Same sex marriage is an expression for social and legal recognition of marriage between two individuals of the same sex. In this context, gay marriage and same sex marriage are widely used in politics and the media as also in other forums. In general most people are not against the grant of equal rights for homosexuals and in any given situation people will say that there is no problem in giving equal rights to them in regard to jobs, housing and in public lodging and must be give equal protection under the law and equal admittance for government benefits.
But when the question arises of gay marriages almost everybody gets cold in supporting the issue which is evident from the fact that over half the population of the USA is vehemently opposed to gay marriages. It is surprising that all those who are passionate about favoring the grant of all rights to gays are somehow totally opposed to gays in this regard. The passion that emanates in favor of gays in regard to the rights is primarily due to the misconception in understanding what homosexuality is about.
People wrongly assume that civil rights enjoyed by gay people are the same as those enjoyed by others and there is lot of misunderstanding in the context of what marriage implies in such cases. To remove the misconceptions that prevail in regard to such a relationship it is essential that people understand the issues involved and do away with the misunderstanding that surrounds gay relationships and marriages.
Most people believe that gay relationships are in the nature of partners being promiscuous as they are not akin to maintaining a stable relationship which are not considered as being lasting relationships; there are very few which are in the nature of being committed and fulfilling. It is largely true that a majority of gay relationships are not serious and there is not much commitment amongst them.
But the point to note in this regard is the fact that even in most straight relationships there is not much commitment in today’s society and most gay men who are old often complain that it is very difficult to find a quality single man to get into a relationship with because all the good men are already into relationships whether it is gay or straight. It is for this reason that as gays become older they find support in getting into log term committed relationships.
It is noteworthy that such gay couples are intensely loyal and devoted to each other. They are characterized by qualities of any responsible citizen and participate in community services to make their neighborhood and community better places to live in. A big benefit of gay marriages to the community is that such people will not indulge in promiscuity which greatly reduces the incidents of sexually transmitted diseases which are in the nature of not being effected due to one’s sexual orientation.
In countries such as Denmark, where gay marriage has been legal for several years, the benefits of such marriages have transformed the attitude of the entire population. Results from public opinion polls in this country have proved that people consider that the benefits of gay marriages far exceed the disadvantages and that they have in fact strengthened the bonds emanating from the system of heterosexual marriages.
Under the provisions of the civil law same sex marriage is permitted in seven countries and in the USA same sex marriages are allowed in some states, but such unions are not fully endorsed and recognized on a national basis. Netherlands was the first country in the world to have legalized same sex marriages in 2001, and they are presently legal in Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Norway and Canada, while the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts in the US have also permitted such marriages.
In June 2008 the state of California also permitted same sex marriages but the legal process is still not yet completed by the courts for the same. In 2005, Spain became the only country in the world to allow not only same sex marriages but also adoption rights to gays on the basis of the same legal practices that apply to straight couples. Majority of the propaganda against gays is the result of efforts made by right wing religious organizations which propagate that homosexuality is just about sexual promiscuity and is just short of sexual perversion.
However people have now come to realize that homosexuality is about much more in being a means of expressing love and affection. Gay activists argue that such relationships are more profound in forming a bond that is a part of the gay individual’s identity and forms the core of his personality. It is felt that gays are considered to be different since heterosexuals form majority of the population and are made to feel discriminated just as a white person feels in a majority dominated place with black haired Asians, or how a black person feels in a society where whites are in majority.
There are a lot of arguments and reasons offered by anti gay activists who are totally against such marriages and granting them rights at par with other citizens, which are primarily based on themes and traditions that are strongly embedded in the culture and beliefs of society. Such people argue that a relationship and marriage should essentially exist only between a man and a woman. Gay activists oppose the argument on the basis of every individual having the right to be given the choice about who he desires to have a relationship with and that the legal system has no compelling reason to deny such rights.
Anti gay activists argue that gay couple are incapable of raising children and leading a normal family life but on the contrary it is argued that if criminals, and child molesters can have the right to marry and raise children, why not gays because they are more humane and understand the bond of love as also their responsibilities. In this regard psychologists have proved that children raised with a gay couple are likely to have the same upbringing as those who are raised with a heterogeneous couple. Moreover gay people are capable of loving children as much as others.
Gay relationships are considered as unethical and immoral, but there is no basis about which authority or law puts such a label. Proponents are clear when they say that the Bible is not an authority in binding them in the kind of lifestyle and relationships they want to lead and quote the First Amendment and the Treaty of Tripoli of 1791 which clearly provide that no one has the right to apply any rule on the basis of one’s belief that something is perceived as not being moral as mandated by the Bible.
It is said that gay marriages cannot result in the bearing of children to which gay activists counter by saying that there are many couples who cannot bear children due to infertility problems, but that does not render them disqualified from marriage on the ground of not being able to bear children. It is often felt that same sex marriages threatens and jeopardizes the institution of marriage, but this is considered to be highly discriminatory because gay activists argue that marriage must be between two people who love each other and can live together in leading a happy life.
They believe that by allowing gay marriages there will be a lot of marriages that will not end up in divorce, and that preserving the so called institution of marriage by disallowing gay marriages will simply not bear any fruit. The argument that marriage is essentially a heterogeneous institution is false since they say slavery too was a heterogeneous institution that was based on traditions that can be traced to the beginning of human history, in all probability even much before the tradition of marriage.
It is argued that society now must accept the truth that there are no moral grounds for accepting marriage only on the basis of heterogeneous institutions and must forget this misconception. Right wing protagonists argue that same sex marriages are social experiments that have not passed the tests of a heterogeneous society, but the fact remains that gay marriages have been practiced in Demark since 1989, and all rights are granted to them.
Such marriages in Denmark have in essence proved to be beneficial in removing the ills off illicit relationships and transparency has been brought about in enabling couples to live the way they want to without causing any complications to society at large. So it is high time that the gay marriages should be given recognition since some people have already tried doing the so called experiments and it is safe to go ahead with accepting the positive results.
People against gay marriages and its legalization say that if gays are given recognition, it will pave the way for a consistent pattern of declining moral standards amounting to legalized incest, polygamy and practice of bestial marriages that will lead to a whole lot of complications in society. The very thought of such things happening is bound to create intense fear in the mind of the common man, but gay activists argue that this is all without any basis as experience will prove. They say that if such arguments were true the same situation would have arisen in countries where gay marriages are permitted.
Those societies too would have slipped into legalized incest and bestial marriages, but this is not so. The societies in these countries continue to enjoy moral standards that are much higher than most countries that do not permit such relationships. Jus as say 90% of the population that is not gay, enjoys the unfettered right to marry the partner of their choice, the remainder 10% who may be gay, also have the right to marry anyone whom they consider as being their partner of choice irrespective of whether he is heterogeneous or gay.
Sodomy was considered illegal because conservative theologians rigorously opposed the attempts to legalize the same in every state of USA, but fortunately for the gays the US Supreme Court rejected the plea in this regard. Although sodomy laws were very rarely enforced in most states but still there were angry protests for the repealing of the law by using the plea of legalized discrimination. The gay population is indeed increasing by the day and politicians too want to use the immensely large vote bank that this class of people entails.
On the other hand conservative religionists too, who have at their command the majority of the vote bank have also to be kept happy. It is in keeping the policy of appeasement by using political tactics that discrimination against gays continues despite the justified reasons for halting the undeserved treatment being given to gays. Heterosexuals are a class who would not allow any kind of probing or interference by anyone into their private sex lives, hence they feel there is no wrong done in enforcing the legal provisions that stand out in discriminating against the interests of gays.
People are wary of the fact that if gay marriages are legalized, business would be bound to provide identical work incentives to same sex couples, but it is true that companies do provide such benefits to such couples irrespective of the prevailing law in any state. It is seen and experienced by such companies that by offering such incentives to same sex couples, they reduce a lot of complications for themselves, although the cost to them may be a little higher.
But they save on the inconvenience as also are able to create a more stable image for them in boosting the prices of their stocks, which is exactly why even most Fortune 500 companies offer such benefits to their employees without being bound or required to do so. One of the biggest fears that religious moralists have in the event of gay marriages being legalized is that churches would be bound to solemnize such marriages in churches. But this is not necessarily required since the law protects a church in using its discretion to decide whether a proposed marriage should or should not be solemnized in the given church.
The church is within its right to refuse to marry off any couple for any reason that they find suitable to cite. An example in this regard is that several churches refuse to marry inter racial and inter religious couples, which cannot be enforced by the legal system. In view of the reasons examined so far, people consider the idea of marriage within the same sex as ludicrous because of the several objections raised by them. The practice of homosexuality violates and offends different religions on several accounts.
But religions such as Buddhism are not opposed to the practice and give leverage in regard to practicing one’s own code of conduct as per preferences and ideologies of individuals. Most religions consider marriage as being a sacred institution but the truth lies in the belief that the state has the jurisdiction in sanctification of marriages. Activists advocate that gay sex is unnatural and is mostly encoded within the statutes that underline sodomy rules.
Biologically homosexual behavior in a large number of animal species is widely prevalent and relates to displaying affection as also life long bonding in forming pairs to raise children. There are examples of animal species overlooking heat periods to continue with same sex partners. In this context biologists have gone to the extent of saying that such practices are hence a part of the evolutionary process; in that if it is a natural phenomenon with several animal species, why the fracas with human beings. Ethically, society believes that making love to another man betrays the concept of masculinity.
But gay activist counter the argument by saying that there are lots of gay men who are macho men who would give many heterosexual men an inferiority complex in regard to their strength and that sexual orientation has no basis in establishing the masculinity of a man. In this context it is well known that several hunky movie stars are gay. So gay activists argue in asking as to what could be wrong if two men love each other, they are not harming anyone else or taking away anybody’s rights. Many people believe that gay sex is very repulsive, but lot of gays are said to feel equally repulsive at the thought of heterosexual sex.
But that does not mean that because gays feel repulsive towards heterosexuals, they should be denied the choice to marry some one of their choice. If the thought of a man kissing a woman is not taken in good taste by a gay and that is considered to be abnormal by him, it does not imply such a relationship to be abnormal in the viewpoint of the society at large. Majority people fear that gay people are constantly making efforts to recruit people into their community, but that is not the case since gays believe that sexual orientation is something that is inborn and cannot be cultivated or forced upon on any individual.
The main reason for such fears is the feeling that gay activity is related to criminal activities but this is also not true and has now come to be believed likewise in most societies. Of late the issue has become very important in being a civil rights matter and has been referred to several forums of civil justice in not only the US but several other countries. It has the potential to create life threatening and damaging consequences for gays if their rights are not recognized.
One such matter relates to making decisions during times of medical emergencies when the consent of the spouse or close relative has to be taken for surgical emergencies. In the absence of recognition of gay relationships such approval by a gay partner has no legal value which leads to severe complications in going ahead with the treatment. This is considered to be highly unfair by gay activists. Upon the death of a gay partner, carefully drawn wills are not honored. There are instances when estranged families have forcibly seized the properties of gay couples in the absence of any legal solution being available to the surviving gay partner.
The testimony of a gay partner is often not held valid in a legal case before a judge, and in the case of a gay partner being jailed; there is no legal means to have visitation rights in keeping with conjugal rights as applicable for heterogeneous couples. Such civil rights matters that have no relationship with ecclesiastical origin in regard to marriage have become embedded in the state laws due to legislation over the years and are now posing complications for such couples in gross violation of human rights and liberties.
Gays want such rights to be given to them in keeping with constitutional provisions. It has now come to be believed by most liberal minded individuals and organizations that it is high time that such moral boundaries be done away with from society in keeping with the changing times and the display of inherent emotions by individuals. There needs to be a line drawn in keeping with autonomy and the conservative boundaries drawn by the age old society and should be removed. There needs to be self sufficiency to maintain discipline and social order.
Complying with established moral practices will entail acceptance of the legitimate and moral authority which is in fact the basis of the social order. It is high time that we think about gays in the light of someone who is doing what he wants to do in not acting immorally but in doing what he wants in showing the paths that are possible for humans in keeping with the theory of evolution. By dong so in his actions he questions the moral boundaries that have been drawn by way of legitimacy of such actions and the moral authorities that established such practices.
It needs to be realized that moral boundaries are the pillars of politics and conservatism and if such freedom is disallowed the very basis of such conservative practices and politics will be put in jeopardy. Gay activists view the opposition for granting them their rights in the same way as conservative rulers and governments had suppressed with moral boundaries the upkeep of racial segregation some generations back and slavery some hundreds years ago. Given the high state of conservatism being practiced in politics and as a common form of life, the issue is indeed at grips with the fact related to the issue of gay marriages.
We now do realize that exploitation and repression of blacks was not in the right spirit in keeping with the humanity and human rights that we practice today, or the racial segregation that was rampant some decades ago. It is high time that we realize that the same mistakes are not repeated again in maintaining the balance of our social structure. Just as the blacks were given their due rights after so much of sacrifice and suffering it would be wise for the wiser amongst us to consider the issue and comply with the natural way of justice that becomes a moral duty towards humanity and more importantly towards our own human race.
What is the harm if the right is given to humans to live the way they want to live happily with whomsoever that the want to. There is no ban imposed by God in regard to the person whom we can love or with whom we can live. It is high time that we understood such basic issues at a time when we are making fast strides in science and technology in making inventions and innovations for the betterment of the human race. Hence there is no basis to enforce a particular way of living on any human in keeping with the right to liberty and freedom. This indeed is a fundamental right which should not be denied. References
David A J, Identity and the Case for Gay Rights, 2000, University of Chicago Press Mark Strasser, The Challenge of Same Sex Marriage, 1999, Praeger Publishers Scot Bidstrup, Gay Marriages: The arguments and Motives, 2004, http://www. bidstrup. com/marriage. htm Accessed on 15. 12. 08 Shane Phelan, Sexual Strangers, 2001, Temple University Press Tricia Andryszewski, Gay Rights, 2000, Millbrook Press William N Eskridge, Case for Same Sex Marriage, 1996, Free Press Yuval Merin, Equality for Same Sex Couples: The Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States 2002, University of Chicago press