Legalization or not of same sex marriages - Marriage Essay Example
Legalization or not of same sex marriages
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Should same sex marriages be legalized and recognized by law?
Currently, the gay and lesbian movement to legalize same sex marriage has been intensified, particularly in Europe and the U.S. This paper examines the whole issue from an opponent’s perspective, and discusses how permitting legalization of the same sex marriage would bring about change in the traditional values and beliefs in our society. The potential consequences of legalizing same sex marriage on children, family, and society as a whole are discussed.
Same sex marriage, if legalized can change the life of millions of gay and lesbian people who are vehemently fighting for making their union lawful. Although marriage between same sex couples are legalized in some countries like Canada and the U.K., in other countries including America, marriage between homosexuals are refused to be legally recognized. I strongly agree with the opponents of legalization of same sex marriage. Same sex marriages, according to my opinion do not deserve to be legalized in this country. Homosexual couples should not be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples. Since fundamental purpose of marriage is procreation and as procreation is not possible in a homosexual marriage, they should not be allowed to marry, let alone allowing legalization of such marriage.
Whether a marriage between two people of the same sex is legitimate or not depends solely on how the concerned legal authority defines the institution of marriage. Marriage is sacred institution based on religious foundation. Same sex couples believe that marriage which itself is a legal agreement is an individual’s right and need not be confined to opposite sex couples alone. Same sex marriage is ethically wrong and should not be allowed on moral and or religious grounds. If legalized, it would imply that homosexuality is normal or at least acceptable. Recognition of same sex marriage apart from enabling the same sex couples legal benefits of marriage would also bring it legally at par with heterosexual marriages. The consequence of legalizing homosexual marriage in America could lead to disastrous results in terms of increased divorce rate, as homosexual relationships are mostly unstable, volatile and short lived. Legalizing such relationship would add to the already surmounting divorce rate in the country.
Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman which is sanctioned by law and solemnized and sanctified before God. It is an institution which from time immemorial has been the very fabric of society’s existence. Marriage is not the union between a couple but along with it there are other privileges as well in the form of social and legal acceptance and access to social benefits and schemes. Although marriage is one’s individual’s choice, society’s moral fabric is still rooted to ancient norms and homosexual marriage is not considered normal in our society. While same sex marriage is accepted in some other countries, our country is still conservative in this regard. Although, gay and lesbians are accepted in American society and are not discriminated, regarding the institution of marriage, they are not given the legal rights as such marriage cannot be associated with procreation and family. Encouraging same sex marriage would jeopardize the natural balance between nature and population. It is for every homosexual to see why the society is denying them lawful union. While most of their demands and rights have been accepted, demanding legal rights to their marriage does not hold much ground. Living together should be their accepted choice in this matter. I take this adamant stand against the homosexual onslaught attacking our core values of decency and morality as defined by God.
Homosexuals sometimes do have children, either through a former marriage to an opposite sex partner, or sometimes through artificial insemination, surrogacy or adoption. While nobody can stop them from becoming parents, biologically or otherwise, it is the children of these homosexual parents who often face social stigmatization and ostracization. This consequently would have a negative effect on the emotional development of the child. While biological offspring of homosexual parents cannot be taken away from them, it is the duty of the state machinery to ensure that while giving consent to a couple for adopting a child, it is of utmost importance to guarantee that child is deprived of a normal childhood which can be ensured only through heterosexual adoption. Providing legal rights to a homosexual couple to adopt a child would not only mean denial of a normal childhood and family atmosphere to a child but it will also put them in an environment which is detrimental to their emotional development and well being.
Civil law is important to our society as it binds every citizen by the common code of law which brings semblance of order to a society. There is religious code as well which need to be followed and respected by all members of the society, be it heterosexual or homosexuals. Law has provided some code of conduct which is expected to be followed by everyone, which is particularly true of religious conduct. The very institution of marriage is based on religious expression that is honored by the government by legalizing it. But my question to homosexuals are: “Does they want to be married under the recognition of God , or does they want to be married that merely allow them to share a written document that helps defines their status, and gives them rights?.” As understood by mean heterosexual marriage is much more sacred than a written law. If the homosexuals simply believe that marriage culminates in a piece of paper, they misunderstand the true meaning of a nuptial knot. If they want more than a written document to authenticate their marriage, it could not be provided by the government and their only option in such case is to take their case to a religious dimension. Modification of the age old definition of marriage to suit the homosexuals’ needs would change the whole meaning of marriage. Their marriage is best kept as a written document without legal validity.
Homosexuality is a raging problem in the present society which has to do with attraction between two individuals of the same sex and satisfaction of their emotional and physical needs in an unhealthy way. Instead of giving vent to one’s emotion and indulging in something unnatural and immoral, the best solutions perhaps lies in breaking oneself from the shackles of immoral bondage and seek healthy emotional growth through positive action and thought. Letting oneself allowed to be entrapped by this feeling of attraction would only mean further downslide in the moral ladder and eventually it will be too late rectify. The problem of homosexuality like many other social problems has its root at home and family surroundings where parents are key perpetrators. In a recent study carried out by the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality it was found that out of the total sample of homosexuals interviewed, a majority of homosexuals stated distant relation with their father whom they confessed to be uninvolved in their entire growing up process, and had an intimidating personality, compared to their mothers who were stated to be more controlled and dominating.
Now-a-days, perfect family is rather an exception than a rule. With the fast pace of growth of the consumerist society, in most of the American family, both parents work to maintain certain standards of living. It is necessary is for such parents to identify potential problems encountered by their children, both emotionally and physically who are left alone or under caretaker at home, and to deal with them before their children develop some irreversible habits.
Marriage is not only an emotional and physical relationship between a couples but it’s also a social institution. While it’s true that all children born and raised out of wedlock are not emotionally stable, children of married couples definitely grow in a better and secure environment which helps building a strong and secure base to their childhood and makes them a more confident human being. Research in the field of gay and lesbian parenthood demonstrates that children of homosexual parents are equally well-off emotionally, while compared to their counterpart with their counterpart with heterosexual counterparts. Children of same sex parents are found to be emotionally healthy and shown to adjust to their social surroundings well. These children are also shown to be successful in the educational sphere as well.
Agreeing with the traditional critics of the same sex marriage, Judith Stacey in her article opined that research in the controversial subject of gay parenting are mostly carried out by researchers who are sympathetic to gay causes. She asserted that practical difficulties of conducting research on gay people have prevented systematic, thorough and unbiased research. Stacey in her article not only challenged the methodological framework of such studies but also the fundamental assumption that kids of gay parents and heterosexual parents are not bought up in a different way. While Tracey didn’t entirely nullify this fact, she also opined that it is wrong to have a pre-conceived assumption on such matter. Due to their heterosexual bias, these researchers often fabricate the results and in spite of heterogeneous outcome of their research, state uniform positive outcome. Judith Stacey claims in her article that the idea of neuter parenting, brings to the fore the subject of parents sexual identity, and along with it the associated subject of odd parents rearing odd children, which irks the proponents of same sex marriage.
Judith Stacey’s article stresses on another outcome of homosexual parenting. She has asserted that children of lesbian or gay parents do not necessarily become homosexuals when they grow up. But the chance of becoming one is always greater for such children. While the original study conducted by Tracey found that the lesbian or gay parents do not produce high percentages of homosexual children, the latter study conducted by Stacey and Biblarz showed it to be otherwise. In one of the initial studies conducted, out of 25 adults raised by lesbians, 6 were found to be homoerotic, while 20 adults raised by heterosexual parents are found to be free from homoerotic relationship. In another study, 14 out of 22 adults with lesbian parents preferred same sex relationship (64%) which is 17% for adults of heterosexual parents. The main purpose of Stacey and Bablarz’ s study was to understand and explore the difference between children of homosexual and heterosexual parents. They came to the conclusion that instead of defensive studies, more informative, analytical and focused studies are called for.
William Eskridge’s article on “Case for Same-sex Marriage” offers arguments that will be controversial among both gays and heterosexuals. Firstly, he demonstrated that it is only the modernized Western countries that have failed to provide legal sanction for same-sex unions. Eskeridge put some historical instances to nullify the claims of those who always stated marriage to be a heterosexual affair and challenged the very institution of marriage. He argues that legalization of same sex marriage would help control the unruly social life of gay people and will make them more civilized. Be it their illegal secretive acts or openly immoral acts, gays are known to be a promiscuous lot. Marriage although has a religious base, according to Eskridge, it cannot and should not be accepted as the basis for a civil society. Marriage according to him is sanctified by law which comes into force through votes by representatives and passed by court. Thus, people are the makers of civil marriage where religion no longer plays an essential role. Marriage is thought to be important by the society to encourage committed and intimate relationships to be carried out over a long period of time. This view suggests that same sex marriages are perfectly justified to be legalized.
The family is the basic socio-cultural unit in a society. It is a nest for the growth of an individual, a resource for the much needed social support and an institution through which culture and values are transmitted. A couple gets legal protection under marriage and a stable life which could not be found in an informal relationship. Apart from ensuring a long lasting relationship based on trust and understanding, marriage provides financial and social benefits as well. All these positive aspects of marriage justify its existence as a sanctified social institution, which apply to heterosexuals and homosexuals as well. The issue is however very controversial and opinion differs from person to person and scholar to scholar. As for the legalization of gay marriage, it is for the government to take the final and informed decision, and it is necessary for the government to look into the whole issue from the larger perspective of the society. Protecting the integrity and healthy development of the society should be the core of any government action in this regard. Legalizing gay marriage is a much serious issue and instead of disciplining the gay population, such measure might backfire and the spurt of gay marriage may, apart from having negative impact on our offspring, may also make our society an alien place to live. Our children who will be bought up in a society where homosexual families reside side by side, their healthy sex habits might be jeopardized. To conclude, while homosexuals should be allowed to lead their own individual life, and fight for all their constitutional and legal rights, but they should not be legally allowed to stay as a couple in our society. Legalizing gay marriage would not only jeopardize the very root of this pro-child institution but also make it an institution of legalizing a private adult relationship.
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Bolte, Angela. 1998. “Social Theory & Practice”. The prospects and implications of same sex marriage. 24: 11-131
Eskridge, William N, Jr. 2001. “Equality Practice”. Liberal Reflections on the Jurisprudence of Civil Unions, 64:853-881
Majeed, Debra Mubashshir. 2004. “Cross Currents”. Gay and Polygynous Marriages Are Out of the Closet and in Search of Legitimacy. 54:73-81
Rollins, Joe. 2005. “ Law & Society Review”. Same-Sex Unions and the Spectacles of Recognition. 39: 457-483
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Sullivan, Andrew. 1995. “Virtually Normal”. An Argument about Homosexuality 2:178-185.
Wintemute, Robert. 2001. “The Legal recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships”. Oxford – Portland Oregon: Hart Publishing.