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.
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.