In the articles “It Takes a Family” and “What is Marriage”, Rick Santorum and Evan Wolfson both approach their ideal ways of how marriage should appear in the view of society in the United States. Although Wolfson has various arguments where one’s opinion may contradict his beliefs on the issues he is delivering, he informs his readers on the roles men and women should have when dealing with the responsibility of their relationship. Wolfson has valuable points; however, he argues on the importance of same-sex marriage and how it can affect individuals in their daily life. Santorum contradicts Wolfson’s beliefs and feels same-sex marriage confuses the aspects of how men and women approach marriage. Although individuals have opinions on same-sex marriage being legalized, the meaning and morals of marriage would be destroyed in the role of family, religion, and government.
Family plays an important role in marriage and the morals that children are be taught to learn from mistakes their parents made in the past. Although Santorum misused statistics in his article he states, “When liberals, through unelected judges, order us to change this understanding of marriage into something radically different, the result is likely to be dangerous for children and for society” (95). Same-sex marriage can confuse children about the true meaning of marriage which they can be affected by men and women in society. Individuals often look down on children who deal with their sexuality, especially in school. In essence, name-calling, harassments, and bullying can have negative effects on the development and mental stages of the child dealing with their sexuality such as depression, low self-esteem, abuse, and thoughts of suicide. Although parents love their children, parents would try to avoid any conflicts that will harm and danger their child in various ways, including homosexuality. Hence, that can consist of the reasons why families say homosexuality is wrong because of the danger to their child. On another hand, Wolfson argues “…we gay people are not usually born into our own identity or community, or into families that share or understand our sense of self; we have to find our way largely on our own, often after working through negative messages about homosexuality” (109). It is hard for a child to deal with his or her sexuality because of the little support system they have with their friends and family. Homosexuals go through a lot of conflicts which can be depressing; however, families want to protect their child from negativity that can hinder the child’s way of growing in the future.
Religion plays a huge role in same-sex marriages and what is expected between the couples. In religions such as Christianity, Catholic, Jehovah witness, and etc., same-sex marriages are not allow because of the lack of holiness and sacredness in the body of Christ. According to Santorum, in the Catholic Church “The promise of the natural law is that we will be happiest, and freest, when we follow that law built into our nature as men and women. For liberals, however, nature is too confining, and thus is the enemy of freedom” (93). When following the laws that are in the Bible individuals may gain happiness because they have no worries. Wherefore, one that refuses to follow the law that should be act upon and abide on what is pleasing to them but also deals with the consequences. Some may see this as bias; however, same-sex marriage is not holiness in the laws of religion and can come with many consequences in the end. Wolfson argues, “…the Catholic Church had nothing to do with marriage during the church’s first one thousand years; marriage was not yet recognized officially as a Catholic sacrament, nor were weddings then performed in churches” (102). Wolfson argues that since Catholic churches were not stern on same-sex marriage then same-sex marriage should be allowed in today’s era. Although marriage was not an important factor in that era, today’s era is different on the expectations one has to follow regarding the Bible. Although religions are strict on same-sex marriage, in the article “What is Marriage” there were several examples of gay men and women who partake in the church activities, boards, and organization that are not recognized for their sexual orientation. Hence, it is rare to see gay men and women involved in church because of the views churches have on homosexuality.
Agreeing with the laws of the government can start conflict over one’s beliefs. As for same-sex marriage one may disagree with the views that the government has to dispose of it because of the illegalization. Same-sex marriages are not allowed in various places throughout the world. Same-sex marriages are prohibited because of valuable meaning of marriage and how men and women define that meaning. Santorum states, “If we apply the logic of civil right to same-sex marriage, people who believe children need mothers and fathers will be treated in the public square like racists, and churches that persist in teaching in the traditional norm will risk the loss of their tax-exempt status” (95). Once same-sex marriage becomes legalized, a lot would change, especially the meaning. Although in some cases same-sex marriage will be a good idea but for others it can be hard to cope with because of the views one may have on that subject. Wolfson argues “marriage represents an opportunity to make a public statement of commitment and love to another person and an opportunity to receive public support for that commitment” (103). Although the government defines marriage as couples that are in love and committed to one another, Wolfson feels if marriage is supposed to be about love and commitment then how come gay marriages are not prohibited. Gay marriage is not prohibited because of the government and the role marriage is supposed to play. Marriage is not all about fun, but the enjoyment of becoming a family and staying committed in their time together. Even though men and women should be given the same rights, same-sex marriage can destroy the meaning of marriage as a man and a woman wanting to spend their life together and starting a family. It can have effects on family, religion, and the government’s views on the correct roles of marriage and how to deal with the outcomes. The lives of the children can change and also the parents, when their child is no longer here because of homosexuality and dealing with individuals in society that are bullying them on their sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage will always start conflicts on whether the government will legalize it or not but for now the meaning of marriage should stay the same.