Whydo men want to be with other men? In Arab culture, men spend time inthe company of other men praying, working, hanging out, talking,cooking, and eating. It is easy for men to understand other men,because they tend to think in a similar way. This relationship comesfrom friendships and religion. American culture seems to be more opento different kinds of relationships between couples, includingmarriage between people of the same sex. In the United States,everyone seems to be involved in the discussion of gay rights, and,particularly, gay marriage. Thus, when I came to the United States, Iwas shocked because Saudi Arabia does not have this issue. I startedinvestigating about it. What are the reasons for and against gaymarriage? The intended audience for this paper is religious communityand political parties. Critics of gay marriage propose that the unionbetween same-sex people should not be legalized for three reasons: itis against the natural law established by God same-sex couplescannot procreate and it can confuse children. Three major worldreligions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, oppose the union betweensame-sex people. All three sacred religious texts, the Bible, theTorah, and the Quran, state that sexual relations between two peopleof the same sex is against God’s will.
Theissue of same sex marriage has been a hot debate in the United Stateswith various reasons apart from religious being cited for or against.The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the U.S enacted in 1996 toprotect marriage was particularly meant to protect marriage betweenheterosexual couples. The act has faced numerous challenges at statelevels with other states citing it as violating equal protection. Theconstitution provides for equal protection of its people and whilepeople are discriminated for reasons of marrying same sex couple isan infringement of the constitution. Gay marriage has not beenapproved by the federal laws. However, some states have found it notworkable. According to critics of the law, DOMA illegitimatelyprevents gay spouses from enjoying federal marital benefits such associal security survivor benefits, ability to file federal taxes as acouple and eligibility to be on partner’s federal health insuranceplan which are available to heterosexual spouses (Wetzstein N.P). Ina case concerning a Windsor, a woman whose wife had just passed away,the ruling judge argued that, same sex is unacknowledged to bothhistory and tradition, which are concerns of holy matrimony and notcivil status established by law. As such, a state may enforce ordissolve a marriage but cannot bless or sanctify it. In this sense,the woman was advised to seek other alternatives (Schwartz N.P). Manytimes the courts have perceived the constitution as being unfairtowards gay couples. It is clear in the bible and other holyscriptures that, marriage is a union between two people of oppositesex seeking to establish a relationship and to have children. Howeveron conservatism’s view point, marriage is a union that bringspeople together to share a life, a companionship without necessarilyhaving sex or aiming to have children. As argued by Galli, themarriage institution promotes responsibility, commitment, and thedomestication of rowdy men. Therefore by bringing on board men andwomen to this institution will have a changing effect to the gaysubculture in significant ways (N.P). Further, in yet anothernon-religious view, marriage in all societies is meant to shape therights and obligations of parenthood. In human life, marriage is notfor purposes of sex, nor is it for purposes of acquiring socialrecognition or benefits, but its rather a primary guarantee to havechildren. This view is in support of gay marriage and is offensive tothe traditional and historical definition of marriage (Galli N.P). Inthis regard, denying gay couples the right to marry is violatingtheir basic rights to choose their lives. According to a politicalconservative, it is time for people to accept that American societyhas changed and embrace different ways of life and love. If all thelegal, moral and religious perspectives are not involved in definingmarriage, then it’s clear that what is left is for people to choosetheir life (Galli, N.P).
Similarly,gay couples have no intention of hurting others. Their union ispurposely for their own good and under no circumstances does it hurtothers. However, the question of the right to adopt children by gaycouples has been in the center of this debate. Christians and otherreligious people argue that gay couples have no moral obligation toraise a child as their union is by itself immoral. However, asSanders a popular blogger on gay marriage and adoption issues citesthat, it’s hypocritical that people oppose gay marriage andadoption by gay couples when over 400,000 children are in foster carehomes awaiting adoption. He argues that it would be more reasonableto allow gay marriages, as this would increase the number of coupleswilling to adopt such children. He argues that, foster parents areusually genuine and putting children for long periods in foster careis not the best option for these children (Sanders N.P). As such,Sanders gives adoption as a strong reason why gay marriages should beallowed. Similarly many people believe that allowing gay marriagewould corrupt children in their sexual orientation. As argued byMurphy, marriage is creations of certain religious views and sociallyconstrued dimensions. As such, there is no compounding reason why gaypeople should not be allowed to marry. Just like Sanders, Murphy isof the opinion that gay couples should be allowed to adopt childrenas they have no negative influence on children whatsoever. There isno empirical evidence that children raised by gay couples arecorrupted morally. Similarly, Murphy argues that people who becomegay are not necessarily raised by gay couples or in gay marriages,but in heterosexual marriages. It would be therefore unfair toprevent gay marriages or preventing them from adopting a child ongrounds that the child will be morally corrupted (Murphy 297). Mostpeople who engage in crime or other undesirable behavior have notbeen raised in gay relationships.
Inanother perspective, recreation is the basic occurrence on which,eventually, the future of human race depends, making it thefundamental reason why marriage is significant in any society. It isknown that reproduction is possible through union between a male anda female. Gay marriage cannot be expected to uphold this importantaspect of the society. The society has the responsibility ofsafeguarding marriage as a fact and as a symbol, as that constructthat promotes human life, a responsibility taken in the family andsocietal milieu. Galli (N.P) argues that even if a man and a womanenter into marriage without the intent of having children, theirdecision does not harm marriage as an institution. This is a viewsimilarly held by religions including Christianity and Islam.
Gaymarriage has been cited as having a negative influence on theeconomy. Consumers, taxpayers and businesses will have to subsidizehomosexual relationships in one way or the other. Gay marriagecontroversy mostly revolves around the government benefits whichpeople in gay marriages claim they are denied. Most of these benefitsinvolve tax payers’ money that gay people are eager to benefit from(Sprigg N.P). Homosexual activists have always pushed forparticipation in the biggest government benefit program of all, theSocial security. It is in their interest that gay partners becomeentitled to Social Security survivors’ benefits in the occurrenceof death of one partner. Initially, Social Security survivors’benefits were aimed at helping stay home moms who did not haveretirement benefits from a previous employer. Besides, gay activistsalso demand that children under care of gay couples be entitled tobenefits in the demise of one adoptive parent. Besides, gays employedby the government will be able to name their gay partners asbeneficiaries so as to get taxpayers to pay their health insurance.These costs will not be inherent to government alone as it will haveto trickle down to business and non-governmental organizations(Sprigg N.P). Consequently, this kind of acceptance will change thesocial structure. Individuals who are not for gay marriages either onprinciple or religious grounds will be forced to conform to these newregulations by the courts. The society will have a different outlookaltogether which will affect future generations. Basically, allowinggay marriages will disorient the future generations from thetraditional family and societal view of marriage.
Inthe U.S efforts over the least two decades to legitimize and embracegay marriage has been intense. Since the inception of the defense ofmarriage act (DOMA), different states have come out vehemently tooppose the law arguing that the law is oppressive to the gaycommunity. The states have used the constitution in their defense.President Obama also vowed not to support the DOMA act as he found itdiscriminative of the gay people. Generally, there has been a wideacceptance of gay relationships in the U.S today than in the past.Those people who are against gay people and gay marriage in generalusually find themselves in an awkward position as they are sometimesstigmatized.
Nevertheless,religious leaders and a majority of Christians have remained adamantto the idea. The bible teachings have clearly defined marriage as aunion between a man and a woman, a belief that Christians are noteasy to let go. This has placed people with this position in a verycompromising situation when it comes to gay marriage. For instance,according to a survey carried out in the U.S, about 36 percent ofpeople who are against gay marriage feel stigmatized for the standthey take against gay people. Legalizing gay marriage has not beeneasy though. Some courts have argued that, the decision to legalizeor acknowledge gay marriages in law is an issue that cannot bedetermined by the court, but an issue of national interest thatrequire voting to represent the views of the people of America(Schwartz N.P).
Gaymarriage is an issue of great concern not only in the United Statesbut also in other parts of the world. The debate for and against gaymarriage has had various arguments including the religious view ofmorality and the fact that marriage is for reproduction and isinherent to a good family and hence the society. Conservatives whohave argued for gay marriage have cited marriage as a union betweenpeople who wish to live their life regardless of sex or children. Inthe same way, adoption of children by gay couples has been opposed onmoral grounds but some have argued that, marriage has got nothing todo with what children become. In my own opinion, gay marriageshouldn’t be legalized for three main reasons. In my culture andreligion, the idea of same sex marriage is unheard of and it is ataboo. The experience in the United States which has a quitedifferent view contradicts these views. Besides, millions of peoplebelieve that it is against natural law. It is interesting andimportant that three different religions such as Christianity,Judaism, and Islam agree that gay relationship is sinful. The unionof same-sex couples is not natural, since two men cannot procreate.It can be confusing for children. From a nonreligious point of view,gay marriage is not good for the community as well, because it hurtsthe economic and social structure of the society. Gay marriagepressure the government to offer all the benefits that had initiallybeen set for dependants or spouses in a heterosexual marriage,something that continues to reshape the economy and social structure. Hopefully, people in charge of such an important decision aslegalization of gay marriage will carefully consider the above issuesand their consequences for the future generations.
Galli,Mark. “Christians Should Oppose Same-Sex Marriage.” Religion inAmerica. David Haugen and Susan Musser. Detroit: Greenhaven Press,2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt.
Murphy,Timothy F. "Same-Sex Marriage: Not A Threat To Marriage OrChildren." Journal Of Social Philosophy 42.3 (2011): 288-304.Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 June. 2014.
SandersEli. “Adoption by gay couples is one of the best arguments for gaymarriage.” Slog. The stranger. Online. June 17, 2014.
Schwartz,John. "U.S. Marriage Act Is Unfair to Gays, Court Panel Says."The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 June.2014.
SpriggPeter. The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage. Family ResearchCouncil. Web. June 25, 2014.
Wetzstein,Cheryl. "Appeals Court Hears Case for Gay Marriage – EqualProtection under the Law Cited for Striking down Federal Ban."The Washington Times [DC] 05 Apr. 2012: A06. Access World News. NewsBank. Web. 21 June. 2014.