Marriage is a social union between two people, a union that promotes connection. The definition of marriage often varies depending on individual beliefs, cultural values among others. It can be defined as a union where individual relationships such as intimacy and sex are accepted. Marriage is formalized through a wedding either in a law court or in a church. Marriage was naturally supposed to be between people of different sex but in recent times, marriages between people of the same sex have been a normal scenario. Marriage is however not an institution for companionship alone but also for procreation, something gay couples are unable to do.
Gay marriage refers to a union of matrimony between two individuals of the same sex. When gay marriages first arose they received a lot of negative criticism due to the fact that many people did not agree with them (Stanton and Maier 31). Society shunned anyone who was gay or who was a lesbian. These people were said to portray a bad picture of the society as well as encourage kids to engage in homosexual activities. The legality of gay marriages has been a source of controversy in the entire world. Where legal bodies view marriage as a social union between man and woman they find it impossible to allow gay marriages. Gay people on the other hand argue that the essence of marriage is companionship and love and it is their right to this in whatever form of marriage they choose.
According to gay activists, marriage is supposed to be a union between two people and forbidding their companionship means that they were not protected by the law which advocates for equity. A case in California saw the state amend their law on banning gay marriages after it was argued that forbidding these marriages meant that it did not abide to the Iowa constitution that guarantees every individual equal protection (Lutzer 72). While it is a question of the social standards, morals of individuals, the issue of gay marriages remains more of a legal battle than a social and religious one. While the society sees gay marriages as going against the norms of the society as well as corroding the morals and the cultural practices of the community, the gay activists argue that marriage is a civil union which is another term for marriage and this will limit them from taking part in several decisions that comes with being partners.
Allowing gay marriages will on one hand deteriorate and lower the admiration that comes with the institution of heterosexual marriage, something that is important to the society. To society, marriage should be respected as it is not only a religious act but it also helps in promoting the values of the society as a whole. Gay marriages, if allowed will also affect negatively the traditional values that are based on heterosexual family structures. A family is an important unit in the society in that it spearheads the activities that happen in a community and as such a very important aspect in the community. Traditionally, a man is the head of a family and the woman his helper; together they see to it that the family runs smoothly. If gay marriages are allowed, this will be depleted in that no one will help or ensure that these traditional values are maintained (Lutzer 89).
If gay marriages are legalized then it will give room for people to question the law and also make the legality of marriage somewhat clumsy since if people want to practice other forms of sexual relationships they would use gay marriages as a reference. For example, if people want to practice polygamy or bestiality, then they would use the same channels and arguments used by the gay people to legalize their marriages. Gay marriages will also be a cause of confusion on gender roles and on the expectations of the social order for the children (Stanton and Maier 14). In the past children knew that every gender has its own roles and the expectations of the community on each and every gender. They also knew that only men and women could procreate but gay marriages give children a totally different picture. It has also been noted that a gay lifestyle results in several problems from emotional disorders, lower life expectancy amongst other problems.
While gay marriages and lifestyles have many negative effects and outcomes it also may be argued that forbidding gay marriages is an obstruction of religious freedom since civil and religious marriages are termed as different institutions. If legalized, gay partners will also have the benefits that come with marriages such as decision-making, sharing of responsibility and wealth after the death of one partner. Also homosexuality is widely acceptable nowadays and denying this means that it is discrimination of a minority group (Rauch 42). Allowing gay marriages will also mean that the number of child adoptions will increase since gay couples cannot procreate and as such there will be reduced homeless children in the world. Legalizing gay marriages also means that it will encourage individuals to have strong family values and as such encourage people to get rid of risky sexual behavior. Also financial benefits and responsibilities will be shared amongst couples as applies to woman-man relationships.
In the end whether gay marriages should or should not be legalized remains a question of individual opinion, but it is obvious that any marriage whether a straight marriage or a gay marriage should be based on love and as the gay activists argue, theirs is a love based union.
Lutzer, Erwin. The Truth about Same-Sex Marriage: 6 things you must know about what’s really
at stake. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010. Print.
Rauch, Jonathan. Gay Marriage: Why it is good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for
America. New York: Holt Paper Backs, 2004. Print.
Stanton, Glenn and Bill Maier. Marriage on Trial: The Case against Same-Sex Marriage and
Parenting. Nottingham: IVP Books, 2008. Print.