The title of Chapter 2 in our book is Assimilation and Pluralism: From Immigrants to White Ethnics. This chapter concentrates on the assimilation (process by which new groups of people integrate into American society) of the immigrants during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The major differences between “Americans” and the new wave of people that came from overseas were religion, language, and culture. What about sexuality? Homosexuals have been discriminated against just as much as any other “minority” group, and even though homosexuality is fairly common in modern society, people continue to display an aversion towards the idea. The common misconception is that in order to incorporate this group of people into our society we would be forced to make outlandish accommodations that are seen as unnecessary, and contradictory to the Christian principles established by our founding fathers. This is not the case; much like the immigrants a decade ago, all they are requesting is acceptance and equality.
One of the most basic rights a human being has is to love, and therefore, to freely express that love. Although there are a few states that allow same-sex unions, this form of marriage remains illegal in the vast majority. The most basic explanation for this discrimination is the religious teachings of Christianity. In Christianity, marriage described as the sacred union of a man and women. Homosexuality is considered a sin and, therefore, that form of love is seen as polluted and inappropriate. The main problem with this explanation is that marriage is a legal commitment. In a lot of cases it is “sanctioned” by a spiritual leader of some sort, but, without a state issued marriage license a couple is not considered legally married and cannot receive any of the benefits that follow. Supposedly, two of the prominent ideals that have helped shaped our country are those of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. So, why are the beliefs of any religious system being allowed to shape the legalities of marriage? I am a proponent of pluralism, and find assimilation as an unnecessary and problematic process. In the case of homosexuals, assimilation is impossible according to Milton Gordon’s stages of Acculturation, Integration, and Intermarriage. Homosexuals could not marry outside their “minority group” and therefore, would only be able to assimilate to stage 2. Pluralism allows for individual freedom and respect of each separate group and their way of life; “live and let live”. Why not?