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Marriage is an essential part of human relations. The coming together of two people, marriage is seen as a bond that provides the means for emotional constancy, economic safety and the rearing of offspring. Marriage has commonly been referred to as the holy coming together of a man and a woman. At one point in time, same sex marriages were banned worldwide; now countries are allowing it more and more. Although same sex marriage may undermine religious constitution of marriage, the benefits it produces, both socially and legally, will drastically change the course of many peoples' lives. In an attempt to provide an ethically sound solution, both negative and positive views will be taken into consideration as the investigation of same sex marriage is looked into further.
Identifying the Problem
Throughout modern evolution of democratic society, the ability for minorities to attain political recognition as individuals with rights similar to any other citizen has been an ongoing battle. In the United States of America, up until 1967 interracial marriage was considered morally heinous as well as illegal, yet after four decades of political acceptance, a couple differing in race is hardly considered abnormal. Similarly, in the past generation the gay and lesbian population; individuals whose sexual preference is towards that of their own gender; has been struggling for their civil rights, and in the dawn of a new millennium the constitutional confines of marriage have to be reconsidered. Due to its deep religious roots as well as its extremely dominant role in society, the road to political recognition is not an easy battle for supporters of same sex marriage.
Possible Solutions to the Problem
The gay and lesbian population has been struggling for their civil rights, and the constitutional confines of marriage have to be reconsidered. Members of society need to stay open minded about people's sexual preferences, and allow them the same rights as any other member of society. Instead of a religiously based moral history, we should define our beliefs on the importance of civil liberties and high qualities of life for citizens where equality stands persistent, regardless of one's religious, political, social and financial situations.
Another solution would be to keep marriage as the holy coming together of a man and a woman only and adopt the "Domestic Partnership Law" as the national answer to same sex marriage. The "Domestic Partnership Law" allows homosexual relationships to be registered with the city and qualify for benefits that have in the past only been reserved for straight married couples.
Examine Assumptions and Points of view
Many of the ideas of marriage and what marriage consists of are based on traditional values and morals. For instance tradition in a marriage always consists of a man and a woman for this is the basic foundation to any marriage. These traditions that people have lived by for so many generations is influenced by society as well as religion. To change people's morals as well as tradition is an almost impossible task. When speaking of the opposing side of same sex marriage the first issue to be spoken is the bible does not agree with homosexuality, as stated in Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is considered an abomination. Another important argument against gay marriage is that marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman. The third main argument against gay marriage is that marriages are for procreation and ensuring the continuation of the species and gay couples cannot provide that. The fourth and final argument is same sex couples shouldn't raise children. People say that even if same sex couples did raise children, it is not the optimum environment to do so. Those who disagree with same sex marriage believe it could ruin religious, political and social traditions within the country, causing protest and damage to their life style.
Supporters for same sex marriage believe that because the state and federal courts are denying homosexuals the right to marry they are taking away their basic civil rights. They also believe that because the government has not shown any type of compelling proof in denying this right to homosexuals, the action is unjustified and viewed as discrimination. Allowing homosexual couples the right to marry is the only way to end this discrimination. The gay and lesbian population has been struggling for their civil rights, and the constitutional confines of marriage have to be reconsidered.
Since its 18th century colonial conception, the U.S. has been a country developed on the principle of Christian morals, and after over two hundred years of economic, social and political development, Christian morals are as influential as ever within the Whitehouse. Homosexuality is viewed as a sexual disorder among religious institutions which experiences extreme difficulties in attaining any social respect among many politicians. One of the downsides to redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would be the weakening of the meaning of marriage, which would cause more divorces. Marriage is a public institution and proposals that could harm the institution of marriage must be subjected to the same sort of objective analysis that is given to any public policy question. Marriage is not just a private matter of emotion between two people. On the contrary, its success or failure has measurable impact on all of society. Marriage is not an unlimited right. It exists in a social context. Its success or failure has public health and financial impacts. Legalization of same-sex marriage would detach marriage from reality. It would deprive marriage not just of respectability but of any objective meaning whatsoever. It could possibly open the door to group marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and whatever other forms the mind can conceive. The survival and prosperity of our society rests on the institution of marriage. As we have seen, healthy citizens are far more likely to be produced by intact marriages than by broken ones. Same-sex marriage would empty marriage of its meaning, make heterosexual marriages even more disposable, and undermine the health of our nation. The proposition of gay marriage within the U.S. could substantially threaten religious, political and social traditions within the country causing negative outcry and possible destabilization (Clarke 2001).
The opposing point of view feels that the Bibles statement that homosexuality is wrong was during a time when people were very scientifically illiterate. The bible condemns the activity of homosexuality because of the inability to ensure the continuation of the species. During the conception of the bible they didn't know how procreation worked, and thought that a man's "seed" was actually the baby, not just one of two things needed; they thought the woman was just an incubator. The bible condemns the act of masturbating by a man as wrong for the same reason. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say outright that homosexuality is wrong. They feel that biblical condemnation of homosexuality is not valid anymore because the assumptions on which it is based are wrong.
If the government makes it illegal for homosexuals to marry simply based on the teachings of Christianity, it is violating the law of separation of church and state. We haveÂ taken Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and the Ten Commandment statues out of our schools and removed them from ourÂ laws. Some of the same people who back this separation of church and state are still willing to let the state and government try and control or discourage homosexual rights with the use of the religion. It seems to me that the government is just picking and choosing when and where to exerciseÂ its religious beliefs.
The article, Overcoming Bias toward Same Sex Couples explains how to develop a cultural sensitivity toward same sex couples. The article uses two different perspectives in a teaching case on how to become culturally responsible toward homosexual groups. The two perspectives examine the influence of religious orientation on attitudes toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual groups. The paper argues that an open mind is needed to comprehend the psychology of the positive and negative attitudes toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons. The article states that there are three types of attitudes toward homosexuality; experiential, defensive, and symbolic. I believe this article will be helpful because it offers a psychological breakdown of how same sex couples are viewed in the public's eye.
The article, Primary and Secondary Socialization Impacts of the Netherlands legalization of same sex marriage, uses survey data to figure out what the impacts are after two years of legalization. The socialization issues examined in this article are religion, parental views impact on youth, limited education, and non-western origin points of view. I believe this article will be most useful because it uses information that is backed by actual statistical data. Another reason why I find his article to be helpful is because of the United States and the Netherlands often have similar positions on issues and share somewhat of a similar melting pot culture.
The article, The Social Psychology of Homophobia: Toward a Practical Theory, explains that there is a broad range responses to gay, lesbian, and bisexual lifestyle in the United States. The article examines the many attitudes toward the homosexual lifestyle, pointing out that they exist only to benefit the person holding the attitude. The piece distinguishes these attitudes into two major categories of homophobia: experiential attitudes that are based on personal experiences with homosexuals and expressive attitudes that are based on the consequences of expressing one's opinions about homosexuals. This will be helpful because it will explain diverse strategies used to correct each type of homophobia. This will also be helpful because it will identify a capable strategy for reducing homophobia.
The article, Marriage Amendments and Psychological Distress in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adults, examines gay, lesbian and bisexual group's psychological distress following a general election in which constitutional amendments were on a ballot in 9 states to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The article used an online survey of minorities, gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults following the November 2006 election. The online survey measured exposure to negative media messages, negative conversations, negative amendment affects, and gay, lesbian, and bisexual activism versus participants existing in the other 41 states. The article will be helpful because it well explain the true to life psychological effects that denied same sex marriage has on the gay and lesbian lifestyle.
The book, Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality, was written by George Chauncey and it examines same sex marriage and how the struggle of gay rights has effected change in marriage. It observes gay, lesbian, and bisexuals in American society, and the discrimination they faced only a few decades ago. The book ranges from the dramatic growth in acceptance to the many campaigns against gay rights that form the environment of today's demand for a constitutional amendment on marriage. The book shows the rise of same sex parenting, and the continuing discrimination faced by gay families in insurance, pensions, and the child custody struggles that led to a movement for the rights and protections of marriage. The book will be helpful because it comes from a gay man's point of view on the changing attitudes of heterosexual Americans toward gay people.
VI. Moral reasoning
The United States of America is considered the world's leader.Â In better times we were responsible for globalization and modernization of global markets.Â Our defining characteristic is our democratic form of government, which is considered an influential candidate for changing global outlook on any particular issue. We travel to other countries to defend equality and human rights, sadly we struggle to doÂ the sameÂ at home.Â In personal opinion, I support same sex marriage, as I do with other minority rights. I believe in autonomy, equality and beneficence. This conflict of rights may seem as only a state right but this issue is highly affected by people's moral views worldwide. I believe same sex marriage is viewed by society as deontological in relation to the social contract theory. Most do not agree with my view of act utilitarianism that every minority should be given an opportunity to be accepted regardless of public opinion. My feelings on religion condemning gay relations are that religion was formed long ago and needs to value the ideologies of evolution. In today's society there are too many terrible injustices plaguing our world for our leaders to waste time and money trying to oppose what should be a human right. In the end we must understand that human behavior is not always controlled by divine and positive law.
A. Same Sex Marriage could be taught as part of normal family structures.
B. A change in unwed birth rate. A disconnect between parenting and marriage.
C. Loss of minority rights.
D. Loss of human rights.
E. A disconnected of minorities who work hard, pay taxes, volunteer and do their part in the communities only to be told that they are less of a family than other families in their neighborhoods.