Obtaining acceptance and special recognition for marriages and unions is only one of a series of intensely contested factors that have arisen since the American gay and lesbian rights movement increased to fame in the heated political atmosphere of the 1970s. Today, the political implications of same-sex marriage do not concern the perceptions of others. Same-sex marriage directly implicates the citizenship of gays themselves. Through a legal disability created by the state’s denial of a legal framework for committed same-sex relationships, the state produces gay and lesbian people as a peculiar class of second-class citizens. Thesis Constitutionally these men have the same rights as other citizens and should be protected by the state from negative social image and violation of rights.
Arguments ‘for’ Same-Sex Marriages
Taking into account ethical arguments it is possible to reject the benefits mentioned above and underline that homosexual unions are also less likely to fulfill reproductive social interests than heterosexual unions (Kurtz 2000). Opponents of same-sex marriages suppose that legalizing same-sex marriage would foster the creation of a new class of disadvantaged children, produced by medically assisted procreative techniques and intended to be born as part or full orphans and reared without both a mom and dad. Legalizing same-sex marriage would sanction, and therefore increase, rearing of children without mothers. The most forceful advocates for same-sex marriage are religious leaders (Woog. 1999). In Hawaii itself, leaders of many faiths have been at the forefront of the pro-marriage campaign. And whereas most progressive national groups have yet to take a strong stand in favor of same-sex marriage rights, religious groups have been faster on the draw (Woog. 1999).“There are faith-based arguments (homosexuality is a sin and should not be promoted by the state) and slippery slope arguments (if same-sex marriage, then why not polygamy)” (Allen 2006, p. 950).
Sexual liberation is a factor that had a great influence on the national idea during the XX century. Men paid particular attention to the role of sexual relations and sexual freedom in society and their role in the formation of self and universal order. The possible solution for this problem is to allow same-sex couples to marry and receive a license as an official reorganization of their union. It is possible to agree with activists who suppose that same-sex marriage is a fundamental challenge to the status quo. When the state withholds law, it acts on people’s lives in an entirely different way than when it withholds funding. The legalization of same-sex marriage would amount to a pivotal event in the present-day struggle. If it occurs without the enthusiastic support and involvement of major same-sex and civil rights groups, it would also amount to one of the most breathtaking lapses of organizational vision in the history of the modern left.
Same-sex marriages have the right to exist because they do not violate social norms and values but protect citizens from discrimination (Smith 1998). Homosexuality is not necessarily a form of mental illness and certainly not antisocial or criminal behavior; to demonstrate that gay men and lesbian women are upright citizens who deserve respect. Following Allen (2006):
Same-sex relations are the same as heterosexual relations, the argument goes, and therefore should be regulated in the same way. In this context, “the same” usually means that both types of relationships are based on love. Beyond this argument, the case is made that marriage is always changing and same-sex marriage is a natural evolution in the law (p. 949).
Most of these people are dressed neatly and conventionally in public trying to downplay images that disrupt “normal” gender expectations. The main driven forces of same-sex marriage include a new perception of the world and self, a new interpretation of freedom and humans rights, new science and industrial innovations in comparison with the previous age (Smith 1998).
The same-sex marriage movement coincided with the civil rights movement and became a part of it. In the early 1970s, gays have challenged the legal restriction of marriage to men, though none of these earlier efforts received serious judicial attention. While the constitutional issues raised in these situations have varied, the responses to them have ranged from bewilderment to outrage as judges cited most probably commonplace understandings that official marriage is “naturally” the union of a man and a woman, and therefore cannot be entered into by people of the same sex. The union between gay people is morally right as it is based on the human needs of homosexual individuals (Polikoff, 2008).
As other homosexual issues have achieved importance, and perhaps particularly as the AIDS pandemic has brought many people face-to-face with the homosexual community and gay individuals for perhaps the first time, legalization of marriage has emerged as the shocking demand of the 1990s, generated not by top-down solutions but rather by grass-roots permission. Unlike the issue of homosexuals in the military, chosen by homosexual activists in the Democratic Party as a problem that could efficiently dramatize the predicament of patriotic homosexual citizens, marriage has simply appeared as something that gays want. For instance, “on March 25, 1996, 175 couples came in tuxedos and wedding dresses, clutching flowers and each others’ hands for confirmation and acceptance of their same-sex union. The mayor of San Francisco pronounced them “domestic partners” under the city’s same-sex marriage law” (Smith 1998, p. 54). Law should protect gay people from discrimination and violation of their human rights.
In general, the right to same-sex marriage should be pursued as a political strategy to attain general equality for gay men. Marriage is thought to be so privileged in society that participation in it would legitimate all same-sex relationships and the individuals who prefer them. Under the present-day conception, the state’s recognition and regulation of marriage do not privilege this institution but merely makes it available to those who wish to structure their relationships in accordance with it (Polikoff, 2008). Ideally, the benefits and disadvantages associated with marriage reflect the differences between the situation of a legally couple and the situations of couples and individuals without such legal commitment. Many quarters of American society still view marriage as blessed and noble. Unfortunately, same-sex couples must reckon with the possibility that the recognition of their right to marry may lower the status of marriage as much as it raises the status of gays (Woog, 1999). Taking into account ethical arguments it is possible to agree that homosexual unions are also less likely to fulfill reproductive social interests than heterosexual unions.
Another dimension of marriage is reflected in politics, authority, and poverty. Partners in same-sex marriage are more successful than many partners in poverty marriage. The same-sex partners in a marriage are those who have learned how to function after romance and its heart-tripping passion. It is known that love can not last forever, and this is partially true because people do not live forever. But even if love lasts a lifetime, its nature can change over the years. The uniqueness of same-sex marriage is that it is more stable and happy than poverty marriage because of true loving relations and sympathy (Polikoff, 2008). Sociological imagination allows us to say that there is a wide variety of possible experiences gay people might have in love relationships, and in turn reflected such components as emotional security, referring to feelings of hope, caring, concern and warmness; respect, which means being able to be tolerant, sympathetic and patient; the ability to spend time together, working as well as playing; close interaction, being able, to be honest, and self-revealing, and being a good listener; devotion, or a sense of investment and commitment; sexual intimacy). In contrast to same-sex marriages based on love and material success, many poverty marriages are unsuccessful based on economic necessity and authorities’ demands (Weiser, 2004).
Cons of Same-Sex Marriages
Same-sex marriage is a topical issue caused by different perceptions and understanding of human nature and interpersonal relations. The approaches towards same-sex marriage are liberal and conservative. Liberals and progressives suppose that the state should accept and permits same-sex marriage because of equal rights and freedoms granted to all individuals. Thus, conservatives suggest that too many people take advantage of this ease of entry before they look at the true implications of vowing to be together through sickness and health for many years. They appeal to morality and universal principles of social order and family (Polikoff, 2008).
Liberals and progressives suppose that it is biological nature to enter marriage to satisfy the main human needs and desires, be they for sex or shoes, car or companion. It has been said that many romances between homosexual people lead to marriage. That could be turned around to say that many potentially good marriages are based on mutual understanding and trust. If a marriage has been based on a need for sexual love, chances are good that it will work out. There might also be a problem if a gay partner believes that the other is heaven-sent, capable of satisfying every need. Liberals and progressives suppose that the State has no moral right to judge gay people and make a decision related to their destiny and life. The truth of the matter is that there are countless people who could make happy. The difficulty, sometimes, is finding them (Weiser, 2004). Conservatives underline that marriage is viewed by gay people as a protest against social morality and principles. Same-sex marriage has its own special problems and struggles, not the least of which is that it is not, when a critic examines it carefully, a truly natural state. In fact, while monogamy is common in nearly all species of birds, it is rare, in general, among mammals — the group of animals that includes humans. “Social conservatives have a tendency to speak about morality in the public sphere … as if they have a monopoly on questions related to values and the good” (Ball 2008). But people do choose to marry, and they share their lives with others, and they promise to remain sexually faithful. It is, surely, a difficult way of life even under ideal circumstances. It is least of all always the way it is depicted in the media of smiling gay family members who play billiards, gather at outdoor barbecues, or sit before the fireplace reading together.
In sum, same-sex marriage is a part of modern life. Same-sex marriage is accepted and approved in democratic countries with strong political power but opposed greatly in non-democratic states with a stung impact of Muslim religious traditions and norms. The image of same-sex marriage should not be a bleak one. The same-sex union can and does work. But it cannot be said strongly enough that same-sex marriage is, in the words of the psychologists, an interactive scheme in which the behavior of one gay member affects and is affected by the behavior of the other. It is two gay people giving of themselves, emotionally and physically, to one another. Same-sex multiage may mean accepting and adjusting to the weaknesses and habits of the other. The gay and lesbian people do change psychologically in marriage as they begin to play the parts of husband and wife. Same-sex marriage does give people’s personalities a chance to develop.
Allen, D.W. (2006). An Economic Assessment of Same-Sex Marriage Laws. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 29 (3), 949-967.
Kurtz, S. N. (2000). What Is Wrong with Gay Marriage. Commentary 10, p. 6.
Polikoff, Nancy, D. (2008). Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law. Beacon Press.
Smith, George P. (1998). Family Values and the New Society: Dilemmas of the 21st Century. Praeger Publishers. Westport, CT. Publication Year.
Weiser, J. (2004). Foreword: The Next Normal-Developments since Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples in New York. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 13 (1), 48.
Woog. D. (1999). Friends & Family: True Stories of Gay America’s Straight Allies. Alyson Publications.