Gay Marriage A Moral Issue
The issue of civil rights for gays and lesbians, one in particular marriage; although many religious conservatives wish it would, will not go away. One of the reasons, for this is that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down state anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional and in light of the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling that prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples violates their constitutional rights.
Marriage has always been a huge part of human relationships. It is seen as the coming together of a man and a woman, the bonding two people together for emotional support, moral support and economic well being as well as the rearing of children. Most of society looks at marriage as a holy union of just one man and one woman. Does marriage have to be between just a man and women? This paper will examine both sides of the civil rights and moral dilemma that is facing the United States today. Some of the issues will be based on religious ethics, which is morally against gay marriage. My opinion is based on act-utilitarian rule of ethics, which is based on pleasure over pain but, make no mistake it just doesn’t mean my pleasure and pain; that is only part of the figure, it counts no more or no less than the pain and pleasure of others (Waller, 2008).
Identifying the Problem
The issue of -gay marriage has been very much in the front of public discussion in recent years, with states granting, then retreating with the marriage licenses to gay couples, squabbling over legislation as to whether to grant full marriage rights or create domestic partnerships, and trying to come to terms with how to balance opposed view of public opinions on the subject, which are ardently at odds in some areas. Some believe that giving gay couples the full benefit of marriage will take away from the traditional marriage, while others feel they ought to have nothing less. Same-sex couples are denied their civil rights, such a making medical decisions for their partners in an emergency. Some of which have not been in contact with their families for years, hospitals are legally bound by state law to contact their next of kin for direction on issues pertaining to the health of the patient when their partner is right there. Even when wills and POA’s (Power of Attorney) are made, they are sometimes fought by the family and overturned by a court. Is this right, morally or ethically?
Married couples can not testify against their partner in a court of law, but gay partners do not get the same right. Another civil right is this fair?
Giving way to legal acceptance to gay marriage would hurt society on a number of levels. First, legal identification of gay couples would legitimize morally wrong unions. It would be morally wrong in a society that looks at marriage to be fundamentally being between a man and a woman; this being from a religious point of view. Further, gay marriage would in the end fail marriage as the basis of an established society.
Since gay unions cannot produce children through ordinary and proper procreation, such unions do not add to the survival of the human race. Furthermore, it is immoral to legitimize gay unions because it is not in the best interests of the children who might be adopted by gay couples. These children would be lacking of either the awareness of fatherhood or motherhood.
Because cohabiting homosexuals can make use of various legal provisions to protect their rights, there is no need to allow gay couples the legal status of marriage, especially since such a change would threaten the common good. (Burns, 2002)
There are many religious arguments and protests that are against gay marriage. Among these are the belief that gay couples are unnatural, marriage is sacred and a sacrament, the primary purpose of marriage is procreation, and marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Many point to biblical scripture when arguing against gay marriage. Most religious opponents to gay marriage cite two passages from the Old Testament as proof of their point-of-view. The first of these is Leviticus 20:13: If a man lies with a man as one who lies with a woman, both of them have done what is repulsive. They must be put to death (Burns, 2002).
Possible Solutions to the Problems
The United States needs to have more of an open mind when it comes to sexual preferences. The gay and lesbian community has been struggling for years for civil rights. We need to consider their right to be married whether in a civil ceremony or a church of their choosing. They should be allowed the same rights as any other American citizen.
We should do this because it is the right thing to do. Our Pledge of Allegiance is under God with liberty and justice for all, not for who we choose. Religion should not dictate our morals or who should be allowed to marry. Civil liberties should dictate our morals and the quality of life for our people where we are all considered equal no matter what our religious, social, financial or political views are.
We can also develop a Domestic Partnership into law for gay and lesbian citizens as another solution. This would allow homosexuals to be recognized as legal partners by each state and give them the same rights and responsibilities that heterosexuals have always claimed.
Let’s look at some of the arguments against gay marriage to see how they stand up. Solutions may be found by these by seeing that some of them just do not stand up. If the arguments do not make since then there must be a solution.
Examine Assumptions and Points of View
Opposition of gay marriage say that marriage is for the creation of children, if that is the case then why are couples that are infertile allowed to marry? Also should post menopausal woman and men who are impotent divorce because they can no longer procreate? How do they explain this? This does not make a good argument against gay marriage. (Bond, 2008),
Legalizing gay marriage would have a negative effect on the concept of monogamy in marriage. Homosexual advocates disagree that access to marriage will encourage gays and lesbians to conform to traditional monogamy in committed relationships. It is more likely that opening marriage to homosexuals will allow them to legitimize non monogamy, civil partnerships unrelated to sexual or romantic relationships, and polygamy (sexual relationships among more than two people). Without monogamy as a founding principle, marriage will no longer provide a stable and healthy setting for families and especially children to thrive. If gay marriage is legalized, the institution of marriage will be deprived of monogamy and thus any hope of permanence. (Kurtz 2005)
I believe that this is a fallacy based on scare tactics, somewhat like the Bush administration idea of going to war with Iraq. There have been legalized gay marriages in other states and other countries for years; would there not be news about polygamy and the non-monogamy because of gay marriage?
The biblical passage in Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (Bible).
After gay marriage, what will become of marriage itself? Will same-sex matrimony extend marriage's stabilizing effects to homosexuals? Will gay marriage undermine family life? A lot is riding on the answers to these questions. But the media's impulsive labeling of doubts about gay marriage as homophobia has made it almost impossible to debate the social effects of this reform. Now with the Supreme Court's ringing affirmation of sexual liberty in Lawrence v. Texas, that debate is unavoidable (Kurtz, 2005).
Gay marriage causes offense to everything religion stands for. What or whose religion does this stand for? Christian religion yes it does and also Islam and Judaism, but a Buddhist sect in Hawaii does support the right of gay marriage (Bidstrup 2009).
The opposition of gay marriage is based on misunderstanding of what homosexuality really is. There are stereotypical views about gay relationships, that they are promiscuous, and cannot form a lasting relationship. I am sure that they are no different than straight relationships. We have promiscuous and lasting relationships. It sometimes human nature, especially among young people who are not ready to “settle down" it’s not based on if you are gay or straight.
So what is marriage for? Modern marriage is, of course, based upon traditions that religion helped to codify and enforce. But religious doctrine has no special standing in the world of secular law and policy, the Christian nation crowd notwithstanding (Rauch, J 1997). If we want to know what and whom marriage is for in modern America, we need a sensible secular doctrine.
Many people believe that gays have a choice in being who they are, and it is only about sex. They can choose to be with a member of the opposite sex if they want to be. Homosexually is based on mutual attraction, affection and love; the same as heterosexuals. It is no different than being white, black, or Chinese it is the way you are born.
Gay marriage is morally wrong and violates the sanctified institution of marriage. This is said by the Bible. The United States and American law is supposed to be separate from the church; this is from one of our founding fathers Thomas Jefferson. Therefore it is not right for someone to use the Bible to say what is to be made into law (Bidstrup 2009)..
Gay couples are not morally able to raise children but, it is morally right for child molesters, murders, and convicted felons are allowed to marry and create and raise children. Why are the same people who oppose these rights to gay couples not against this, it happens every day. There are not studies that have determined that gay couples raising children caused them any harm, Can the same be said be said by child molester?
Gay marriage principles are, in my opinion, no different than those in a heterosexual marriage. They want the same thing in a marriage that anyone does that chooses a partner for life. Their values are the same, they are loyal to their partners, are monogamous. They participate in family life, committed to their neighborhoods and communities by making them a better place to live. They serve on their school boards, volunteer in the community, they are good citizens, just like their heterosexual counterparts, making their communities a better place to live (Bidstrup 2009).
One of the benefits of the heterosexual society as well as the homosexual community for gay marriage is the participants are not involved in promiscuous sex. This slows down the spread of sexually transmitted diseases; by the way know no sexual orientations.
I am a supporter on gay marriage, I believe in all equal rights for all people no matter race, gender, or sexual preference. This an act-utilitarian rule where we consider what specific act would produce the best overall consequences, because it aims to maximize pleasure and minimize suffering (Waller, 2008). If homosexuals are not allowed to be married they would suffer pain by being deprived of their civil rights.
I believe in the separation of Church and State. It should have no bearing on our laws and moral reasoning when it comes to making our laws; as long as our rights do not infringe on our fellow citizens rights. Most public officials place their hands on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible (Bond J., 2008).
I think that religion and scripture are used to keep gay marriage from becoming legal. Our government uses religion when they think it is necessary for their advantage. That is wrong. The Bible was written long ago, there are so many contradictions in it and I believe that it was meant for the time it was written in and for a specific people. In our society today there are several injustices that are more important that our law makers should be concentrating on than opposing gay marriage. Let us move forward.
When and if gay marriage is passed they will receive the same benefits of heterosexual couples. They will enjoy the same contented lifestyle that a two income family has. In today’s economic society it most often takes two incomes to keep up with the middle class. The social benefits will be sharing insurance benefits, healthcare, tax filing as a joint couple, joint ownership, and ability to make medical decisions for each other. Social Security, property inheritance, and family medical leave and military disability benefits are just a few more that heterosexual marriage couples have.
The argument about homosexuals not being able to procreate, although partly true, lesbian can certainly procreate by artificial insemination, and that they could harm children by raising them shows no scientific evidence. Gay marriage would increase adoptions; there are many children that are in need of homes by loving parents and extended families. This would be a positive step for children that do not have a home.
One of the most successful approvals for gay marriage is that they will no longer be second class citizens by being on the lower part of the social standing. The homosexual community should no longer have to be denied their equal civil rights. We are all created equal and that includes everyone, it is not based on our sexual preference. If gay marriage is legalized they will no longer be subjected to narrow-mindedness every day.
Bidstrup, S. 2009, Gay Marriage, The Arguments and the Motives, Retrieved March 1, 2010. http//www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm
Bond, Julian. "Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Discriminates Against Gays." Opposing Viewpoints: Discrimination. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Baker College. 28 Feb. 2010
Burns, K. 2005 Congregation for The Doctrine of The Faith. "Gay Marriage Should Not Be Legal." At Issue: Gay Marriage.. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Baker College. 28 Feb. 2010
Kurtz, Stanley. "Gay Marriage Threatens Families." At Issue: Gay and Lesbian Families. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Baker College. 28 Feb. 2010
Rauch, J., Society Has a Compelling Interest in Allowing Gay Marriage, Current Controversies: Gay Rights, San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997, Retrieved March 2, 2010, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale, Baker College
Waller, B. Consider Ethics, 2008, 2nd Ed. New York, Pearson, Longman