Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: Allowing Love or Fearing Change?

by teylorclifford on February 16, 2014 - 8:32pm


The article “Same-Sex Marriage: An Overview”, is a neutral paper written by an American journalist named Alex K. Rich on America’s laws and policies on gay marriage. The article is divided into three sections: a brief introduction to provide context, followed by the history of the debate and finally, today’s outcome.


Rich explains how, even today, most states have laws prohibiting homosexual marriage.  Countering these laws and trying to abolish them are activists who have managed to legalize this concept in some, though few, states. These activists have compared this legal union to that of interracial marriages, whereas their opponents counter saying that, contrary to interracial unions, being gay is not an ascribed status. In the same direction, some Americans go as far as to compare homosexuality to other sexual taboos such as pedophilia and zoophilia to name a few and therefore allowing this would allow the others. The more personal issues addressed by these opponents are the ability for a homosexual couple to raise children and integrate into society.


The biggest opposition to homosexuality has, in the United States, always been Conservative Christians. There have been many challenges to this law, the first made in 1996 in Hawaii, where three homosexual couples complained that it was against the constitution and based on this they win this huge battle. However, it is again outlawed two years later due to the outrage of many Hawaiians. Later, in 1999, Bill Clinton signed the DOMA, which had similar phrasing to the law in Hawaii and this new signed document prohibited the legal union of two people of the same sex. In that same year, Vermont became the first state to allow this union and more recently, in 2012, Obama publically declared his support of gay marriage.


More and more states have legalized homosexual marriage and they continue to do so. Canadians have allowed it since 2004 because, as the Hawaiian couples stated, it goes against the constitution, many other countries also allow this union.

Moral claims and values:

The golden rule, or don’t do to others which you don’t wish to have done to you, applies to almost any situation in life and in this case could be applied in two ways. First, obviously one could try and put his or herself in the other person’s shoes in which case he or she would better understand the desire to want to marry the loved person no matter the sex or gender. However, this might be more difficult for some slightly less open-minded people who are “appalled” by the “gay notion”. In this case, I would suggest trying to imagine gay being the norm and how one would feel if he or she was straight and in love but not able to marry his or her partner. These two methods allow almost every person if not everyone to imagine what it would feel like to have this right taken away. I think that one must consider multiple values as well as the above mentioned moral claim such as: equality, adaptability, change, social justice, diversity, inclusivity. These are all values that should be applied if and when the law is changed so that love can be accepted. Certain values are against this such as : tradition.

My Opinion:

I believe that in today’s society, at least in Canada and the USA, which is closest to me, it is outrageous that we still have discriminatory laws. With all the advancements that have seen the light of day, how can we still be so close minded? However, I think that most of those who are against it fear change or are traditional which ends up leading back to the same. In the long run, as things continue to advance, I believe that it is inevitable that laws be changed and adapted to the up and coming open-minded society. As for the fear of these couples not being able to integrate socially, I believe that married or not, they are already integrated. For children, as mentioned above, the world and thus laws will continue to change and adapt, therefore children will benefit from such exposure for it will encourage a “hate-free” society.


I completely agree with your position on the subject. It is absolutely obscene that in the 21st century, we still have not overcome the barriers for homosexuality. The right-wing conservatives still believe that being gay is a choice. The Christian extremists believe it’s an illness that can be cured. It’s embarrassing to me that our neighbours to the south still haven't managed to legalize same sex marriage. Embarrassing because I cannot comprehend how close minded people can be about other people's choices, morals, values or even something as trivial as sexuality. How can we ever move forward in other topics such as war if we can't even surpass something that to me is so normal. If the union between two people who have managed to find love in this crazy world is made illegal, there is no hope for us. How will we ever grow as a society, as a race, how will we put an end to racism and discrimination if we can't let two people be happy together without even taking anything away from anyone else?

Very direct and complete overview of the history and moral claims surrounding same-sex marriage. I believe that it is a good thing that people like you make the effort to write about such society issues concretely and especially when the writings are both as instructive and well written as yours. I agree with you that it is inevitable that things will change in the country's or states that haven't legalized same-sex marriage yet because the arguments against it are based on everything but the truth and because, as you stated, it is legally and simply everybody's right to unite with whoever one wants to unite with.

I really enjoyed your summary as a whole, from your explanation to the organization. You clearly state many points from Rich's article as informative and briefly as possible. Instead of crunching everything together, your organization also clearly separates the different aspects about to be discussed and lets me know as a reader what to expect. I completely agree with your point of view on the legalization of gay marriage, it is indeed sad that in 2014 we still have laws prohibiting it, especially since our world is becoming more and more open-minded. I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to spend their life the way they want to and with whoever they desire. "Live and let live", an ethical principle I strongly live by.

First of all, the reason your post attracted me is mainly because of the title, which says it all. Indeed, "fearing changes" is, from my opinion, one of the main reason why human hold themselves from changing for the better. Also, i always supported individual freedom, since i think it's one of the values that represent really well the golden rule, which you talk about to represent why homosexual should have the right to married themselves. Therefore, i'm on the exact same position you are for this topic, since i can't understand why people would be against gay marriage if it doesn't concerned themselves and doesn't do them any harm. Indeed, the people that are against it are the one doing harm. I think you really well explained the situation in your article and it shows clearly why gay marriage should be legal. It's only a question of opening your mind, which is something many people have difficulty to do, since they are afraid of change and what could come out of it. However, how could someone against gay marriage could explain the fact that legalizing it would do any harm to the society, beside brining a state of respect and harmony, which is something many society lacks?

I was interesting in reading more because your title caught my attention. I completely agree with you, gay people should have the same rights and opportunities as straight people. I have a hard time understanding why people are against it, and why people are trying to dictate how others live their life. Live and let live. I think the golden rule value is really important when discussing this topic, also that you gave examples for people to really stop and think. I would also have mentioned the value of freedom. If our society still denies other people their freedom, has our society really evolved?

I really appreciated reading your post, since I think that we have many similar views on the subject of same-sex marriages. I really thought your information was interesting and you stated some shocking facts, such as the part where you stated that some Americans would compare homosexuality to zoophilia and pedopholia. I appreciated that you made a section called moral claims and values since it is the basis of an individual’s thinking and maybe people are going to think more about this question from that perspective. I think that the two methods you were describing were also good ideas in order to imagine how these people would feel and to be in their shoes. The historical facts that you brought up in your article were also really interesting and it gave a clear idea about how it came to be that way, but if you would like to be more informed about the subject, I found this great article in which there are a lot of information on how it used to be and how it is today, and you can click on the following link to get it: