In normal social scenario, many people consider marriage to be an institution comprising of a husband and wife living together for reasons to do with, continuing a generation, under social and legal freedom. Normally, marriage takes place between males and females. Gay marriage is an institution of marriage where people of the same sex cohabit together. Depending on one’s background either by religion of culture; many people still consider gay marriage to be a norm.
However, still other people consider it one of the perfect forms of marriage of course with supportive evidences. The truth of the matter is that, two sides with opposing views are now in a debate. Some people have gone even to law courts to seek justice over the matter while in different countries, parliaments continue to debate and draft policy papers whether to legalize or illegalize gay marriage.
Gay marriage is now a worldwide debate. Interestingly, gay marriage is legal and bound by human rights under written law. (Craig, Clyde, pp. 233-235). The social, political and religious factions argue differently whether adoption of same sex marriage has any importance to the society.
While Christians will argue strongly against gay marriage, civil rights factions think that, denying people of the same biological sex marriage rights is an infringement of their human rights. From media coverage to hot discussions, it is evident gay marriage is a highly contentious issue.
The cause of disagreement lies whether persons should refer same sex marriage as ‘marriage’ simply because; many people understand marriage to be an institution of two people of different social genders. In addition to this, the issue of whether to award gay persons civil rights does not ogre well, especially to people who believe in different-sex marriages.
Those who vehemently reject gay marriage do not even want to refer to it as marriage. Moreover, they oppose the legal and social environments accorded to gay persons.
Furthermore, there are so many advantages associated with gay marriage. First, traditional beliefs do not warrant people of the same sex to enter into marriage rest they be seen as outcasts. In many traditional backgrounds be it African, European or America, so single community or society has accepted gay marriage in entirety. This is because; societal beliefs demand procreation as a way of life. Therefore, any deviations form normal marriage practices are likely to meet fierce criticism from traditional believers.
On the other hand, Christians reject gay marriage on grounds of religious fundamentalism. They consider marriage as a sacred institution created by God and therefore, it deserves maximum reverence. Christians, whose fundamental beliefs falls in the Bible, always refer to Bible teachings when criticizing gay marriage? To them, there is nowhere in the Bible where two persons of the same sex performed marriage of this kind. Since, the Bible is their standard of living; they vision gay marriage as an abomination to God.
On the other hand, voters of same-sex marriage cite human rights in support of gay marriage. Moreover, these supporters believe that, persons who want to enjoy gay marriage should do so since; denying them a chance to cohabit, is like creating an effect into their physical and mental health conditions.
Like other human beings, there should be equality of people before the law and that law ought to protect people’s rights. Thus, prohibiting persons of the same sex not to intermarry is the same as going back to ancient prohibitions like interracial marriages perceived to be the backbone of racism. The aims of those who for their own reasons find gay marriage important just like any other marriage is to see a just world full of individual choices. (Abraham, pp. 12-14).
History of Same-Sex Marriages
Both lesbianism and gay marriages did not start yesterday. In ancient times, these forms of marriages did take place but under abnormal circumstances.
They were mainly informal and took place under maximum secrecy. For example, in China, ladies did have marriage contracts with younger ladies in what they referred as a ritual ceremony to mark different functions of the Ming dynasty. Nevertheless, heterosexual marriages were still dominant all over the world. The first incident of gay marriage occurred in Rome during the Roman Empire jurisdiction.
Historians do indicate that, Emperor Nero decide to marry a slave worker to detract people from believing in heterosexual marriages. It is here that feud and controversy boiled into contention. Later on, subsequent emperors married their male slaves. However, Christian emperor, Constantius II to rule, he ordered an arrest and killing of gay persons who were already married. The war eluded between Christians and non-believers to an extent of creating enmity between these two factions. (Kuefler, pp. 347-366).
In all continents of the world, there are some countries that have legalised gay marriages. For example, Netherlands is the first country in the world to fully grant permission to persons of the same-sex to marry. In the recent past, countries like Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Canada have followed suit in recognising gay marriages judicially.
To avoid much criticism, these countries adopted new definitions of marriage as a lawful cohabitation of two folks. Meaning, under this particular definition, two persons whether from the same sex or from different biological sexes, can freely marry and receive protection from the state.
Other countries are also considering making gay marriage legal. In fact, some countries like France, New Zealand and Australia have formed parliamentary committees to look into the issue. In United States of America, gay marriage is not yet accepted federally. However, five states- Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Iowa and New Hampshire have enacted policies that grant gay marriage.
In these states, state governments have granted gay persons individual rights to marry across all sexes. On the other hand, the remaining states have tried to bring gay marriage legislation into the ballot box. Unfortunately, these bills have all been defeated meaning, gay marriage is not yet accepted by the majority of Americans.
Nevertheless, there are still other countries where gat marriage is not well defined. For example, in the United Kingdom, an indirect policy on gay marriage came into limelight five years ago.
Under civil partnerships gay persons in United Kingdom enjoy many rights like inheritance, parental responsibilities, and exemptions from paying taxes. The only difference with other counties is that, in United Kingdom, persons opting for gay marriage must register with civil unions. Thereafter, after two years of marriage, a certificate is then awarded as a sign of partnership.
Gay marriage in other countries is not a contentious issue simply because; their respective country constitutions do not provide detailed definitions on how marriages should be conducted and in many occasions, the word spouse apply instead of using male or female. Clearly, there is an element of generalisation from where, different interpretations assume centre stage. Luckily, the debate keeps status quo on the written law because of its complicated nature.
The controversy between supporters and opponents of gay marriage is all about ethics and human rights respectively. If different counties decide to conduct polls on whether how many people support gay marriage in their respective countries, the result will be in favor of those who oppose gay marriage.
This is because; at least every person including those who support gay marriage experienced heterosexual marriages. People of the same sex cannot bear children. For gay persons to alive and prefer gay marriage to heterosexual marriage, heterosexual marriage had taken place for them to be born.
Persons who engage in gay marriages have been into heterosexual marriages before embarking on the otherwise. For example, opponents of gay marriage argue that, any entertainment of gay marriage will lead to further loss of religious freedoms and beliefs. Furthermore, these proponents see a fault in raising children already born in a heterosexual marriage. (Blankenhorn, Para. 2-9).
There are many reasons why people criticize gay marriages. Many people do not even want to utter the words ‘gay marriage’ just because; they sound ridiculous to them. Considering the fact that these persons may engage in homosexual activities, it is even more annoying hence, its rebuff.
In customary anthropological circumstances, heterosexual marriages for centuries have been dominant. Therefore, deviating from this normal practice is not an easy task. Many will view it as an erosion of societal values. However, societies must ensure stern protection of individual rights and freedoms.
Many Christians believe heterosexual marriage is sacred. Therefore, introducing another form of marriage other than the one they are familiar with is likely to offend their religious standards. Christians perceive gay marriage to be a violation of freedoms to religion. For example, many clerics argue that, it is against God’s will to grant gay persons marriage rights as the real meaning of marriage will emasculate into meaninglessness.
Additionally, Christian opponents do not like gay marriage because; the likelihood of these persons practicing homosexual is high. (Bidstrup, Para. 1-15).
Nonetheless, other religious groups vehemently oppose gay marriage like the Muslim community. To them, gay marriage is an abomination opposed using the possible strongest words. On the other hand, there are individual Christians who are supporters of gay marriage. They do so convinced that, the introduction of gay marriage is a step forward towards stable marriage institutions.
Moreover, these Christian supporters have a strong conviction that, there is no single verse in the Bible, which prohibit same-sex directly. If this is so, then they support gay marriage and term it, a highway towards reaching human decorum, sovereignty and egalitarianism. (White, Para. 1-11).
Some people reject gay marriage because its eventuality centers around gay sex, which to them is aberrant. Undeniably, this is homosexual.
The logic behind a grown-up man deciding one day to take another sound-minded adult man as a marriage partner is not only disgusting but a perfidy to masculinity as well. Men seek a peculiar attention from women in a sexual relationship. For example, in primates, when an animal is on heat, it produces a certain, rather peculiar sexual sound, which attracts counterpart. This is the same thing with human beings.
Although, a section of men will prefer other men to marry, there is no amount of satisfaction to exhume the one in heterosexual relationships. Primarily, gay marriage like lesbianism acts as a barrier blocking marriage communication channels and standards. Gay persons should understand that all children need parental care and for any society to survive in future there must be children. People sire children through heterosexual sex hence, heterosexual marriages. (Wardle, pp. 8-27).
On the other hand, many people refute these claims and instead support gay marriages. Interestingly, these people either are gays, or have positive feelings towards gay marriage. In marriage institutions, people will want to have many things beneficial in a way.
These include rights to own properties, security and other responsibilities. These benefits are the one that make people to defend gay marriage in a court of law. The debate on gay marriage commenced in court of law but today, political intrigues continue to surround this hot debate of gay marriage.
Many lobbyists and supporters of gay marriages believe that legitimatizing it will give then enormous opportunities. Since many counties do not impose taxes to gay persons, these supporters could want to be part of this group.
Furthermore, it will make them have rights like owning property, inherit, have other benefits not limited to insurance premiums, pension schemes and social security funds. In favor to parental care of children, gay persons argue that, it is even easier to raise children as one partner can take a vacation in support of another partner.
Moreover, supporters of gay marriage believe marriage to be a personal choice, which accompanied by human rights hence, decriminalization of same-sex marriage is paramount in the provision of human rights especially to lesbians and gays. In addition, civil marriages popularly heterosexual marriages, in a way do not differ much from gay marriages. This is because; proponents of gay marriage understand that, there is no provable scientific evidence that indicate diverse differences between civil and gay marriages.
In terms of obligations, benefits and responsibilities, gay partners can perform what heterosexual partners execute. Under normal situations, the research carried out by psychologists show no differences in tasks performed by both civil and gay married persons. For example, the research indicates no dissimilarity in parenting roles, as both parents are well conversant with their roles. This is because; both the real and adopting parents, have their interests clearly spelt out under gay marriage laws.
In addition to this, children do not suffer any syndrome. According to this research, children raised in gay marriages seem more stable that those in civil marriages. This is because, in civil marriages, both the husband and the wife have commonalities unlike in gay marriages where, the law allows investment from both partners.
Nevertheless, supporters of gay marriage draw support from ancient times when interracial people could not marry one another. To subvert this discrimination, societal beliefs had to change. Consequently, gay persons believe if they continue fighting for this fundamental right, the society and the government at large will listen to their demands. In some countries, gay persons enjoy their marriages full of rights without and disenfranchisement. (Moore, Para. 1-8).
Gay persons enjoy civil union rights. Perhaps this might be the reason as to why, gays fight back to retain their status quo. In terms of property ownership, gay partners enjoy similar rights like heterosexual partners. During divorce hearings, both partners can appear in a court of law to settle out their marriage unlike in civil marriages where it is not necessary for any partner to appear in court.
Development for Gay Marriage
At the dawn of the twentieth century, people used the word gay in reference to freedom, freeness and the state of happiness. However, as time went by, the word assumed a different meaning especially to acts associated with homosexuality.
Consequently, people engaged in same-sex relationships opted to use the word gay in reference to their operations. For example, in America, people only heard or saw images about people claiming to be involved in gay. Many could not belief their eyes because; this was totally against American civilization and societal beliefs.
However, in 2003, the issue of gay marriage came into public limelight. Previously, gay marriages had been a court issue. Therefore, the public had nothing to worry. Absolutely, people considered gay marriage as an illegal activity and by this time, there was neither constitutional right nor clause allowing such an act. The gravity of the matter attracted political redress where many presidential candidates used this opportunity to campaign in general elections.
In Ontario Canada, the court hearing a case on same-sex marriages gave seven couples the right to go ahead and marry. The court argued further by saying, gay persons as civil counterparts have the right to marry according to their wishes. Astonishingly, the then Canadian Prime Minister took legislation to parliament seeking a mandate to allow persons of the same biological sex to intermarry. Gay persons from United States of America started fleeing to Canada to practice their marriage there. (Cahill, pp. 1-36).
In United Kingdom, people used the word gay to refer to a woman who had many boyfriends besides entailing homosexuality acts. The truth of the matter is, people are never born homosexuals or lesbians. However, the real reason that conspire both males and females to divert their normal sexuality is still an irony to many.
Nevertheless, psychologists have tried to explain the development of persons into gay or lesbian acts. For example, in normal psychological situations, a person’s sexual orientation comprises of three characteristics, which in turn determine a person’s sexual behaviour.
These include sexual identity, desirability and performance. The three characteristics are incongruent and no one characteristic identify with another. There are people supporting gay marriage even when they have never practiced homosexual in their past life.
On the other hand, there are some individuals who are real homosexuals by word and deeds but still may never identify themselves to be bisexuals, gay or lesbian. From these two examples, it is clear that no person identifies or is born to be bisexual. An individual develops positive mentality towards certain sexual orientations. Nevertheless, the degree of sexual orientation varies from one individual to another and it is something that develops in persons as one grows up.
For example, in United States of America, the government identifies lesbian, gay and bisexual (LBG) persons and support them either psychologically or materially.
However, American community do not accept these people to enter into marriages. So far only, five states in America allow gay marriages amid intense public denigration. It has never been easy to anybody whether learned or illiterate, in understanding the changes that lead to LGB. Intuitively, there is an assertion to believe LGB persons not growing up in normal societal standards.
Had they grown in societies that value human sexuality and identifications, they would have received support from their communities on matters pertaining to normal sexuality. Rather, many people perceive LGB persons to have grown up in a more hostile environment, which either vindicated homosexuality or had little knowledge on human sexuality. These are the fundamental ideologies behind the development of LGB persons.
It has never been easy for any particular community or society to fully accept gay marriage. The issue of gay marriage is highly debated in many counties all over the world. Even though some countries have endorsed and entrenched gay marriages in their constitutions, majority of the citizens do not believe in these clauses.
This is perhaps the reason why gay marriage has attracted political insinuations. Some communities do not want even to hear the word gay uttered because; to them, gay marriages entertain homosexuality which is an abomination. Supporters of gay marriage believe that, as the world undergo civilization and globalisation; past practices ought to change to represent this particular assertion. On matters of religion, some Christian churches, Muslim and Orthodox denominations sharply differ on this subject.
There are some proponents in these denominations who oppose gay marriage under religious grounds. They believe that, accepting gay marriage is trespassing against the will of God. Moreover, if societies allow gay marriages, the real meaning of marriage will be lost. Besides, it will be a trivial disenfranchisement of the freedoms of religion.
On the other hand, supporters of gay marriage do so with believe that, every individual should have a right to choose. Indeed, many lobby groups have emanated the rights of gay persons. Eventually, what we now have are two faction groups on opposing and one supporting gay marriages.
Each of these two groups has tangible evidences as to why they support or oppose gay marriages. The only solution is a debate to reach consensus. The sociological background and religious diversity constitute one’s perception about gay marriage. This is because; there are religious people, who support gay marriages while in communities and societies, some traditionalists accept gay marriage. The choice is mainly instigated by one’s environmental set-up and the cognition of individuals.
Abraham, Julie. Public Relations: Why the Rush to Same-Sex Marriage? And Who Stands to Benefit? The Women’s Review of Books, 17 (8), (2000), 12-14.
Bidstrup, Scott. Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives. 2000. Web.
Blankenhorn, David. Protecting Marriage to protect Children. Los Angeles Times. 2009. Web.
Cahill Sean Same-sex marriage in the United States: focus on the facts. Maryland: Lexington books, 2004. Print.
Craig, Rimmerman, Clyde, Wilcox (2007). The politics of same-sex marriage. University of Chicago Press. Print.
Kuefler, Mathew. The Marriage Revolution in Late Antiquity: The Theodosian Code and Later Roman Marriage Law. Journal of Family History, 32, (2007), 347–366.
Moore, Leah. Points in Defense of Gay Marriage. 2001. Web.
Wardle, Lynn. Marriage and same-sex unions: a debate. New York. Praeger Publishers, 2003. Print.
White, Mel. What the Bible Says- And Doesn’t Say- About Homosexuality. Soulforce. 2009. Web.