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Gay Marriage

By clarencemitchell Mar 22, 2011 2509 Words
What is the big deal over the same sex marriages? This has always been a controversial issue. There are two issues that come to mind. First, there is the religious point of view. Many religious leaders oppose homosexuality or specifically same sex marriages, they feel that God made men and women to produce and take care of children and that is how it should be. They also feel that God created Adam and Eve because that’s how God wants us to finish the cycle. Second, there is the issue of being the caretaker of children. A family unit to those who oppose gay marriages is defined as a man, woman and children. Gay couples cannot, in their opinion, raise children morally in an immoral background or home. Then there are people such as Gay rights groups, who argue that states cannot justify excluding gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage and the protection it provides. They argue that only marriage provides a legal safety net protecting couples emotional bonds and economic security. They also argue that children do well in homes where they are nurtured and loved, regardless of the parents' genders. Homosexuals are defined as people who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex. The words "gays" are also common terms used instead of "homosexuals", whereas "lesbians" are only used to describe female homosexuals. These fundamental definitions of homosexuals already indicate that this minority group is evenly distributed throughout the entire society. Homosexuals can exist in all classes, social groups, races, positions, and countries, regardless of their age or origin. Julius Caesar, Plato, and Alexander the Great are known homosexuals. The initial challenge is an ethical one. Gay couples want the same rights as heterosexual couples, and by classic reciprocity principles, this is something all citizens can understand. We would want the same thing, and thus the gay couples have the Golden Rule on their side. Two other modes of ethical analysis are not, at least not unequivocally. The moral systems of many Americans declare homosexual relations to be an absolute wrong, and thus conduct that should not and cannot be approved by legislation. So there is an absolutist analysis that opposes gay marriage, and a utilitarian analysis that says it is wrong as well. That analysis concludes that the institution of marriage, the stability of the family, and the welfare of society generally will suffer if marriage is expanded to include same sex couples; in classic utilitarian terms, the unequal treatment of gays is necessary to ensure a larger societal good. When it comes to religion on gay marriages most religions consider being gay a sin. According to Messerli (2009), the legal system in the U.S. evolved out of the laws contained in the Bible and that we should not go further to tear down those laws. There is a lot of religion that accepts gays because they do not want to come between the freedoms of religion. The Catholic bishop Author Serratelli accepts gays into his church because he feels that his church has a lot to offer (Christian Century, 2006). There are some Catholics that do not accept gays into their church because they feel that marriage is only a lifetime union between a man and a woman. Buddhism does not accept gays because of they do not accept sexual misconduct and in their opinion, gay relations is sexual misconduct. The Episcopal Church accepts gays into their church as well. However, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is on the same side as Catholics, marriage is only sacred between man and a woman. Islam do not allow gay couples, they consider that a sin. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not recognize same sex marriages either (The Pew Forum, 2010).

Another major reason why many people do not accept gay relations or marriages is the AIDS disease. Many feel the disease originated and continue to flourish from gay people. While this is not accurate because anyone can get Aids just from engaging in unprotected sex, the perception and stereotype still remains. Even so, many would say gay people are more susceptible to the disease because of anal intercourse. There are men that either do not have the proper education or do not care because they enjoy anal sex more unprotected. A common argument against legalizing same-sex marriages is that doing so would undermine the institution of marriage. For some reason, a marriage between members of the same sex is a self-contradiction and, if their unions are legalized, then marriage itself across the country will be harmed. But upon what basis is such an argument made? If marriage is a holy sacrament of a sacred religious institution, then it becomes easier to understand how a union that is regarded as an immoral abomination would cause problems. It would, after all, represent a form of desecration and that would be viewed as undermining a holy institution. Although these religious reasons allow us to make sense out of the claim, that doesn’t mean that the argument is valid — as has been explained elsewhere, the religious arguments against gay marriage are unacceptable in a society based upon secular laws. Homosexual relations have been a long standing issue in our society, however, when couples wanted to get married, that opened up the door to more volatile opinions. Through these trying years same sex marriage came and went through a lot. The research below shows a pattern of issues in this society. According to Messerli (2009), the society for human rights in Chicago became the countries known gay rights organization in 1924. In 1962, Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in private. In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to judge homosexuality based on their orientation. In 2000, Vermont became the first state to legally allow same sex couples to be entitled for the same benefits, privileges, and responsibilities as spouses. On May 17 2004, Massachusetts legalized same sex marriages. In 2007, the House of Representatives approved a bill for equal rights in a work place for homosexuals. In 2008, Oregon passed a law that allows sex same couples to get the same equal rights as other couples. Also, in 2008, voters in California, Arizona and Florida approved for the law that sanction same sex marriage. The State of Connecticut then legalized same sex marriage. In 2009, the Governor of Maine legalized same sex marriages. However, it was overturned and same sex marriages were banned. After that time, the State of New Hampshire became the sixth state to allow same sex marriage. Another issue arose when Arkansas passed a law that stop same sex couples from adopting children. On the other hand, gays defend themselves by arguing that homosexuality is a characteristic with which they are attached in the early childhood or even with birth. Gays do not have a choice over their homosexuality as heterosexuals do not have a choice over their heterosexuality. Hence, gayness is a condition over which they do not have, just as no one has control over his or her ethnic race, origin, outer appearance, or the class they he or she is born in. In addition, empirical research on adult sexual orientation and molestation of children has shown that gay men are not more likely to molest children than heterosexual men. Based on this argumentation, homosexuals urged the government to ban discrimination of people on the basis of their sexual preference. However, up until the decades after the Second World War, in which Hitler did not only murdered Jews, but also homosexuals, there has been no powerful and effective gay rights movement. The reason for the ineffectiveness of the first movements lies in the fact that the gay community represents a so-called "invisible minority", that is a minority which "due to the fear of public inacceptance and disadvantage (losing one's job/public humiliation) do not openly reveal themselves" (Mohr 84). Just like the demand for freedom by slaves in the past resulted in more discrimination by the slave-owners, homosexuals faced the same vicious circle. As homosexuality is becoming more and more socially accepted during the eighties, gay rights groups started to shift their campaign towards equal political treatment. Basically, gay rights movement is defined as the demand of gays to be treated as equal citizens with the same rights, privileges, and treatment as heterosexuals do. Progressive success did the Gay Rights Movement gain during the last decades concerning the military issue. In 1942 the U.S. military took side in the controversial issue about homosexuality, as it banned all homosexuals and denied them the right to enter military service by arguing that their presence would make heterosexual soldiers feel "uncomfortable" and decrease their efficiency and productivity. Although gays have been asking for equal rights since then, it was President Clinton who took the first pro-gay step. Being lobbied by successful gay rights activists, President Clinton introduced the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Although "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" does not remove the ban of homosexuals in the military (what President Clinton had promised the gay community during his political campaign), it legalizes the existence of gay soldiers in the military as long as they do not publicly reveal their sexual orientation ("don't tell"). Furthermore, military officials are not allowed to ask soldiers about their sexual orientation ("don't ask"). Though this policy might be intended to decriminalize homosexuality, it clearly still discriminates against homosexuals, given the fact that they are denied of First Amendment rights like the freedom of speech and association, and that they are not treated as equal citizens (violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment). From these arguments, six lesbian and gay soldiers questioned the entire policy in Able vs. USA, and gained major success as U.S. Federal Judge Eugene Nickerson of the Eastern District of New York struck down the entire policy on July 2nd 1997 for it violates the Constitution's equal protection guarantee. However, gays still are not satisfied as long as the most controversial issue concerning equal protection rights -- the question about legalizing same-sex marriage -- is still not solved. A legal marriage is accompanied with a vast amount of legal advantages, including tax advantages, next-of-kin-status (which gives one partner of a relationship the right to visit the other partner in hospitals), rights of inheritance in the absence of a will, and retirement benefits, but homosexuals face the problem that same-sex marriages are not allowed in any state for the time being. When in 1983 one of the first cases was brought to public, in which a lesbian couple was denied to see each other in hospital after a partner's accident, the court referred to the legal definition of marriage that is the union of one man and one woman. Given this disadvantage and discrimination by our own government, gay rights activists have been trying to lobby politicians and representatives for almost two decades. They are urging state governments to legalize same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, gays still are not satisfied as long as the most controversial issue concerning equal protection rights. The question about legalizing same-sex marriage is still not solved. A legal marriage is accompanied with a vast amount of legal advantages, including tax advantages, next-of-kin-status, and rights of inheritance in the absence of a will, and retirement benefits, but homosexuals face the problem that same-sex marriages are not allowed in any state for the time being. Some might say to have an attorney make a living will, but living wills may or may not be challenge in court. Also, acquiring an attorney is very costly; it could cost thousands of dollars to get all the proper paperwork, which a fifty dollar marriage license can. I personally disagree with the gay marriage. Holy matrimony is holy. You are promising yourself to your mate in front of friends, family and God. How can you make a promise to God when God does not approve. Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the book of Genesis, that the sins of Sodom that brought on the destruction of the city were indeed linked to homosexuality. Lev. 18:22, states “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”. Lev. 20:13 states “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them”. 1 Cor. 6:9-10 states "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." Finally, Rom. 1:26-28 states "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." Just because someone is a gay or lesbian does not mean that I don’t love him/her. All I can do is pray for him/her. In my opinion, gay is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible. It needs to be repented and when you repent you are making a promise to God not to do it again. I am a Christian; I will continue to pray for the salvation of gays as I would for any other person living in sin. Gays are still made in the image of God and I will continue to show him/her the same dignity and respect as anyone else who I come in contact with. But I will not compromise my beliefs for a socially acceptable opinion.

Reference
Messerli, J. (2009, May 24). Should Same-Sex Marriages be Legalized?. Retrieved July 17, 2010, from http://www.balancedpolitics.org/same_sex_marriages.htm Religious Groups' Official Positions on Same-Sex Marriage (2010, March 9). Retrieved July 6, 2010, from http://pewforum.org/Gay-Marriage-and-Homosexuality/Religious-Groups-Official-Positions. Catholic Bishops Issue Guidelines on Gays. Christian Century, 123(25), 1-2. Retrieved July 20, 2010, from Academic Search Premier (00095281). Mohr, Richard D. A More Perfect Union. Boston, 1994

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