SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
June 13, 2011
Dr. Eva M. Ananiewicz
This paper will give a look into the religious, social ethics, and rights of a gay couple wanting to get married. Gay marriage debates are very emotional and important to many people and there are many sides to every argument. Religious leaders want to state what the bible is saying and saying that same-sex marriage is wrong based on the bible’s teachings. Gay people are fighting for their right to marry and live what they feel as a “normal life”. This paper will look in to the ethics and possible solutions to this important issue.
In today’s society what is the definition of marriage? For some people a marriage could be a man and a woman, two men, or even two women. In the United States, there has been a debate on whether a same-sex marriage is right or wrong. There are many arguments that are revolving around religion, human and civil rights, equality, and dignity. With today’s society there is a lot of debates, protests for and against gay marriage, and even violence against one another. There is a saying that people grow up hearing; you cannot choose who you fall in love with, do you think that is true? What is your opinion when it comes to gay marriage; is it right or wrong and why? History of Gay Marriage
When it comes to the history of gay marriage, it has been changing for many years but the most change has happened in the last decade in the US. Gay and lesbians in the US have been fighting for equal rights for many years with little change. In 1993, the State of Hawaii received a case looking into the constitution and the rights of gay couples and being able to get married. The judges in this case, according to the New York Times (Department, 2005), stated that the Hawaii’s constitution had a compelling reason not to allow equal rights to a gay couple. For the next seven years there was still gay rights activist trying to get equal rights and gather more people for the gay rights movement.
The debate has gotten big enough for equal rights and it has made it all the way to the US Congress. Congress passed legislation in 1996 to prevent gay couples from receiving benefits the same as “traditional” married couples (Department, 2005). According to the Department of Justice (2011), the Defense of Marriage Act defined a marriage as one that is with a man and a woman only. This bill also gave the states the right of not recognizing a same-sex marriage (PBS.org, 2011). In February of 2011, President Obama stated that the federal government would not recognize the Defense of Marriage Act, because it has proven to be unconstitutional (PBS.org, 2011). In 2003, gay couples in Massachusetts got a historic victory with the Supreme Court (Department, 2005). The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that gays should have equal rights in that state (Department, 2005). This was a large victory for gay couples because it gave them the opportunity to receive the rights they had been fighting for and it made some other states take action to prevent this from happening. When the Supreme Court in Massachusetts ruled this judgment, 13 states passed anti-gay-marriage initiatives in their next elections (Department, 2005). Ethics of Gay Marriage
There are many other arguments than just the legal rights of gay couples. There are debates over religious views, human and civil rights, workplace benefits, and the rights to have children. These debates can become very heated when each side is defending their views. Some people would believe that not much progress has been completed due to some states adding legislation to prevent same-sex marriage, but gay couples have hope because some states are coming around when this issue is at the forefront of the debate.
During the debates, the most common issue to come up is the...