Same-Sex Marriage: Pros & Cons of Legalization - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-17
Same-Sex Marriage: Pros & Cons of Legalization - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Gender Family
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1796 words
15 min read


Over the past few decades, the support for the same-sex union has escalated across the globe. Amid this increase in support, new attitudes and perspectives have emerged regarding homosexuality. Attention has been centered on whether gay marriages should be permitted or considered illegal. Amid the discussion of the ethical and legal dimensions of this subject, several arguments have been tabled to foster or critic same-sex marriages such as gay among others. A study conducted back in 2015 showed that the majority of people, about 63%, support the acceptance of homosexuality especially when the union is to be registered and recognized by authority (Pew Research Center, 2015). Some of the arguments in support of this changing perspective among people have been subjected to critical scrutiny. This research paper has focused on gay marriages. By considering gay marriage as an ethical issue, the author of this present research has founded the analysis on the postulates against gay marriage and how such positions have been critiqued by substantial counter-arguments. Gay marriage is a controversial ethical topic with significant supporting precepts and counterarguments that shape the perspectives of society and individuals as depicted in this excerpt.

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Gay marriage has been viewed from the angle of how it dissociates the norm of sexual fidelity in an intimate union. One of the feared risks associated with same-sex marriage is the potential impact on fidelity in a union. It is considered that gay marriage could undercut the usual norm of sexual fidelity in an intimate union. For example, in his analysis, McWhirter and Mattison (1984) argued that there is a high chance of infidelity in a same-sex union between men than between a man and a woman. Another study that was carried out in Vermont also ascertained that this potential risk is a threat to the future of marriage and the need to foster a high level of fidelity. According to Rothblum and Solomon (2003), more than 79% of heterosexual individuals affirmed that they value fidelity; however, when it was narrowed down to gay partners, the percentage dropped to 50 in a civil union. While this argument is still subject to debate, gay partners have been impacted by infidelity and the subsequent repercussions as noted by Rothblum and Solomon (2003). The question of fidelity puts gay marriage in a balance since it does not offer any reliable alternative to the current infidelity challenges in a heterosexual marriage.

Concept of Procreation as One of the Fundamental Purposes of Intimate Unions

Gay marriage isolates the concept of procreation as one of the fundamental purposes of intimate unions. Over the centuries and in traditional existence, marriage and procreation are two concepts that are strongly intertwined. From a religious and sociological perspective, is to bring individuals together and subsequently secure parents for each of the children born in that union. Although the current change in attitudes considers marriage in terms of emotion, there is a posed risk of anti-natalist ideology. Stemming from this argument, it is evident that gay marriage further exacerbates the impact of the anti-natalist mindset in society by cutting down the procreative beliefs and norms. The conclusions from this thinking negate the existing link between marriage and procreation. Some countries have a declining rate of birth in comparison to the replacement fertility rate such as the Netherlands, Canada, and Sweden (CIA, 2018). Such countries could face critical challenges in terms of population in case they succumb to a potential high rise in gay marriages.

Gay marriages reduce paternal commitment expectations. The marriage institution has been destabilized by several factors over the past decades. Marriage sociologists have noted that the marriage institution and the subsequent paternal commitment has been under siege because of the changes in social norm (Wilson, 2003). By borrowing from the events that followed the introduction of contraceptives and legalization of abortion in the 1960s and 1970s, there was an increase in the number of women abandoned the moment they got pregnant. Based on the same cycle of events, Wilson (2003) argues that an increase in gay marriages could equally impact paternal commitment in marriage. That is, through gay marriage, an analogy that children do not need a father and mother, to imply both parents, could be highly propagated in society. If such thinking is harbored by men who are likely to abandon their children, then a similar scenario witnessed back in the 1960s and 1970s after the massive introduction of contraceptives could be inevitable.

Potential Rise in the Number of Children Diagnosed With Gender and Sexual Disorders

Gay marriage is associated with a potential rise in the number of children diagnosed with gender and sexual disorders. Studies on homosexuality and gender-related disorder are not profound. However, the existing evidence point towards the potential risks of gender-related disorders among children raised by lesbian partners or homosexual couples when compared to heterosexuals. According to a study carried out by Stacey and Biblarz (2001), children raised by lesbians and homosexual couples are subjected to a liberal perspective on gender prescriptions that could eventually affect their definition of what it entails to belong to specific gender identity. The outcome of the research also ascertained how a high number of children who reported homoerotic relationships were raised by non-heterosexual parents. While the study was not conclusive, it indeed paved a way for the need for scholars to delve into this direction to fathom the risks of gay marriages on the future of children in terms of gender-related ideologies. On the other hand, there is inadequate evidence regarding the efficiency of same-sex parenting both in a short-term and long-term basis, which by consequence, implies that it is therefore not a reliable alternative to heterosexual parenting.

Another dimension that disintegrates gay marriage conceptualization is the antagonism between religion and gay marriage as an avoidable discussion. Religion plays a key role in defining the norms in society. The rights and wrongs depicted in a community or a region have been founded on religion. Traditional religions have inclined towards heterosexual marriages as opposed to homosexuality (Family Research Council, 2010). The scared nature of the union between a man and a woman has defined the extent to which contrary behaviors have been met with utmost resistance and condemnation. The role of both parents and the existence of family and children as a complete set of harmony has exerted the pressure on whether gay unions qualify as marriage (Pruett, 2001; McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). It is important to note that legal provisions redefining marriage have focused on the emotional aspect and conscience; however, this has not altered religious beliefs and values. In this case, the persistent religious antagonism with gay marriage proponents has become a persistent affair. The natural purpose of marriage is considered incomplete in gay unions and other same-sex affairs. Religious beliefs present lesbianism and homosexuality as unacceptable behaviors. Although this stand is gradually changing in most democracies, religion has played a key role in preventing gay marriages.

While the above dimensions have been a table in support of the unacceptable nature o gay marriages, it is important to note how the same postulates have been met with critical counterarguments. The proponents of gay marriage have provided accounts to which most ideologies against this practice fail to stand the test of time. The changing social spaces and the increased awareness and exposure have shaped how people interact and view some practices and beliefs. The experience of gay partners and the increasing limelight across public spaces by those supporting gay marriage has revealed perspectives that are considered to hold a significant degree of relevance in support of this type of union. As seen from the previous paragraphs, the number of dimensions against gay marriage are diverse. At the same time, the same dimensions could be viewed from a different ethical and counterargument angle. Based on the current analysis, the support for gay marriage revolves around sexual fidelity claims, the purpose of marriage, paternity commitment, religious beliefs, and the wellbeing of children. On the flip side, these same factors have been used against gay marriages.

Claiming that gay marriage dissociates the norm of sexual fidelity in an intimate union raises the question of whether the eradication of gay marriage could automatically lead to zero sexual infidelity cases. There is no substantial evidence that connects gay marriages to sexual infidelity just like it is impossible to absolutely link specific gender to the origin of specific sexual fidelities patterns. Findings by studies such as Rothblum and Solomon (2003) are circumstantial and cannot be considered as a generalization phenomenon. In this case, there is a possibility of finding a sample where the rate of sexual infidelity could be higher among heterosexual partners as opposed to homosexual individuals. Sexual fidelity is a personality-related behavior and conviction and sometimes it is linked to external factors in a union that is different and unrelated to sexual orientation. In this case, the claim that gay marriages could lead to the dissociation of sexual fidelity does not have enough foundational evidence and support. Heterosexual relationships are already being negatively impacted by infidelity and this does not stem from any form of non-heterosexual marriage. Moreover, the study by Rothblum and Solomon (2003) has been critique based on the methodological approach, which impacts its level of generalization to other population samples or similar conclusions.

The claim that gay marriage isolates the concept of procreation as one of the fundamental purposes of intimate unions negates the fact that a marriage is complete with or without children. One will question whether this argument also incorporates heterosexual marriages where the partners are unable to bear children. The element of procreation in today's world is not the fundamental characteristic especially amid the call for family planning to control population sustainability. By stating that gay marriage reduces the paternal commitment expectations, Wilson (2003) failed to acknowledge the successful gay relationships where partners resorted to adoption. The conclusions by Wilson (2003) allude to the false inference that being gay automatically means one’s morals are questionable. Additionally, it is possible to conclude that gay marriage is associated with a potential rise in the number of children diagnosed with gender and sexual disorders. However, there are no studies that report zero gender-related disorders among children raised by heterosexual partners. The study by Stacey and Biblarz (2001) cannot be entirely generalized because other extraneous factors such as the mental wellbeing of gay partners have not been accounted for in the findings. People with non-heterosexual identity face a high level of mental challenges originating from discrimination, mistreatment, and isolation, which could extend to how they raise their children. Furthermore, declining paternal commitment is a complex social phenomenon that can not be confined to gay marriages. The claim that inadequate evidence exists regarding the efficiency of same-sex parenting both in short-term and long-term basis is also skewed because a lack of evidence does not refute or negate a phenomenon.

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