Same Sex Marriage
Homosexuality is one of the main moral dilemmas facing the globalised world. The issue of sexual or romantic attraction between people from the same sex in some cases results in same sex marriage, which has been an issue for debate in many circles. It takes a lot of courage and devotion for people to accept their identity as being homosexuals. Gay people involved in gay marriages face many negative effects due to their existence in a straight world. In many cases, other people do not understand why they choose their gay lifestyle. This issue may result in problems of low esteem for the individuals, which may lead to eating disorders and self-hatred.
Theories developed to explain the origin of homosexuality suggest several causes. Some of the reasons are biological factors such as genetics, which claims that people’s sexual orientation is programmed through their genes. Researchers found that from a sample of identical twins, when an identical twin was gay, there is a 52% chance that their twin brothers were also gay. Some theories claim that homosexuality develops due to anatomical factors. From these studies, it is evident that it develops form a mixture of biological and psychological variables, which are yet to be determined (Kirst-Ashman & Zastrow, 2009).
There are different perceptions about people in the same sex marriages. Many people are against the idea of same sex marriages. One of the main institutions that have been in the forefront on the debate concerning same sex marriages is the religion. Many religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Mormonism are against the practice and teach that it is87 sinful and dysfunctional. According to many studies, 2% to 13% of the American population is gay. In many cultures, homosexual people are subject to prejudice and are discriminated against, they are victims to stereotyping just like many other minority groups in society. These attitudes originate from homophobia and heterosexism, when these attitudes manifest as crimes they are called hate crimes or gay bashing. Gay people are normally stereotyped as being promiscuous, less mentally stable, having a higher likelihood to abuse children and must be victims of HIV, which makes most people in the society to view same sex marriages as an impossible and unstable affair. There is a popular belief that gay men often appear extremely feminine, and lesbians have masculine features. These stereotypes make it difficult for couples in gay marriages to receive acceptance in the society (Kirst-Ashman & Zastrow, 2009).
Some of the important issues to the topic of same sex marriages marriage is that it also involves those people in the population who do not identify themselves as gay. The modern community has become more committed to the expansion and protection of the individual rights of all individuals. Law protects people irrespective of their sexual orientation or other characteristics that make them unique. The issue of justice and liberty is essential for all individuals, which is protected by the enactment of gay rights. The issue of same sex marriages has been advocated by many people as being immoral or unethical, but the discrimination against same sex couples results in violation of their civil liberties. Issues of fairness are crucial for all people and are necessary in the evolution of society. Marriage is the most sacred agreement between two people, which creates a legal partnership between the two individuals and creates a strong background for families.
Families enable individuals to raise children with high spiritual and secular values. In this case, if same sex marriages are outlawed, the policy makers will be creating a definition of sacred to exclude some members of the community who have different ways of loving. This situation also leads to the splitting of social order thus affecting even the straight people in the society. Most of the advocates of same sex marriage claim that the effect of discriminating against gay people by denying them the right to marry has dire psychological effects on them. The effects of denying marriage rights to the gay people are similar to the direct effects of the equal but separate facilities provided for the black minorities in the United States in 1950s. The issues of same sex marriages and discrimination of gay people hurt even the straight people. The idea of same sex marriages influences the social view concerning gender. It may result in polarization of the views of gender roles among children and other members of the society.
In the light of the public, a lot of attention has been accorded to the controversial issue of same sex marriages. There has been a significant change in legislation concerning the legality of homosexuality in the developed countries. According to sodomy laws, sex between consenting adults of the same gender is an offense, often a felony, the US Supreme Court ruled five to four that these sexual acts are not protected under the right to privacy. Teachers in public schools, counselors and members of the armed forces are subject to mandatory dismissal if found to be homosexual or bisexual. In the summer of 2008, many same sex couples lined up for wedding licenses all over California after the state allowed marriage to same sex couples. There have been many questions on how the institution of marriage will be changed by allowing same sex marriages. The question is whether they will change marriage or marriage will change them. Some argue that permitting same-sex marriage will annihilate heterosexual marriage and may be detrimental to western civilization, at the same time many feminists are optimistic that gay couples will change marriage by reshaping the gender dynamics embedded in heterosexual marriages. There was a lot of hostility against this decision by activists Janet Folger and Tony Perkins who argued that they were trying to save the sanity of natural marriage and prevent social chaos that could wreck havoc in every American state (Badgett, 2009).
The debate of how this legislation will affect marriage is diverse and ongoing. Some people argue that it will lead to losing the idea that children need both a male and female parent and that gay people will not gain from marriage. Some features of gay life will be transformed in negative ways. A 2006 survey of Dutch married and registered couples, by Boele-Welki and colleagues, found that gay couples are motivated to get into marriage by similar reasons as heterosexual couples. The study found that about 60% of gay and heterosexual couples reported emotional reasons for marriage while 40% of each group also reported that practical reasons had encouraged them to marry (Badgett, 2009).
Some of the arguments against same sex marriages are that they are unnatural and dysfunctional. One of the main reasons cited for the dysfunction of same sex marriage is their inability to bear children. Marriage between two people of the same sex does not provide a biological mechanism for them to bear children, which might hinder the ability of same sex couples to become complete families. On issues of adoption, same sex couples have not been accorded that freedom by society citing that these families are dysfunctional and would not provide a conducive environment for the proper growth of children. It is estimated that a third of lesbians and a fifth of gay males have children from previous heterosexual relationships, the use of artificial insemination by lesbian couples to have children is also on the rise (Zastrow, 2009).
There is a dilemma for adoption agencies and courts on whether to allow same-sex couples to adopt children, the fact that single people are being allowed to adopt dilutes the premises that children need both male and female parents as a reason for declining adoption to gay couples. The main issues of concern are whether the sexuality of the parents affects children’s sexual identity, whether it has a negative effect on the psychological health of the children and whether it affects their relationships with their peers such as being teased due to the nature of their families (Bidstrup, 2011). Some researchers and scholars believe that same sex marriages result in dysfunction in raising of children because the children will lack either a mother or a father, both of which are prominent figures in their growth.
This topic is important because it influences the perception of children about what is socially acceptable. Children in most cases are raised with clear distinctions about gender roles and have different perceptions about femininity and masculinity. Boys raised in a homophobic environment by straight parents tend to fear portraying feminine qualities and showing affection to their male friends. This hinders their expression of their true nature in order to comply with the social norms (Badgett, 2009). These children are not genuine about their true feelings and have psychological problems resulting from this, which causes them to turn to violence, drug abuse, isolation, and sexual dysfunction.
In conclusion, the issue of same sex marriages has captured the attention of the public and policy makers. Issues of morality and spirituality are at the core of the same sex marriage debate. Discrimination against same sex couples leads to psychological and social issues that influence both the gay people in society and the straight people. Religion and other institutions feel that same sex marriages are unnatural and dysfunctional and thus should not be allowed. However, most policy makers have advocated for the legalization of same sex marriages since they result in justice and fairness for all people in spite of their different characteristics or orientation.