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The debate on the legality of homosexual marriages has been considered both as an unwarranted feat and as belated act of liberty worth celebrating yet this status ruins the institution of marriage. This paper is written in a thesis-antithesis-synthesis pattern, addressing the issues raised by opponents of homosexual unions as well as the reasoning of its advocates. Finally, it is gives the writer’s opinion – a synthesis of the two opposing arguments – guided by reasoned insights.
Part I: The Legal Marriage of Homosexuals is not warranted
Many criticisms have been piled on the prospects of homosexuals’ lawful sanctification of their union. Somehow the basis of these anti-homosexual’s legal marriage is not far-fetched. Here are some reasons that have been used to buttress the attitude.
The legalization of same-sex unions grossly undermines the institution of marriage. A marriage that comprises of persons of the same gender is in itself a self-contradiction. When these unions are legally allowed to thrive, the institution will suffer irreparable damage. The reason being, marriage is perceived as sacred especially from the religious quarters, an institution sanctified by God between a man and a woman for mutual companionship. Children are the fruits of such holy matrimonies (Maccio, 2010). Homosexuals contradict it, allowing their passions to override the holy decree. Furthermore, same-sex unions are always considered ‘open relationships’ meaning that partners involved do not necessarily have to be committed to each other sexually, psychologically, emotionally and socially. This translates into a blow to the monogamous unions and by extension holy matrimony.
Same-sex unions are conventionally considered unnatural and it does not take an apt mind a second to think otherwise. So, how can an unnatural union be naturally unionable? Heterosexual relationships are the norm, both in society and in nature. Why has man, as rational as he is, been passionately driven by sexual pleasure to the heights of finding it from the same gender? Brutes in their irrationality do not indulge in this! The greatest favor that should be done them is tolerance, nothing more. They should not be validated by the state nor recognized as a form of marriage because of their abnormality and unnaturality.
The legal status of this union encourages many of the same and therefore the human species is destined to extinction. It is a self evident fact that the sexual intercourse between homosexuals of whatever ilk does not procreate life. Lesbians and gays, alike have sex primarily for pleasure and therefore no human conception can arise. If say three-quarters of the human population goes homosexual, there will not be any human being left walking on the surface of this planet with at least a couple of centuries (Hollowell, 2010).
Homosexuals themselves, together with their sympathizers argue that they can become good parents. To whom can they parent? Adopted children, they say. Granted, they can be even excellent parents as they claim, but the psychological development of the child or children that they are parenting is at stake. Naturally, human beings have the orientation towards the two sexes and that is precisely the reason that a female parent is referred by the child as mother, and the male parent father. So in a legal family that comprises of two fathers – gays; or two mothers – lesbians; how does the child under their custody expected to grow normally? Are they not putting the welfare of the child at the expense of their pleasurable adventures? Is the legal body that authorizes this abnormal family doing any justice to the child? Besides, this is a horribly repugnant precedence that the ‘homocouples’ are setting to the children under their parentage. Most likely, when such children come of age, they will copy the lifestyle of their parents and there by continue perpetuating the ignoble idiosyncrasy to subsequent generations (Kuyper, 1993).
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Marriage is a symbol that represents cultural ideals about sex, sexuality, and human relationships. These ideals define an individual’s self identity and therefore, when the traditional nature of marriage is interfered with by sneaking in homosexual tendencies, people’s basic identities are challenged (Dankmeijer, 1993).
Part II: Legalization of Same-sex Unions is long overdue
Quite a number of homosexuals and their supporters have been waiting with abated breath for the landmark ruling that accord same-sex unions a legal marriage status. It has been hailed as a gesture that reinstates sexual liberty to individuals who hitherto had suffered silently when this right was trampled upon.
The anti-homosexuals argue that legal marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. Defining marriage on the basis of sex does beg the question of how sexes are defined. Though the traditional categories of male and female appear separate, there are indeterminate cases in reality which do not match these categories. Therefore the assumption made here is that the clarity of biological concepts corresponds to social concepts. Take for example, Daniel was born female but changed his sex and became male; and now he wants to marry his partner Chloe. By accepting the above reason, Daniel can only marry a male even though by outward appearance he is male. Put differently, if a woman changes her sex and acquires physical traits of a man, would not it be legal for this person to marry a woman? (Maccio, 2010)
The consideration of marriages as a religious rite is missing the mark since exclusive religious tenets are used to define it. Consequently, legalizing homosexual marriages is a mortal sin that beckons the wrath of God to a state. It is an indubitable fact that the nature of marriage has varied in every era and from every society. Therefore, it has been difficult to find a conventional definition of marriage. Marriage has never been a creation of religion, if anything the state has always treated it as a private contract with public implications. Thus the basis of marriage was on the wishes of free, consenting adults (Cott, 2002).
The claim that homosexual marriage is not a home for protection and procreation of children; hence a threat to human extinction is refutable. This claim is anchored in the assumption that sex as the natural end of marriage is for procreation. It can be argued that, following this premise, a couple whose sexual intercourse cannot bring forth a child should not be allowed to marry, all the more homosexuals. The implications of this reason would mean that heterosexual marriages with infertile couple due to various reasons are outlawed as well. Similarly, couples who voluntarily resolved to be childless should not be allowed to marry legally. The impulsion for marriage is love not children (Senreich, 2010).
Opponents of homosexual marriages argue that such relationships are unnatural and abnormal and therefore should only be tolerated not legalized. Here, heterosexual relationship is taken as natural because that is what is found in nature. Since nature does not provide for homosexual relationship it is unnatural and ought to be abhorred by the society (Senreich, 2010). Well, are not human a part of nature? If yes, then homosexual relationships are also a part of this nature. Brutes which are part of this nature do not engage in legal marital contracts, does it as consequence mean that the legal marriage as an institution is unnatural and should be outlawed?
The argument that legalizing homosexual marriage undermines the institution of marriage does not hold water. It baffles the minds of proponents how a legal marriage between homosexuals damage the heterosexual marriage. Consideration should be made here that the opponents use religion to smoothen their disapproval. Marriage is governed by the civil/secular law. Period (Geest, 1993).
Part III: Homosexual Marriages do not merit Legal Status
Having painstakingly considered the arguments from both sides of the debate on the legalization of same-sex marriages, the writer hereof opposes according legal status to such unions.
To begin with, marriage as an institution derives its sanctity from interplay between instinct and reason. Considering that the sexual instinct is primarily for procreation, man ought to use his rationality to direct this force appropriately. The pleasurable part of the act is secondary and therefore should not be allowed to define a person. The reason is, if man becomes myopic with the secondary end of sexual instinct; and remains consistently so, then human species’ destiny is at stake. It may sound religious but thoughtful reflection reveals so. Marriage is therefore an institution where under natural circumstances male and female partners are freely allowed to procreate (Geest, 1993). However, if the primary end cannot be realized due to illnesses or old age, the intent warrants its sanctity.
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The proponents of homosexual marriages are largely silent on the parentage of children of homosexuals, adopted or otherwise. They secretly recognize the psychological as well as sociological damage that they wrought to the development of these children (Paul, 1993). It’s not disputable that they can have the custody of children either through adoption, surrogate motherhood, artificial insemination, or previous heterosexual relationships. What is paramount here is the welfare of these little children in regard to their development into adults of sound minds. In this consideration homosexual parentage of children is looked at vis-à-vis heterosexual. If for instance, Kathleen is being raised by two mothers, she is being deprived of the experience of being with a father. Recent research as well as the common experience suggests that a father and a mother together provide by far the best surrounding in which a child may be raised. The reason being men and women contribute different gender-connected strengths and attributes to their children’s development. Erik Erikson differentiates the kinds of love to children: “fathers love more dangerously because their love is more expectant and instrumental than that of mothers” (Wardle n.d. p. 846). Children from homosexual families will are likely to exhibit the homosexual tendencies of the parents and become one of such in adulthood (Kuyper, 1993).
The homosexual marriage remains unnatural not because it cannot be found existing among natural brutes which constitute nature, but because the act itself is solely for pleasure. If anything there are creatures which show tendencies akin to homosexuals. Man is endowed with incredible intellect and he should use it to discern what underlies some of his cravings before allowing himself to be held hostage by them.
To surmise, the debate on the legality of homosexual marriages has been considered both as an unwarranted feat and as belated act of liberty worth celebrating yet this status ruins the institution of marriage. As it can be seen from the text, the arguments of pro-homosexual marriages are aimed at winning rather than analyzing the facts that belie the orientation.
Cott, N. (2002). Public Vow: A History of Marriage and the Nation. New York, NY: Harvard University Press
Dankmeijer, P. (1993). Journal of Homosexuality: The Construction of Identities as a Means of Survival. 24(3), pp. 95-105.
Geest, H. (1993). Journal of Homosexuality: Homosexuality and Marriage. 24(3), pp.115-123.
Hollowell, K. (2010). World Net Daily: Homosexuality: Evolution of the human race. Retrieved on March 24th, 2010, from: <http://www.wnd.com/index.php/index.php?pageId=23492>
Kuyper, E. (1993). Journal of Homosexuality: The Freudian Construction of Sexuality. 24(4), pp 137-144.
Maccio, E. (2010). Journal of Homosexual: Influence of Family, Religion, and Social Conformity on Client Participation in Sexual Reorientation Therapy. 57(3), pp. 441-458.
Paul, J. (1993). Journal of Homosexuality: Childhood Cross-Gender Behavior and Adulthood Homosexuality. 24(3), pp. 41-54.
Senreich, E. (2010). Journal of Homosexuality: The Effects of Honesty and Openness About Sexual Orientation on Gay and Bisexual Clients in Substance Abuse Programs.57(3), pp 364-383.
Wardle, L. (n.d.) Website of Family Action: The Potential Impact of Homosexual Parenting on Children. Retrieved on March 24th, 2010, from: <http://www.familyaction.org/PDFs/h-parenting.pdf>
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