Introduction: This paper will examine society’s view on marriage. This issue is worthy of investigation because everyone has different perspectives and opinions on marriage. They should be informed about both sides of opinions. Everyone should be respected no matter who they are or who they love. If a man loves a man then people should celebrate it rather than destroy it. The goal of this paper will be to share both views of marriage and will include the history of marriage and same-sex marriage. It will cover the tribulations both the gay and straight community has gone through. I am talking about the role of marriage in society, but I’m not talking about whether marriage is a good or bad thing. Background: Over a period of many years, members of the gay and lesbian community have gone from living lives of secrecy to being proud and telling the world about their sexual orientation. Unlike other society groups who have been judged because of race or gender, gay and lesbians can easily hide their sexual identities. The act of coming out or revealing that one is gay does a great deal of altering the lives of people in society.
Marriage has been defined as a commitment between a man and a woman, as well as an ultimate expression of love. [Joe Messerli. www.balancedpolitica.org] Some states though, believe that gay and lesbians should not marry. Instead they recognize their relationship using the term civil union. Roberts 2
Terms to understand in this essay are bisexual, civil union, gay, society, and homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian, straight, closeted, coming out and the Defense of Marriage Act. The term bisexual will be used as a person who is romantically and physically attracted to both men and women. The word civil union is defined as a legally recognized partnership between same-sex couples that get the same benefits as marriage in this paper. Gay will be defined as a man who is romantically and physically attracted to other men; also refers to the broader gay community including lesbians and bisexuals. Society will be defined as an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, or other purposes; a body of individuals living as members of the community. Homosexual will be defined as a person who is romantically and physically attracted to people of the same-sex. Heterosexual will be defined as a person who is romantically and physically attracted to people of the opposite sex. Lesbian will be defined as a woman who is romantically and physically attracted to other women. Straight will be defined as a person who is heterosexual or attracted to members of the opposite sex. Coming out will be defined as the act of revealing to others one’s sexual orientation which was previously hidden. Closeted will be used as functioning in private or secrecy. The Defense of Marriage Act is a law that forbids the recognization of same-sex marriage or civil union that took place in another state. [www.dictionary.com] Findings: How is same-sex marriage seen in society? For one, marriage is perceived as a bond just between a man and a woman. But love has always been the basic idea and philosophy of marriage. It provides keeping of traditions and a continuation of generations. Since same-sex couples are unable to produce their children, procreation has been a great quantity of the reason why there has been a debate against gay marriage. Arguments also include, that same-sex Roberts 3
couples change and violate the view on families, offends religions and what they stand for and can be just an uncomfortable thing for society to deal with. A person may see same-sex marriage as something that betrays masculinity and femininity. It threatens society and its views on how marriage “normally” works. Marriage was formed in order to bring men and women together so children could have mothers and fathers. [Franck, Matthew. Religion, Reason, and...