Gay marriage, or same-sex marriage, has been one of the critical issues that still plagued lots of people today. There are many who are strongly against the idea because of their belief in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. And there are those who embraced the idea because they think that marriage is all about equality and freedom to choose and decide. There have been debates whether gay marriage should be legalized. This was usually the topic among those who are for and against the issue. Many are asking what the big deal in same-sex marriage is. The churches, especially, are raising their eyebrows at this issue.
Marriage encourages people to build a life together committed to each other. West (n.d.) argues that in some ways, same-sex marriage (or gay marriage) and opposite sex marriage are identical. The difference is that in the opposite sex marriage, one of the couple has a different sex (p.726). The issue of gay marriage delves into underlying values such as equality, family values, fairness, privacy and diversity. Messerli (2007) proposes that legalizing gay marriage will encourage people to have strong family values. This means that those who engage in gay marriage will not be discriminated by their own family for involving into such activities. Gay couples can adopt kids since they cannot bear children. This is a good thing since there are many children in need of adoption.
Those who support gay marriage believe that everybody deserves privacy and equality in every opportunity. Kitzinger and Wilkinson (2006) say that equal access to marriage is a matter of equality, despite the gender of the partners (p.174). Toby Adams, a bisexual in California, is fighting for marriage equality. She was married to another woman. She said that same-sex marriage looks beyond a lesbian or gay issue (qtd. in Kitzinger & Wilkinson, 2006).
Kitzinger and Wilkinson (2006) add that equal access to marriage (and civil partnership) is the important issue and not same-sex marriage or gay marriage (p.177). This is irrespective of gender and sexuality. In other countries such as Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, any two people of marriageable age can be married despite gender and sexuality. Other countries were starting to accept sexual and gender diversity.
Peter Tatchell, a gay human rights campaigner, said that discrimination would worsen if heterosexual couples are excluded from civil partnerships. There should be equality in civil marriage lesbian and gay partners. One of the advantages of gay marriage, as West (n.d.) assumes, is that if same-sex marriage is legalized, it would “normalize” the for-life union between individuals. Aside from this, couples will experience a marital life away from the illiberal and unfree tradition of the past.
West (n.d.) also points out that gay unions can be better as communities. Moreover, gay unions, like their heterosexual counterparts, can change the person into someone whose self-regarding preferences and desires are communal. This is morally desirable, West points out, transformation of self-regard and identity.
Some people think that one of the disadvantages of gay marriage is that it would further degrade the meaning of marriage (Boushka, 2004). Henry (2006) commented that gays could destroy marriage because “they have more flair” than the rest of the population. He said that the solution is to ban gay marriage.
Messerli (2007) presented the views of opposite sides regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage. For those who say yes, the following are the reasons for legalizing same-sex marriage: first, marriage benefits must be available to all couples; homosexuality is now accepted in the society; denying gay couples means violating religious freedom; love should be the most important matter; it is a form of minority discrimination to deny gay couples marriage; same-sex marriage does not hurt the society; same-sex marriage promotes family values and avoidance of high-risk sexual lifestyles, and; the number of kids for adoption will decrease since more gay couples will want to adopt kids.
On the other hand, the opposite view provides the following problems that result from legalizing same-sex marriage: first, same-sex marriage deteriorates the traditional family values of our society, as is noted by Messerli (2007); second, it could diminish respect for the institution of marriage; most religions think homosexuality is a sin, and; researches showed that gay lifestyle leads to psychological disorders and lower life expectancy (Messerli, 2007).
Morse (2007) presents some negative outcomes from gay marriage. One is that triple parenting will emerge, as was the case in California and Pennsylvania. The concept of “natural parents” will be replaced by “legal parents.” Second, same-sex marriage will marginalize men from the family. This implies that if a child does not need one parent from each gender, fathers become disposable. Third, the state will determine the parentage of same sex couples, which will adversely affect the children. This could result to destabilization of parentage.
Wilkins (2005) says that policymakers must generate policies that will aid people in what type of social structures they make. This is also to respect and give equal credence to divorced and married couple. He furthered that policymakers bear in mind what the social policies can do for people.
Wilkins (2005) discusses the social and moral consequences of gay marriage in our society. He says that it could have an effect in the public schools since education is one of the sectors already impacted by the same-sex marriage. Another consequence is the deterioration of the definition of marriage.
I believe that the traditional form of marriage between man and woman should be cherished. The next generation must realize that what Wilkins (2005), Morse (2007), Boushka (2004) and the others propose is true. It is important to cement the sanctity of marriage created by God for man and woman.
Boushka, B. 2004, Gay marriage and family responsibility, Available at: http://www.doaskdotell.com/controv/gaymarry.htm
Henry, R. 2006, Solution to all problems: ban gay marriage, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette web site: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06172/699847-154.stm
Kitzinger, C. & Wilkinson, S. 2006, ‘Genders, sexualities and equal marriage rights,’ Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, vol.7, no.2, pp. 174-178.
Messerli, J. 2006, A compromise solution to the gay marriage debate, BalancedPolitics.org, Available at: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/editorial-solution_to_gay_marriage_debate.htm
Messerli, J. 2007, Should same-sex marriage be legalized? BalancedPolitics.org, Available at: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/same_sex_marriages.htm
Morse,JR. 2007, The problem with gay marriage, Available at: http://www.jennifer-roback-morse.com/articles/problem_gay_marriage.pdf
West, R. ‘Universalism, Liberal Theory, and the Problem of Gay Marriage,’ Florida State University Law Review, vol. 25, no. 705.
Wilkins, R. 2005, An examination of the constitutional amendment of marriage, World Family Policy Center web site: http://www.worldfamilypolicy.org/marriage.html#top