Gay marriage is one of the most controversial issues in the modern world. For the past thousand years, marriage has been recognized as the social union between a man and a woman. In most cultures across the globe, homosexuality was viewed with disdain, and marriages between same-sex couples were forbidden.
However, homosexual relationships are slowly gaining acceptance, as homosexuals have become vocal in fighting their right to marry in the early 90s. With an increased in tolerance for homosexuality in the society, the controversy over the legalization of gay marriage has been disputed among people in many nations. While the majority of the population believes that the legalization of gay marriage will have negative impact on the society, gay activists claim that it is against basic civil rights to prohibit them from marrying.
This report will first review the history of battle to legalizing gay marriage, and the current status in today’s world. It will then examine the reasons for and against the legalization of gay marriage. The conclusion will summarize the main arguments
Marriage has been a part of life since before the medieval times. For two people who love each other and plan on spending the rest of their lives together, the instinct is to make it legal and get married. Same sex marriage has been widely discussed and debated on if it should be legalized or not. It is discriminating not to allow two people who want to get married just because they are homosexual. Legalizing same sex marriage would recognize the American dream of equal rights for all. Marriage brings legal rights that protect a couple that if not married, they should not have. On the other hand, some argue that homosexual marriage may cause disorder to raise a child and disrupt the natural biological procreation of mankind.
Marriage is a commitment that two people make to each other in which they share their lives and become like one. When the decision is made to be married, neither race nor religion is questioned. However, your sexual orientation is. Imagine the hardships that a homosexual must overcome throughout their entire life. Growing up feeling different than most of their peers because they feel attracted to the same sex is difficult. The feeling of inequality is already present because at a young age and throughout life, the feeling of being different and not accepted as you are being overbearing. Once open about their sexuality, not being able to have the same rights as their neighbors, co-workers, family to get married to someone they love and cherish is unjustifiable. It is everyone’s desire to share their best and worst moments in life with those they love. The issue of a person’s sexual orientation should not be an issue. All men are created equal, so the right to marry should also be the same (Brumbaugh, 345).
When married, certain legal benefits are available. Not allowing same sex marriage denies a couple to these certain benefits. The case in Florida is a perfect example of such benefits that are denied. A lesbian couple, of 18 years, was on vacation when one of the women collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. The other was denied access to visit her dying partner in the hospital because she was not acknowledged like a family member. If they were able to marry, this would not have been the case. Legalizing same sex marriage would allow each couple to be on the same health plan as well as claim rights to belongings and inheritance. If married heterosexual couples have these rights, so should homosexual couples (Brumbaugh, 345).
In opposition, it is argued that allowing same sex marriages would change the nature of parenthood. Marriage is seen not only as a commitment of two people, but also as a form of procreation. It is a known fact that to procreate, both a man and woman are needed. It is disputed that by allowing same sex couples to marry would also allow children to endorse the homosexual behavior.
Within this essay, the focus will be to develop a thorough analysis and discussion in relation to the topic of gay marriage. To construct this, this essay will discuss positions in favor of and against gay marriage. About the position supporting gay marriage, the discussion will focus on; discrimination and equality and respect on individual’s rights. The points that will be discussed contrary to gay marriage will be building upon ideas that we rose in the debate as well as incorporating some new material. Throughout this essay, the ‘for and against’ positions will distinguish between both sides of the argument. Inclusion of scholarly articles will become evident throughout this essay to support the main points that will be made within this argument on gay marriage as well incorporating case studies that support both ‘for and against’ gay marriage. Overall, this essay will display a thorough representation and discussion on how gay marriage can be positioned in society with valid points made both ‘for and against’.
Gay marriage has slowly become a significant factor amongst individuals of today’s society. Similarly, this leads to the discussion of homosexuals having the right to marry in society. Ultimately, conflict from the opposing position of ‘against’ gay marriage may arise that gay marriage can destroy the concept of marriage and mock the importance of procreation. About this; everyone in society has the right to marry regardless of gender, thus it should be socially acceptable. However, therefore it is significant to discuss both sides of the argument, regardless of if you are ‘for’ or ‘against’ gay marriage in society. In relation to homosexuals, contradiction constantly arises that gay marriage should not be legalized. However, homosexuals do not necessarily want to get marriage but may just want the justification of having equal rights. Thus, in the case if homosexuals do want to marry at some stage of their relationship, according to Nagle, “people say that banning same sex marriage is not only unfair, but it is also discriminatory” (2010, p.31). In society, denying individuals rights due to their gender, race or sexual orientation is consequently classified as discrimination.
Gay parenting and marriage has become publicly accepted by some and rejected by others. Many have come to believe this topic to be immoral and impossible. Society has also realized that the average family has developed into many different forms in the last few years. Gay families have developed and are perceived today that raising kids without both a Mom and Dad, deprives the child from being introduced to both worlds. The approach to this debated topic will be to analyze and to defend the “cons” of gay parenting and marriage.
Ever since the beginning of creation, God made man and woman to reproduce and create humanity. God never in between allowed or said that same sex marriage was permissible or was the natural way to create a generation. For example in Genesis chapter 19 the story of Sodom and Gomorrah explained the wickedness of the city that mainly strived from homosexuality. Genesis 19:5- And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us that we may know them. The city’s perverseness made God infuriated and led to the destruction of that city turning it into fire and brimstone. This gives evidence that homosexuality is a religious sin, which is analogous to many other Biblical prohibitions, like committing adultery which transgresses ethics.
According to the Bible, Deuteronomy 32:46- And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. It is impossible to raise children when both parents are the same sex because it isn’t natural and goes against biblical standards. In addition, children won’t have the example from their parents to do different than they do and make better decisions that please God.
Some issues that are argued on the topic of gay parenting is that gay parenting is no different from heterosexual parenting.” Many studies have stated this, but, according to University of Chicago’s professor of ethics and social sciences Don Browning, none of these studies were absolute. Other studies show that children raised by homosexuals were more unhappy with their own gender, had more frequent homosexual experiences , and endured a greater rate of molestation by family members.
Same-sex marriage is nothing new, with historical evidence showing that marriage has not always been the institution between heterosexuals. Gay marriages have existed in some form around 600 years ago. (Tulchin, 2007) Since early 1960’s, gay activists have been striving for the right to marry. However, the issue of gay marriage only arose from the 1990’s, as three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the state of Hawaii for the prohibition of gay marriage in US. The case has come to a conclusion that banning gay marriage is not constitutional, as there is no real practical reason and compelling arguments for it. (Bower, 2010)
This event had triggered the world’s attention over the next decade and consequently led to the creation and approval of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1998. This law is exercised in the US and it has further defined the term marriage, solely as the legal union between a man and a woman. (Bower, 2010) In addition, this law asserts that no states in the US are required to recognize same-sex marriage that is performed in other places. (Masci, 2007)
Although gay marriage is not allowed in many countries, some places provide an alternative – civil union, as a compromise. In order to reduce controversy, the term civil union was used in replace of marriage, and it is an institution that offers same-sex couples all the rights, benefits and privileges that are equivalent to marriage. (Kirk, 2010)
In 1989, Denmark was the first country to establish civil union laws. Since then, many other countries, including Australia and some states in the US, have adopted the civil union law in attempt to resolve the problem of gay marriage. (Ellis-Christensen, 2010)
Despite the establishment of civil union, advocates of gay marriage have never stopped battling for the right to marry. They indict that civil union do not include all the legal benefits, or the cultural significance of marriage. (Infoplease, 2007) For instance, all benefits and rights granted to a civil partnership are restricted within the state, as DOMA has denied the recognition from the federal government. Also, supporters of gay marriage argue that civil union cannot replace marriage, and it is just an alternative way of segregating gay couples from the society. (Kirk, 2010) This debate on the legalization of marriage will continue in the next few decades.
According to the United Nation of Human rights, human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic origin and religious view etc. Everyone has the same right and freedom to do what they want, as long as it does not cause harm to the society, and decision made by others should be respected. (Messerli, 2009) Gay marriage is the matter of civil and equal rights, and the decision to get married should belong to the couple in love, and this should not be regulated by the government. (Anton, 2008) Even though many people are not comfortable with homosexual relationship, the equality and dignity of gay couples should be respected. (Cline, 2010) Moreover, gay marriage is a personal commitment that the
society should not be dictating. Withholding the right to sign a legal contract between two loving people is a severe violation of human rights.
A marriage is a relationship between two people that love each other. Many couples are desired to get married not only for the recognition of relationship from the society, but also the ultimate expression of love towards each other. (Messerli, 2009) It is a relationship between two people, and that they are committed to each other to spend the rest of the life with them.
Moreover, accepting gay marriage as a civil right does not impinge on the rights of those who religiously and morally opposed it, and it does not do any damage to the people outside this marriage. (Terkel, 2010) On top of that, couples living together often have the need to receive marriage benefits and protection from the government in order to live. Examples are tax relief and insurance breaks. (Messerli, 2010) In addition, a married couple can often support each other in difficult times both financially and emotionally. The benefit of marriage to the couple is significant, and they should have equal right to be married.
For a long time, people have been considered homosexuality as a form of “deviant sexual behavior”. (Messerli, 2009) However, evidence has shown that homosexual relationships have already been existed for more than 600 years. (Bryner, 2007) Secondly, many people have misunderstood that sexual orientation is a choice, and that a homosexual can be reformed to be a heterosexual anytime they want. However, thousands of researches have been done over half a century to prove that homosexuality has a biological causation. (Waller, 2003) Scientists have claimed that the sexual orientation of a person is unalterable, and it is congenital. That means if a person is born to be gay, they cannot do anything about it, and it is often hard to change their sexual orientation. Therefore it is not their choice to be homosexual, and it is not fair to treat them differently from others.
The right to marry is not just about the actual legal ceremony, but also an equal right of access to the extensive list of legal protection awarded to the married couples. These benefits and privileges are applied to legally married couples, and only a few of these are available for couples in a civil partnership. This list of over a thousand federal and state benefits was released by the General Accounting Office in 1997, and they range from tax relief to medical decision making. Most of them are conclude as follows: Married couples are able to file joint-tax returns and create a “family relationship” which allows couples to divide business income among family members. On top of that, they can receive social security, Medicare and disability benefits for their spouses.
As a married couple, they have the visiting rights in places where visitors are restricted to immediate family, for example jail and hospital etc. Besides, they have the right to make critical medical decisions for their spouse if their partner becomes incapacitated. In the case of partner’s death, the spouse receives any earned Social Security or veteran benefits. Receiving crime victims’ recovery benefits if the partner is the victim of a crime Inheriting a share of your spouse’s estate Insurance breaks and family discount Receiving equitable division of property when divorced All these benefits listed above are not available for Civil union.
If gay marriage is to be legalized, the number of child adoption would increase, since gay couples cannot procreate naturally. Although some might take this as an argument against gay marriage due to the claim that there will be detrimental effect on the children’s psychological health, there is no conclusive research to suggest that child will be less healthy growing up in a gay household. (Messerli, 2009) Many children in the world are living in a stable gay household, and it is shown that they are as healthy. (Carpenter, 2007) The only thing that matters in a children’s growth is the love and care from the parents, not the gender. Homosexual usually have a higher risk of sexual lifestyle than straights, for example having frequent, unprotected sex with many partners.(Messerli, 2009) With marriage, couples are committed to building a life together and requires deep commitment to civic and family responsibilities.(Rosik, 2005) Couples enter into a committed familial relationship will form close bond of kinship and interdependence with each other, and this will stabilize family as well as promoting a healthier lifestyle. (Cline, 2010) Additionally, allowing homosexual couples to marry will integrate them into the community. The benefits and support from the government can indeed foster a stronger sense of belonging to the community in which gay couples are more motivated to contribute to the society. this is a cornerstone to a stable society.
Although the number of child adoption may increase as a result of the legalisation of gay marriage, that is not necessarily a good thing to the society overall. There is only little research being done on whether children raised under gay parents will be disadvantaged compared to others, but it is recognized that a straight household is the optimum environment to raise children. (Dr. Krause, 2010) Urban institutors and social scientist agree that children that are in other household arrangements, for example gay or lesbian household, will have a higher risk of lifestyle, for example truancy, poor performance at school, dropping out of school, taking on drugs and alcohol etc. (Dr. Krause, 2010). Further, the absence of father or mother in a gay household often causes social and financial problems. (Dr. Krause, 2010) In addition, children raised by homosexual parents are continually exposed to homosexuality. As a result, they are at a higher risk of becoming homosexual themselves and their behavior will be more or less affected by the growing environment. (Robinson, 2008) On top of that, children will have a greater chance to be discriminated and bullied by other classmates, and this could have a negative effect on their development. (Robinson, 2008)
Marriage is defined by most religious as the social institution in which two persons of opposite sex, who are not very close relatives and who declare to love each other and vow to live together forever. With the rapidly increasing single-parent family and divorce rate over the decade, the true meaning of marriage has already been weakened. (Messerli, 2009) With accepting same-sex to marry, it would further erode the respect for marriage. In addition, gay activists are requesting that the name in the birth certificates should not under the heading of father and mother, and it should be parent A and parent B instead. They refer this as an equality of name and this change has already been introduced in Spain. (Duncan, 2006) Moreover, advocates of gay marriage claim that marriage does not cause harm to anyone. However, changing the definition of marriage would lead to a slippery slope to the society. For example, having multiple wives.
Virtually, many religions consider homosexuality unacceptable and sinful. It is against religious freedom to have them recognize a relationship that they consider is morally wrong. (Messerli, 2009) Moreover, legalizing same-sex marriage would undermine the institution and the tradition of marriage. The social construct of marriage has been between male and a female, and this should be maintained in order to preserve cultural traditions. Traditionally, the general thought of marriage has been between a man and a woman, and we should respect and keep this thought. On top of that, allowing gay couples to marry will pose a threat to the heterosexual marriage. (Los Angeles Times, 2010) Many people are feared that the legalizing of gay marriage is the first step to change and destroy the structure of a traditional household.
One of the main purposes of marriage is to create the best environment for raising children. While gay couples do not have the ability to procreate, only natural marriage can consistently provide a stable and nurturing environment for the growth of the next generation. On top of that, researches have strengthened this idea, showing that the optimum environment for the growth and maturation of children is under the education and protection from a father a mother. (Dr. Krause, 2010) People believe that it is the best for children that they are raised by their biological parents.