Oppositionagainst gay marriages is unfounded
Oneof America’s leading political figures, Hillary Clinton, is onrecord saying that gay rights are civil rights. Such statementsindicate marked acceptance of gay marriages and homosexuality. TheAmerican constitution is mandated to protect the rights of the peopleand expand them but not curtail them in any way. Any state laws thatprohibit gay marriages violate basic civil rights. Opposition to gaymarriages and homosexuality is based on traditions, moral andreligious tenets. Interestingly, the use of religious arguments tooppose gay marriages fundamentally deviates from the commonunderstanding in modern governance that requires separation of thechurch or religion from the state. Arguments for gay marriages arebased on equality of all human beings and the unclear definition ofmarriage. As a whole, marriage is philosophically undertheorized(Brake, 1). Nonetheless, it is the intention of this paper to presenta philosophical argument by highlighting the weaknesses of thearguments against gay marriages.
Anygovernment’s refusal to recognize gay marriages violates the rightto marry which is a fundamental civil right. Such laws were presentin a America just a few decades ago during the Jim Crow laws beforethey were abolished. The laws prohibited inter racial marriages andspecifically between white and African Americans. The laws recognizedAfrican Americas as being a different species lower than human being.As such, sexual relations between African Americas were viewed in thesame light as sexual relations between man and beast, i.e.bestiality. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia, the lawprohibiting interracial marriage was annulled. Through the ruling, itwas viewed that the right to marry one’s choosing stands as afundamental human right (Connor & Hammons, 39). Therefore, by anystate or federal government failing to legally recognize same sexmarriages, then it denies one the right to marry a person of one’schoosing- a civil right.
Gaymarriages are opposed on the basis of the fact that two partnerscannot procreate. This blindly assumes the purpose of marriage isprocreation only. This narrow view fails to recognize the role ofcompanionship and love as fundamentals in any marriage. Gay coupleshave shown that they are equally capable if not better thanheterosexual couples in raising children. There have been fears thatgay sex and gay marriages may promote sodomy and abuse of children.These claims are purely inflammatory because marriages as institutionalso defined by heterosexual sex do not expose children to the risksof sodomy and abuse. There is no proof or reason to believe suchclaims are valid.
Understandingwhat marriage is and defining the term “marriage” is fundamentalto the philosophical debate on gay marriages. There are differentapproaches to the view of marriage with similar and contrastingdefinition on the same. In essence, marriage as a term can be definedas a civil status, a contract, religious or cultural rite or even asocial practice in modern and traditional societies with thedefinition varying across legal jurisdictions, cultures andreligions. For instance, Judaism views a marriage as a union of twopeople that brings them together before god. It is often likened tothe union of Sarah and Abraham from the Tanakh or Christian Bible.Some societies and cultures have defined marriage differently and setup laws and rules to govern it. For instance, some such as Islamallow polygamy while others such as Christianity forbid it. Otherreligions and traditional societies recognized same sex marriageswhile others did not. Among the Zuni community of the NativeAmericans, gay marriages were allowed. One gay political and culturalleader named We’Wha was a key figure in the Native Americanpolitics in the late 19thcentury at one time serving as an emissary of the natives andWashington DC. Such men dressed as females and were revered andrespected due to their perceived closeness to the spirit world. Someinstances have also been reported in some traditional Africancultures such as Igbo of Nigeria where women were allowed to marryfellow women (Koppelman 4).
Gaymarriages undermine the sanctity of marriage and deconstruct genderroles as society knows of them (Chauncey, 168). It is redefinedmarriage as a union between two willing entities of whatever sex. Theargument here is that these marriages are driven by love, friendshipand companionship. However, love, companionship and friendship aspurposes of marriage have been questioned. Coontz (83) claims thatexcessive love in marriage was discouraged in some cultures whichviewed marriages as economic and political units to guideinheritance, kinships, and controls sharing of resources and labor.Given the shifting boundaries n understanding what constitutes amarriage, Wasserstrom (1974) claimed that marriage is just a “familyresemblance” concept with no definitive features, structure orpurpose (Marriage and domestic partnership 2012). A philosophicaldefinition of marriage as it pertains to the gay marriage debate canbest use an essentialist approach that offer normative definitions.And as such, the definition of marriage should be borrowed frompolitical and ethical views. Hegel’sviews on marriage are a bit different. He writes that marriage is anethical tie defined by totality of life and also self-consciousnessand sexual union thus it goes beyond being a mere contract betweentwo interested parties. This issue of natural sexual union is themain point of divergence between pro-gay and anti-gay marriagesdebate (Brake, 71).
Kantholds that marriage is purely a contract between tow interestedparties. He posits that through marriage, people agree to use eachother goods and genitalia as deemed fit by the two parties. This viewdoes not address fully the issue of ethics and morality in terms ofthe participants in such a contract. It is common knowledge that theissue of monogamy and faithfulness persists both in heterosexual andsame sex marriages. As social contracts, marriages are strictlyguided by the ethics of fidelity. Heterosexual marriages havestrengthened this ethical standard. Given that this contract in gaymarriages borrows from societal ethics on fidelity, then should gaycouples borrow from societal values of what constitutes marriage? Aspart of the society, gay couples have the role to play and right inredefining societal understanding of what should constitute marriage.If society, and only if it accepts redefining marriage as a contractof love and acceptance between two people regardless of sex, then gaymarriages becoming ethically. As of now, a large percentage ofAmerican society has already accepted gay marriages.
“Godcreated Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve” is a common sloganamong anti gay debates. In the US this view has been largely adaptedby most Republicans who are arguably more conservative and rely onChristian view of marriage to oppose gay marriages. Interestingly,Brake (17) says that no wherein the bible does Jesus Christ talksabout marriage being between a woman and man only. Nonetheless, thereare various instances under which the functions of marriage arenoted. The book of Amos cites companionship to say “My spouse is mybest friend.” “Cantwo walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).Procreation is also noted by the verse “… Be fruitful [bearfruit], and multiply [increase], and replenish [fill] the earth …”(Genesis 1:28).Other purposes noted are security, completeness, enjoyment and symbolfor Christ’s union with the Church.
Notall marriages are based on procreation purposes. Opposing gaymarriages on the basis that they cannot naturally produce children inmisinformed. It is common knowledge that the decision to or not havechildren in all types of marriages is agreed upon by the couple. Somecouples choose not to have children at all while some cannot havechildren due to medical reasons. Other couples chose to adopt.Therefore invalidating marriages just because they do not producechildren naturally would also mean invalidating such heterosexualmarriages. If not so if these childless heterosexual marriages areacceptable, then gay marriages are acceptable too on the basis ofreproduction alone.
Definitionalopposition of gay marriages claims that the term same sex-marriage isan oxymoron. In their book, Whatis Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, SherifGirgis, Robert P George, and Ryan Anderson argue that there is needto relook at what is a marriage. They claim that a marriage isbetween a man and a woman. Additionally, they claim that marriagesare defined through coitus for reproductive purposes. In the case ofsame marriage sex does not involve coitus for procreation purposeshence unnatural. In response, scientists have argued that homosexualtendencies are natural. Evidence has entailed over 200 species thatregister same sex intercourse in natural settings without humaninterferences. Therefore nothing is alarming when it happens in humanbeings.
Anotherobjection to gay marriages is the claim that gay marriages harm theinstitution of marriage. Gay unions corrupt children in the societyand especially those raised by same sex parents. Gay supporters havecounter argued this argument is a way through which society isavoiding the burden to teach and explain to their children theconcept of gay unions. According to Psychology today, there are overtwo million children being raised by same sex parents in the US. Aneven larger number of children are aware of neighbors and fellow kidsin school who have two moms or two dads. Therefore, the heterosexualsociety can only adapt and explain their children what gay unionsinvolve. Moreover, there have been claims that children brought up ingay marriages are most likely to grow up gay. There has been noconcrete scientific research to support this claim. Nonetheless,research which has shown that homosexual tendencies are innatenegates the assumed role of peer pressure in homosexual behavior. Furthermore, empirical studies have shown that same sex parents donot necessarily raise homosexual children as is the same case withheterosexual unions.
Althoughthe issue of same sex marriages has subsidized in terms of itspolitical currency, it is still a hotly contested issue amongindividuals. Earlier this October, Apple Chie Tim Cook openlyacknowledged his homosexuality same as other famous celebrities. Suchmoves have normalized homosexuality and even made it easy for othersto come out and seek their civil rights as homosexuals. The claimthat gay sex through gay marriages harms the youth does not specialhow it harms the children. Additionally, accomplished personalitieshave publicized their homosexuality and in essence proven that one’ssexuality does not affect one’s abilities and talents. The paperhas thus shown that the opposition to gay marriages is unfounded.
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