While there are many couples around the world who have filed complaints and prayed in courts for the annulment of their marriage or the declaration of divorce or legal separation, there are also many couples around the world who are clamoring for the opposite. Same-sex couples are praying for the recognition of their marriage rights legally, socially and religiously, however, the number of recognition of such unions is limited. There are six countries which have legalized gay marriages and these are: Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and Spain.
In the United States, the following states have recognized gay marriages; California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. There are also several countries which have recognized civil unions or same-sex partnership (Johnson1). Compared to the previous centuries when gays and lesbians were abhorred and treated as if they are lepers who are seriously ill, the people of the new century have adopted amore liberal view regarding homosexuals. The society has come to accept that apart from man and woman, there are gays and lesbians who comprise the third sex.
Compared to heterosexuals, they prefer to have partners who belong to the same sex and never the opposite. Throughout the twenty first century, gay rights activists have gained more conviction and determination to push for the recognition of their rights and their unions. It is their clamor that homosexuality should not be treated as a disease but a status parallel to the two known sexes. In this regard, they should be given the same respect and recognition as heterosexuals.
While there are already many countries and states which have given due recognition to same-sex rights, their number is very limited, it does not even reach 20 percent of the total number of countries in the world. Moreover, the aforesaid countries also to accord all the legal rights of heterosexual married couples to homosexual couples. Same-sex couples may have gained a portion of the recognition and respect that they desire from the society but this does not mean that they have already reached full glory. The recognition is only the start of their battle for equality and respect.
The religious groups, especially the Catholic church, abhor same sex marriages as this is against the teachings of their faith. It is their contention that marriage should be limited only between and man and woman because the ultimate reason for marriage is procreation. Due to biological limitations, same-sex couples do not have the capacity to procreate together. Procreation is possible only through the union of members of the opposite sex. Moreover, homosexuals do not have the capability of rearing a normal family since both parents belong to the same sex.
Being of the same gender, homosexuals cannot fully pretend that one of them belongs to the opposite sex. There are female characteristics which are not evident in males and vice versa. The difference in sexual orientation of the homosexual parents might only lead to confusion of the child. He may be puzzled on the role that men and women play to the society and this might affect the way he sees the world. In addition, he might adopt these unwieldy practices thus, the need to expose children to the normal environment.
This process will allow him to grow normally and to have the capacity to specifically identify the difference between a man and a woman. Conservatives also hold the view that if gay marriages are allowed then this would destroy the concept of a family. The family is the basic unit of the society. It is through families that children learn proper values and basic knowledge (Masci). If the parents are perceived to be nit following the morals and norms that society has prescribed then it would be difficult to allow the children to understand that they need to conform to the norms.
This eventuality may affect the stability of the family (Messerli). Bidstrup, a gay rights activist opposed all the above the claims. Marriage is not is not only concerned with procreation. More than bearing children, marriage is all about companionship and having a partner who will stay despite the odds that life may bring. Like heterosexuals, same-sex people also desire to have a stable partner and the best way to establish such is through the grace of marriage (Pew Forum). Through granting them such right, homosexuals can feel more secure in their relationships and can plan for long-term visions.
Although homosexuals cannot procreate together, this does not mean that they cannot be good parents. Just like any human being they also have compassion and care for other people (Pew Forum). Parenting is not about being a man and a woman, it is all about being human and according the child the love, nourishment, care and respect that he needs. In contrast to the contention of anti-gay marriage lobbyists, that same-sex marriages will lead to the crush of the family as a basic unit in the society, same sex marriage may even provide solution to problems regarding abandoned children.
Homosexual couples can provide nurturing to abandoned children through adoption. Although it may be true that they cannot fill in the roles of the opposite sex, having parents who belong to the same sex is better than being left in adoption homes with no parents at all. Aside from recognition of gay marriages, activists are also clamoring for more rights under the law. In the United States, the rights of gay spouses are only limited to the state where their marriage is recognized.
They do not have rights under the federal law thus, they cannot claim similar rights as that of heterosexual couple (Harrub, Thompson and Miller). If the US constitution is revised in order to recognized such unions then they can assume the pension of their spouses, enjoy insurance and tax breaks and be entitled to visitation rights of an incarcerated spouse (Johnson2). However, unless the public fully embraces same-sex marriages, the saga for equality by gay right activists will remain to be a formidable battle. Works Cited
Bidstrup, Scott. 2004. Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives. 13 March 2009 <http://www. bidstrup. com/marriage. htm> Harrub, B. , Thompson, B. , and Miller, D. 2003. “This is the Way God Made Me A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the Gay Gene. ” The True Origin Archive. 13 March 2009 <http://www. trueorigin. org/gaygene01. asp> Johnson, Ramon [Johnson1]. “Where is Gay Marriage Legal? ” About. 13 March 2009. <http://gaylife. about. com/od/samesexmarriage/a/legalgaymarriag. htm> Johnson, Ramon [Johnson2].
2008 “Federal Rights, Protections and Benefits of Marriage. ” About. 13 March 2009. <http://gaylife. about. com/od/samesexmarriage/a/benefits. htm> Masci, David. 2008. “An Overview of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate. ” Pew Forum. 13 March 2009 <http://pewforum. org/docs/? DocID=288> Messerli, J. 2007 “Should Same Sex be Legalized? ” Balanced Politics. 13 March 2009. <http://www. balancedpolitics. org/same_sex_marriages. htm> An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage: An Interview with Jonathan Rauch. ” Pew Forum. 2008. 13 March 2009 <http://pewforum. org/events/? EventID=179>