Writing an academic essay about same sex marriage

Are you writing a paper about same sex marriage for a rhetoric, communications, or English class? Perhaps the assignment is to write a persuasive essay on this once contentious topic. Or perhaps you are simply expected to describe the political history and current reality of this policy issue. Or maybe you are required to write about your own position on same sex marriage, as an exercise in communicating your beliefs and supporting them. Whatever the reason, many teachers and professors assign their students papers on same sex marriage. However, writing the paper itself can be a bit of a political and philosophical minefield. Here are some factors you ought to keep in the forefront of your mind while you write.

Things to Avoid in Your Essay on Same Sex Marriage

Be careful about the language you use in your same sex marriage essay. The average young person has some problematic ideas and vocabulary regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, so it is not surprising to learn that the average essay on same sex marriage is fraught with insensitive or factually inaccurate language.

First, you should avoid referring to same sex marriage as "gay marriage", despite the fact that it was referred to by this term for a very long time. The truth is, not everyone in a same sex marriage is gay. The term "gay marriage" ignores the fact that gay women identify, in most cases, as lesbians, as well as the fact that a bisexual person who is not gay identified could be in a same sex relationship and get married. There are many other reasons to avoid the term "gay marriage", so when in doubt consider "same sex marriage" to be the more precise and fair alternative.

You should also watch your language when referring to LGBTQ people in general. Do not call gay or lesbian people "homosexuals", as this term is overly medical and can imply that gay or lesbian people are abnormal or are suffering from some kind of mental disorder (since the term was coined to refer to gay and lesbian people in a psychiatric setting). You should also refrain from assuming that all queer or same sex couples identify as gay, or that all same sex couples have the same biological sex. These assumptions ignore the existence of bisexual or pansexual people (who are attracted to multiple genders), as well as the existence of trans people, whose gender identity and legal sex may not be based on their biological sex.