Same-Sex Marriage

Topics: Same-sex marriage, Marriage, Civil union Pages: 5 (1759 words) Published: December 8, 2012
Same-sex marriage has become the most controversial and sensitive topics that is discussed. There are various issues and opinions regarding same-sex marriage; some view same-sex marriage as a religious wrong and others view it as a constitutional right. The idea of same-sex marriage is not to change the definition of marriage but for same-sex couples to be included.

The importance of this research is to educate about same-sex relationships and show how not allowing same-sex marriage is a form of discrimination and exclusion. I plan to research through utilizing case law, law journals, and various writings on the subject. I will attempt to discuss the legal and religious aspects of this highly debated topic.

Review of literature shows that opponents of same-sex marriage view the traditional family as the primary institution for socializing children and for maintaining social order and community cohesion. Same-sex marriage is seen as a threat to traditional marriage and by extension, to moral and cohesive communities. (McVeigh, R., & Diaz, M. D. ,2009)

According to (Howard, 2003) from the perspective of the religious groups and others who defend the traditional definition, the concept of marriage is essentially a question of historical fact. The opinion of these groups states the meaning of marriage is rooted in the notion that heterosexual procreation, or the potential for same, is the ultimate defining characteristic of marriage, which is thus inherently heterosexual. The word 'marriage' is a descriptor of a unique opposite-sex bond that is common across different times, different cultures and religions as a virtually universal norm. Marriage is not a common law concept; rather, it is a historical and worldwide institution that pre-dates our legal framework. Thus, proponents of the traditional perspective would presumably not have or ought not to have any difficulty extending the same legal benefits to same-sex couples as those enjoyed by opposite-sex couples who are married, but the term "marriage" itself must be reserved for heterosexual couples only. In other words, separate but equal. Fundamentally, it's a definitional thing. Hence, the so-called compromise claim of give them equal benefits but just call it something different put forth by some traditional-leaning advocates and others.

The bigger issue our society faces from this same-sex debate is the fact that we can’t seem to resolve the conflicts between religious freedom and equality rights. Most opposition to same-sex marriage is strongly influenced by religion in the United States; historically, religion has defined romantic and sexual relationships. It is mind-boggling how we condemn gay marriage but accept divorce. Despite the widely held belief that marriages bring people emotional stability financial security, and even long life, opposition to gay marriage is a lot stronger than opposition to heterosexual divorce. Why is divorce among heterosexuals so much more acceptable than marriage among gay people? Divorce is generally regarded as a social ill, but homosexuality is still apt to be condemned as a sin. (Kaminer, 2001).

The arguments against same-sex marriage are usually of religious nature and focus on the sanctity of marriage as a procreative union between a man and a woman; this position assumes that the marriage relationship has been static since time began, but this isn't the case. Initially, married women were treated as chattel owned and controlled by their husbands. Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that the sole purpose of marriage is children; however, according to Gomes (2003) the important role of the Berdache in many Native American nations provides a useful example. Berdache typically were men who dressed as and performed the roles of women but also acted as healers and spiritual leaders, integral to everything from childrearing to mediating disputes between tribal members. Berdache often entered into marriages with other...
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