A legal union of a man and a woman is defined as marriage, and it is the only possible definition of marriage. Defense of marriage act is one of the perspectives that are compatible with the bumper sticker, which keeps away any possible form of marriage such as gay marriage. It aims at discriminating people’s feelings of ethnical and sexual minorities. With emerging socio-cultural trends, the argument that same sex marriage is impossible is no longer valid. It is already legal in some countries.
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The society should accept that marriage in the modern society is defined mostly in terms of cultural contexts due cultural diversity. New forms of social organizations have emerged and are accepted by members of society. The government policy makers should know that the society no longer define marriage in terms of legal frameworks. Feigen Brenda argues that marriage should be explained in terms of particular social contexts.
Definition of Marriage
Marriage is the pursuit, acquisition, retention of socio-sexual exclusivity meaning it is the submission of oneself to emotion, and physical attraction to another person on permanent basis Scholars such as Francis Nye argues that marriage is a socially and legally recognized unit consisting of two adults sharing residential space permanently, periodically or occasionally (Rollins 100).
Marriage being an institution of society can be viewed as any form of behavior that have become regularized and patterned in society to such an extent that it is considered an automatic or mandatory stage through which each member must pass through.
Others consider it as a union formed when members of society decide that there are certain goals and objectives that they need to achieve and can only achieve by coming together in a structured manner. The unions are formed when two or a number of people consciously subscribe to some form of association that helps them to realize the productivity of co-existence.
Others view marriage as a group of members living by specific rules and aim at pre-determined goals (Rollins 101). This paper tries to explain how gay marriage relates to the definition. Many societies have come to the reality of accepting that gay marriage is an option of marriage. Many states recognize it and have gone ahead to legalize it
Pre-conditions for Defining Marriage
The partners in marriage need to register their unions as marriage and children if any must be registered as births or adoption. Marriage does not necessarily mean that members must reproduce children themselves. Instead, they can find them using other means. It then follows that siring of children is not in itself marriage.
The authorities should be aware of existence of marriage so that to solve the problems of inheritance in case of uncertainties such as divorce and death of a spouse. The society at which the members are part of must accept and recognize the union. The society focuses on thing like disparity, age and status. An individual of particular age is supposed to get married to a certain age bracket, preferable members of the same age group. Equally, an individual’s social status is critical in determining individual partner in marriage.
Social statuses vary from one place to another. Most societies accept inter-class marriage while others are conservative meaning that someone only gets married to his/her class partners. The marriage partners must go through certain marriage rites such as informal education in some societies.
Marriage is about sharing space and time both before and after marriage. Both share whatever belongs to one partner. Their property is registered as share holding to reduce conflicts. The married individuals should share responsibilities and must spend on each other. This means that there should be extensive consultation concerning management of family affairs and businesses if any.
The couples should at all times try to think alike that is, identify the same things that they need in life. Proximity in general means that the married individuals should be near to each other in many ways both economically and socio-politically. They should not be seen to be having divergent views in ideology as adhered to in gay marriage.
The couple should declare their love in public and to themselves including in privacy, it should be extended to children if any. They should constantly express themselves affectionately to each because it facilitates achievement of exclusivity that is gotten through visitation and references such as darling.
The couple must declare permanent attachment to each other to an extent of altruism where by one of them is willing and ready to die for the other .The couple must be committed to each and involving themselves to each other’s affairs fully (Marcosson 6). Gay as a form of marriage contains commitment as part of its tenets. It is then clear that it does not have any difference with opposite sex marriage as claimed by many.
The type of marriage has been proved to be fulfilling the tenets of marriage largely. The proponents of gays have stood strong to defend the action by lobbying the society to accept them. They have come up with a number of organizations to support gay claiming that matters of love and marriage are of great concern to the society. The gay marriage activists argue that marriage is about feelings and emotions, which are not easily controlled by human efforts.
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Therefore, gay should be accepted as part of marriage in a dynamic society. It is a right of an individual to express his or her heart as long as the actions do not interfere with the rights of other people. Gay marriage does not interfere with freedoms of other people in any way. It is matter of society understanding that it is a personal choice but not pressure from any individual or organization. In most of the developed world’s countries, gay marriage has become part of life. The society has finally given up allowing change (Wardle 29).
Challenges of Gay Marriage
Most of the modern and other world’s religions have found it hard to accept that gay is not about loss of societal values and morals but about change in socio-cultural currents. They have stood out strongly to oppose the act and are lobbying their governments to illegalize gay marriage. They have formed strong community organizations to condemn the behavior. Islam culture does not allow any form of debate concerning gay marriage in their settings.
Gay marriage is unpalatable in Islamic states and it amounts to punishment by death. The situation has led to stigmatization of individuals engaged in gay marriage to an extent of forming false perception that gays are sexual perverts and deviants. Gay marriage in some places are exercised secretly especially in third world countries, this means that it is exercised everywhere only that it is not public because of stigmatization (Volokh 40).
Print and broadcast media have given gay marriages much attention leading to doubts about its existence as another form of social life. It associates gay marriage with other societal problems such as spread of diseases, which is not true. Other factors contribute heavily to spread of killer diseases but do not receive much media attention such as substance abuse.
The media plays a big role as far as stigmatization of gays is concerned. They expose the gays to the society without carrying out proper investigations about the cause of gay marriage (Kendal 72).
The emergence gay marriage in society has raised various controversies, the major one being creating a new conflict between the old and the young. Change should be gradual but in the modern system, it seems to be radical leading to many complications including emergence of new type of marriage. For there to be justice and freedom of expression and choice, the government representing the wishes of everyone should move in with speed to solve the new conflict (Richardson 78).
The society will claim to be democratic and liberal when everyone is allowed to practice whatever he/she feels is right to him/her without criticism. In other words, the society should accept reality and face it fully instead of resisting. Finally, it is the role of sociologists and other community developers to carry out awareness pertaining marriage in order for people to understand that it is as a result of feelings not curiosity as majority think.
Feigen, Brenda. “Same-Sex Marriage: An Issue of Constitutional rights not Moral Opinions.” Harvard Women’s Law Journal, 34. 2004.
Kendal, Thomas. “Beyond the Privacy Principle.” Columbia Law Review, 92. 1992: 1431.
Marcosson, Samuel. “Harassment on the Basis of Sexual Orientation: A Claim of Sex Discrimination under Title VII.” Geo. Law Journal, 81.1 1992: 6-10.
Richardson, Valerie. “Barr tops 9 others for Libertarian nod.” Washington Times, 2008
Rollins, Joe. “Same-Sex Unions and the Spectacles of Recognition.” Law and Society Review, 39. 2005: 457-469.
Volokh, Eugene. “A Common- Law Model for Religious Exemptions.” UCLA L. Review, 46. 1999: 1465
Wardle, Lynn. “A Critical Analysis of Constitutional Claims for Same Sex Marriage.” B.Y.U.L. Rev. 1.5 1996.