The Controversy on Same Sex Marriage
Same sex marriage refers to the union between two individuals of the same sex as married couples (Gerstmann, 2004). The practice never used to be popular in the ancient times but it is increasingly getting common in the modern society (Eskridge, Jr & Spedale, 2006). This has raised a lot of heated arguments whether the same sex marriages should be allowed in the society or be abolished. Apart from same sex marriage being allowed in the society, supporters of same sex marriage maintain that couples of same sex should be given the privileges as those of opposite sex marriages (Eskridge, Jr & Spedale, 2006). While the debate on whether same sex marriage should be allowed still rages, same sex couples should be allowed to practice their affection and allowed to have civil marriages marry individuals that they appreciate as couple.
One of the arguments that support same sex marriage is that of respect and dignity (Cantor, et al, 2006). It is clear to everyone that the marriage institution expresses dignity and respect to any couple that makes a decision of supporting each other through commitment. It is evident that in same sex marriages, the couples support each other and they are seen committed to each other (Belge, 2010). This makes such same sex marriages to deserve respect and dignity just like any other marriages. However, this has heavily been disputed by the thought of religious freedom (Eskridge, Jr & Spedale, 2006). This argument relates to the provision of equal human and civil rights to same sex couples. Proponents of same sex marriage argue that they are human beings and should be allowed to have equal rights just like anyone else. While same sex couples enjoy civil unions, this should not be equaled to civil marriages (Head, 2006). To be fair to all people, same sex couples should be allowed to have civil marriages.
Although controversies continue to rage on the effects of same sex marriages on heterosexual marriages, there have not been established any negative effects of same sex marriage on heterosexual couples among the countries that have the practice (Eskridge, Jr & Spedale, 2006). The argument on the negative effects of same sex marriage comes from Stanley Kurtz who maintains that heterosexual institutions in countries such as Norway, Denmark and Sweden have largely been destroyed by same sex marriages (Head, 2006). Same sex marriage has been a legal practice instates such as Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Canada and the numbers of heterosexual marriages have been stable without any indication of a decline. Perhaps Kurtz gets his argument from the marriage decline in Scandinavian countries. However, this decline compares with the marriage decline in most of the European countries where same sex marriages are banned (Gerstmann, 2004). His argument can be ruled out from the point that marriage declines has been a common trend since history and in countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway, same sex marriage is illegal but still experience marriage declines(Belge, 2010).
In conclusion, the controversy on same sex marriage will not really end unless a unified conclusion is reached at. Most of the arguments against same sex marriages are reactionary and flawed and in most cases outdated. They are inculcated in arguments that were made several decades ago that same sex marriages will corrupt the moral of children or send faulty messages and corrupt the morals or distort marriage institutions. Banning same sex marriage is like banning interracial marriages which is an example of prejudices at work places. The ban of interracial marriages, just like the ban of same sex marriages is heavily backed by bigotry, fear and prejudice. While the debate on same sex marriage continues to get more and more common, justice and equal human rights should be accorded to same sex couples by allowing them to have civil marriages.
Belge, K (2010). Pro gay marriage-why gay marriage should be legal. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/wedding/a/lgmarriage.htm
Cantor, D.J et al (2006). Same-sex marriage: the legal and psychological evolution in America. USA: Wesleyan University Press.
Eskridge, Jr., W.N & Spedale, D.R (2006). Gay marriage: for better or for worse? What we’ve learned from the evidence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Gerstmann, E (2004). Same-sex marriage and the constitution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Head, T (2006). Four reasons to support gay marriage and oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/a/marriageamend.htm