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Civil Union: Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples’ Marriages Proposal Essay

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Updated: Jun 22nd, 2022

Introduction

Same sex marriages have been on the rise in the last four decades or so. Pro-same sex marriage lobbies have articulated that these need to be treated on par with conventional marriages. They believe that since most of the parameters that apply to heterosexual marriages, such as love, caring, commitment, fidelity, promiscuity and so on apply to these marriages as well. They see it as the exercise of natural choice, and refute the procreation aspect by claiming that they can have offspring, too. Testimony to this claim is the fact that no less than a quarter of the estimated 600,000 same sex couples in the US have adopted children. (D’Cruz, 387-8) They claim, with credibility, and backed up by facts, that when it comes to habitation, they go by the same set of conditions –they have the same commitment to their children as heterosexual people, live a life in which they cooperate with each other in all major aspects of life, pay taxes and contribute to society. Thus, according to this segment, there should not be nay moral exclusion by these people should be viewed as the mainstream of the society. However, they ignore the moral and religious grounds. In a country where currency notes contain the words, “In God We believe”, it is a blasphemy to encourage this segment of thought process and legalize it. (D’Cruz, 384).

Problem Statement

Gay couples are looking for legal recognition of their right to stay together as couples and they want it to be legally referred to as ‘marriage’, which is socially, culturally and religiously unacceptable.

The solution proposed to solve the problem

The same sex couples want a legal recognition called ‘civil union’ this should be provided.

Target audience

The target audience in this issue covers a wide range from an individual, committee, group and most of all legal authorities.

Action for readers to take

Once the readers are influenced by the argument it is assumed that they would move a social memorandum in favor of the argument and insist the authority to grant the gay couples the status of civil union and not marriage.

Alternative solution for readers

The readers may also take up the issue and organize a social referendum to stop the legalization of same sex marriage altogether. However, the readers may feel it would be lenient to allow staying together of gay couples without any legal status.

How have you handled these alternatives?

As per the argument, it is persuaded that human rights should not be ramified under any circumstances. Thus, allowance of civil union would suffice without any further allowance by the legal authorities.

Arguments

The total percentage of the gay and lesbian population is about 10% (D’Cruz, 380)of the population and their ways of life significantly ramify the normal ways, livelihood, religion and beliefs of the rest 90%. (D’Cruz, 380) Thus, it is recommended that the authorities should restrain from legalizing these minority populations in favor of the majority as it is expected of a democratic society. Measures should be taken to make the authorities understand the good of the greater mass. It should be noted that marriage should be defined in constitution to be between a man and a woman but gay couples or those who chose this lifestyle should be awarded the same benefits as heterosexual couples and it should not be called marriage but maybe civil union since that is what these same sex couples want. This is the only possible way to help solve this same sex marriage issue without hurting the social and religious sentiments.

In the simplest terms, same sex marriage, as the term indicates, is the marriage between individuals of the same sex. There is disagreement over whether this term is analogous to gay marriage, since some people can be homosexual, and could still be in a heterosexual marriage. Those who oppose the usage of the term ‘gay marriage’ do so because they would like the genealogy to include what are called ‘LGBT’, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships.

By whatever names they were called, unions between people of the same sex have existed since ancient times in almost all parts of the world; some prominent examples are those of Greece, in which an elderly man would cohabit with a younger male, in a manner strikingly similar to heterosexual practice. This often happened with the full consent of the family and the society. Acquiescing with an elderly man of considerable social standing was perhaps a way to climb the social or intellectual ladder. In ancient Rome, too, this practice is believed to have existed for centuries before the advent of Christianity. Once this religion was born, with its firm accent on marriage as a means for procreation, same sex relationships started to go underground, perhaps in view of the enormous influence the Church held over people’s daily lives. In the US, as late as the 19th century, two women would cohabit and make commitments to each other, in what was known as Boston Marriage in a system. (D’Cruz, 382).

There is the argument that same sex marriages can never exist, since marriage is one that is a union between a male and female; hence, in this sense, the idea of same sex marriages is a kind of oxymoron, since same sex couples can never meet the most essential purpose of a marriage in the Judeo-Christian sense, procreation. Courts have traditionally held the view that marriage is untenable if it does not lead to procreation; seen in this sense, supporters of same sex marriages argue that even old people and sterile heterosexuals should be denied marriage. This argument, though, is defeated by the allusion to the point that with the advancement of science, it is possible for same sex couples also to have children. (Alderson, 1)

The argument that children of same sex parents suffer ostracism and become objects of ridicule in society is countered by the fact that once these couples of civil unions separate, due legal protection is offered to the children. This protection is far superior to and more solid than what is offered to children of heterosexual parents, who are not obliged to provide financial support for their children. (Bolte, 1)

Same sex marriage is contrary to nature’s creation; they term homosexuality the height of deviant behavior comparable to some of the most heinous acts, and equate its very existence to promiscuity and sexual depravity. Another extremely important factor these opponents of same sex marriages put forward is that one of the prime functions of marriage is biological; when same sex marriages render this impossible, how can this be considered as any kind of marriage? (Wardle, Strasser, Duncan, and Coolidge 97-100).

Another argument put forward in opposition to same sex marriages is legalizing it runs contradictory to established law –while on the one hand, the government bans some sexual practices such as sodomy, legalization of same sex marriages would negate that, as this practice is accepted as common practice in same sex marriages, especially between two men. (D’Cruz, 388).

Also, the gay lifestyle should not be encouraged because a lot of research shows it leads to lower life expectancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Studies done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, in the 1980’s showed that male homosexuals had an average life expectancy of less than 50 years – more than 20 years less than the overall male population (NCBI, 1). However, another study in 1997, done by NCBI in Canada found that male homosexuals have a life expectancy of 20 years less than the general male population (based upon a prevalence of 3% of the male population). This shows that the gay lifestyle is not just another lifestyle like smoking or drinking but a lifestyle that can bring harm to society if allowed. The conclusion for this study example is that, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men and if the same pattern of mortality is continued, its estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday (NCBI, 1).

Additionally, because it’s a dangerous lifestyle the US FDA’s definitions of blood donation does not allow the Red Cross and other agencies to accept blood from homosexuals. According to the standard questionnaire, “men who have had sex with another man even one time since 1977“(CBER, 1) are disqualified from donating blood because of risk of AIDS to the blood supply. Obviously, the risk of HIV infection is greater in those who practice homosexuality in the United State compared to heterosexuals who do not practice safe sex.

In addition, gay marriage offends all major religious institutions in America. Most religious institutions consider gay marriage to be a sinful act and recognize the religious sanctity of a marriage union. It is therefore important for homosexuals to recognize the religious sanctity of a union. The National Association of Evangelicals also considers the practice of “homosexuality as a sin and if permitted will bring grave consequences in life” (NAE, 1). Many religious institutions believe that allowing same sex couples to share a common alter with heterosexual couples, is a blatant corruption of society. For example the Islamic Shura Council, an umbrella organization for mosques and Muslim groups in Southern California, denounced the ruling allowing gay marriage and said “Homosexuality is considered a violation of Islamic law”(ISC, 1).

Marriage is the sacred union of a man and woman. It has been the mechanism that has allowed society to sustain generations with new offspring. Even with today’s tolerant religions, same sex marriage is still an unacceptable practice. Society is so passionate about preserving the sacredness of marriage that it is one of the issues of national importance. Because gays are a minority of society, their will to marry cannot interfere with the beliefs of the majority of Americans. In 2004 during the elections, the electorate clearly voted against gay marriage. According to The Washington Post, the exited poll in 2004 showed, “22% of the electorate said “moral values” was the issue that mattered most in how they voted – compared to 20% who cited the economy”(TWP, 1). Legalizing gay marriage is believed by many to weaken the foundation of marriage, encourage high-risk sexual lifestyles and end procreation. Gay marriages should not be legalized because of religious, political and medical reasons.

Conclusion

In view of the developments taking place over the decades, and in view of the openness being generally witnessed in the West to same sex marriages, there is likelihood that the day is not very far off when these marriages would be legalized. Another strong reason to believe that its legalization would happen sooner or later is that the West has a tradition of liberalism; the tradition that was the product of the Revolutions has touched virtually every aspect of life, and there is no reason to believe that only same sex marriages would be exempt from this sweep. In fact, it is a possibility all the more plausible considering that rights have been obtained, some easily and some after a struggle. It is rather anomalous that the US, which champions itself as the protector of rights and freedoms of all clans and cultures should still find it necessary to keep in place laws that are anachronistic to its liberalism-steeped attitude and philosophy. (D’Cruz, 384).

There should be complete citizen’s rights to these people and should be legally allowed to live as couples. Nevertheless, this would be strictly immoral. The sentiments of the mass should be taken into consideration and should be valued by the authorities. Thus, the only way possible is to strictly define the definition of marriage as per constitution. The institution of marriage should be well defined as a union between a man and a woman and not between members of the same sex. As for the gay couples, the institution should be referred to as civil union and not ‘marriage’ under any circumstances. The same sex couples want a legal recognition and this term, ‘civil union’ should well suffice. On the other hand, the sacred institution of marriage would be unaffected and the sentiments of the religious and social norms would be protected.

Works Cited

D’Cruz, Shani; Family and Sexuality the American Way; Gender & History; 13: 2; 380-388; Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; 2001

Alderson, Kevin G. “A Phenomenological Investigation of Same-Sex Marriage.” The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 13.2 (2004): 107+. Questia. Web.

Bolte, Angela. “Do Wedding Dresses Come in Lavender? the Prospects and Implications of Same-Sex Marriage.” Social Theory and Practice 24.1 (1998): 111+. Questia. Web.

Wardle, Lynn D., Mark Strasser, William C. Duncan, and David Orgon Coolidge, eds. Marriage and Same-Sex Unions : A Debate /. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. Questia. Web.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2008. Web.

Deem, Rich. “” 2008. Web.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Home page. Department of Health and Human Services. 2007. Web.

Ibanga, Imaeyen. “Transgender Man Says He’s Pregnant.” ABC News. 2008. Web.

“U.S. Bishops Urge Constitutional Amendment To Protect Marriage.” American Catholic.org. 2003. Web.

Abu, Laylah.” Gay Marriage: Islamic View”. Islamonline.net. 2004. Web.

Hogg, RS. “”. British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. St Paul’s Hospital. Vancouver, Canada. Web.

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