Marriage is a union between two individuals as recognized by the state and or the federal government. The union is not distinguished as being exclusively between a male and female. The underlying dissention on gay marriage is based on the moral factors that have been prevalent in society. The key stakeholders of this dissent impact socioeconomic and political realms. The proponents of gay marriage only seek acceptance of their choice in determining the participants of the union. Gay marriage has been a hard fought battle for the rights of a couple to share in the institution of what heterosexual couples have taken for granted since the dawn of history.
The main focus of this essay is to assess the perspectives of both sides of the argument regarding gay marriage. In recent years, there has been widespread controversy about same sex marriage. For example, on one side of the argument there are gay marriage activists who are demanding their civil rights, and on the other side there are those who want to maintain status quo. Some states have already created initiatives to make gay marriage legal and recent Supreme Court ruling favors those states’ stand on gay marriage; however, organized religions have continued to deny gay marriage.
The discussion in favor of gay marriage will focus on discrimination, equality, and respect on individuals ‘ rights. The choice of marriage should not be gender specific. Based on the legal definition of marriage, it is an individual’s choice to be united and enjoy the rights and privileges of such union under the law. According to the state of California’s definition of marriage, “marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons…” Based on the State of California’s definition of marriage, there is no mention that the two person’s need to be of opposite sex. By following the letter of the law, same sex couples can marry. Since California law cannot differ from federal law in terms of definition of marriage, it is safe to conclude the legality of same-sex marriage. Any contradiction of its interpretation is merely based on the individual’s preference. Denying an individual’s right to exercise their freedom due to gender, or religious affiliation, is an outright discrimination and against the law. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community believes it should be their right for homosexual couples to have the same equal privileges as a heterosexual couple. The idea of a same sex marriage is a topic that many feel strongly against simply because of what their preconceived definition of marriage is. The tradition of marriage has always been identified as being a union between male and female gender. The obstacles that involve gay marriage include religious, morals, and political aspects. Elizabeth Dias’ (2015) article, “A Change of Heart,” presents the Evangelical war over gay marriage. This article demonstrates how determined the religious conservatives are in their oppositions of gay marriage on grounds of their interpretation of the Bible; however, as the congregation slowly embraces the notion of gay marriage through the referendum, some religious entities are embracing the notion of accepting gay marriage.
Some religious organizations want to maintain the sanctity of marriage as between man and a woman according to their interpretation of the Bible. The perspective from those against gay marriage can impact the moral structure of what a traditional family is. According to Brittany H. Bramlett (2012), the key components that influence religious organizations towards acceptance of gay marriage evolve upon the inner circle of their congregation. When a member has a relative, a friend, or a coworker who happens to belong to the same group that their church opposes, the relationship shifts towards empathy. This challenges church leaders with the risk of alienating their congregation for the sake of isolating their gay and lesbian community.
On one hand, gay marriage should be legalized for the justification of every individual to have equal rights and on the other hand, gay marriage should not be legalized due to the controversial issues such as the assumption that gay marriage can destroy the concept of marriage and mock the importance of procreation. The article, “From ‘Gay Marriage Controversy ‘ (2004) to ‘Endorsement of Same-Sex Marriage ‘ (2012),” documents the transition of acceptance of the lesbian and gay community from a scourge of society to a politically correct identification. The social acceptance also reflects changes in the moral fiber of how this segment of individuals used to be excluded or forced into hiding are now embraced with common rights and dignity (Hackl, Boyer, Galupo, 2013).
As society begins to embrace homosexuality, homosexuals will become more valued members within their communities. If and when homosexual couples want to build a family and choose to adopt, this action should be accepted within the rights of society. For those who may oppose this because they feel that children need both a mother and a father figure, it is not always the case; two fathers or two mothers can raise children in the same light as a single parent can. Despite the advances in social acceptance, gays and lesbians still experience discrimination in other social forms.
As the political nature of each state has demonstrated a shift by the voters regarding the issue of gay marriage, it may be time for the other states to join into the trend of accepting gay marriage. The remaining states that have not yet decided upon the issue should allow the ballot boxes to determine the destiny of that issue. Robert F. Wilsons’ article, “Marriage of Necessity: Same-Sex Marriage And Religious Liberty Protections,” emphasizes how the integration of gays and lesbian members of society expanded into their incorporation of all other socioeconomic aspects such as health care benefits and marriage. The transition met with strong resistance by the anti-gay proponents and the religious conservatives; however, the referendum allowed for society to recognize the union of same-sex couples. The mindset of the population may have shifted for wider acceptance for the gay and lesbian community. Gay marriage has been a hard fought battle for the rights of a couple to share in the institution of what heterosexual couples have taken for granted since the dawn of history.
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