The question of providing legal recognition to same-sex marriage involves a diversity of issues including, human and civil rights, and social, political, and religious ideologies. Consequently, when the subject is morality versus same-sex marriage, the dilemma in question indicates that there is no simple solution.
Those against legalizing same-sex marriage cite their belief in the sanctity of marriage. They define this as an institution that is founded on the principle of a union between a man and a woman.
Conversely, those in support of gay unions argue that the right to same-sex marriage is safeguarded by the U.S. Constitution and anchored to human rights. They also invoke the right to privacy and equal protection of everyone under the law. Either way, those with strong religious leanings, or those who oppose same-sex marriages, for whatever reason, have a right to be heard.
The Moral Question
According to Victoria Clark, apart from the outright rejection of same-sex unions, that derive their moral justification from religious teachings, there are genuine concerns about the declining numbers of families headed by married couples. People worry that equal rights for gays and lesbians will damage the vulnerable institution of marriage.
There is also a belief that the gay rights movement has gone too far in challenging social norms, which may cause social destabilization. When the question of raising children is considered, opponents of same-sex unions maintain that children raised in gay families would lack appropriate models thus negatively impacting society’s moral fabric. This is a strong argument defending morality over same-sex marriage, thereby creating a social dilemma.
Gay Rights As Human Rights
In the U.S., a person’s civil rights are guaranteed. On this basis, denying gay couples the right to marry would be considered discriminatory and an infringement on their civil liberties. Since gay couples pay their taxes just like heterosexual couples, they should be entitled to the same financial and social benefits from the government.
Proponents of same-sex marriages argue that formal recognition of gay unions would enhance their participation in the economy by tapping into their contributions in areas such as health insurance and social security payments. The financial, psychological, and physical well-being would also be enhanced by recognition of same-sex marriage, thus leading to gay citizens being more productive.
From another point of view, members of the gay community could be considered minorities whose rights should be protected by any modern-thinking democratic society. How the society treats minorities within the community is a reflection of how developed people are in their thinking. When tolerance is shown toward those with different lifestyles and opinions this reflects on society as politically mature people. Accepting same-sex marriage makes a strong and unequivocal statement about tolerance toward people with different lifestyles.
There is no wrong or right answer to the question of whether same-sex marriages should be allowed. Same-sex marriage versus religious morality creates the dilemma and can stall the progress of the gay community. The issue is complex requiring people to pause for thought and consider opinions from both sides of the divide. Overall, they should draw on the positives that may contribute to society’s well-being.
Opinion by Victor Wachira
Edited by Cathy Milne
Science Direct: Victoria Clark., V. (2013). What about children? Arguments against lesbian and gay parenting. New York: Harvard Business Press.
Cambridge University Press: Earnest Gertsmann., (2008). Same-sex Marriage and the Constitution.
Tidewater Community College LRC: Same-Sex Marriage Is Harmful to Children
BuzzFeedNews: Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t Bad For Kids — And The Supreme Court Said So
NOW Grenada: Is Same Sex Marriage Taking it a Bit Too Far?
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