80 percent of Americans are against the same sex marriage? First of all, cogitation on the data, which the author draws on to support his views, are required. The numbers he presented seem attractive and persuasive, but it is worth noting that no source has been provided for them, so readers do not know how trustworthy they are. In my view, it would be more convincing for example to try referencing the data in his claims like the quoted above as well as the gay people’s average income is twice higher than that of non-gay people in America, and his figures will not be questioned. The author of this article can therefore be criticised here for a lack of citation of sources to back up his views.
Another questionable aspect of this article is its hidden premises. Although the author does not openly state that the marriage should be generational, otherwise they should get divorce, this could be understood from the authors’s statement that gay marriage is “not generational”. While marriage is not only about generating offspring but also means love. It is an insulting claim for the couples who in love but unfortunately could not have children might because fertility problems, health issues, over age, their chosen life style of Dink family, so do they have to separate with each other just because of that? Is it really the essence of marriage? I do not think so. In my view, whether to have kids or not in couples’ marriage lives, it is a matter that couples, including gay couples need to consider and judge not by other irrelevant people, and it should not be an excuse to despoil others rights to get married. Anyhow, the quality of this article has been degraded due to the hidden premises.
The author also commits the fallacy of unsubstantiated claims. He insists that “Homosexuality is a behaviour-based life-style.” However, there is no further explanations on why he asserts that can be found in this article. Besides, it seems that he also has no evidence to proof that is a chosen behaviour. Furthermore, he mentions that homosexuality people only take up 10 percent of the whole population in America, while the data he referred is not substantiated.
Despite these shortcomings, Sheldon’s article still has some value and we need to judge it in terms of the author’s purpose in writing it. It is not intended to be a rigid piece of academic work, but is mainly focused on arousing people’s attention as well as persuading them to against the legalisation of gay marriage. Therefore, the author has employed loaded words in this piece which have greatly improved the pothos of the article. For example, he uses “a dead – end street”, “hardware problem”, “judicial tyranny”, “cry the shrillest claim of victimhood”, “single out” and “sanitise”. These words could easily grasp readers emotions and lead them act immediately without further considered judgment. Finally reaches his purpose of writing this article. Personally, I think he has successfully applied loaded words in this article.