Gay marriage is perhaps the most controversial social dilemma. Mention of such issues would certainly stir emotional responses leading to a debate. Despite the long standing debate on this issue, gay marriage remains an unresolved topic that will continually have social, political and psychological implications as it threatens the long-held tradition of marriage along with its naturalistic procreation and parenting principles. Despite the growing support for gay marriage, it is difficult to penetrate the cultural and social institutions that have been structured to support marriage between opposite sex. As observed by Hunter, same-sex marriage will create more questions and complicate things rather than solidify the institution of marriage. As same-sex marriage challenges the traditional norms of society as lesbian seek for civil rights equality, is the confusion really worth it? What would be the behavioral implications of allowing gay marriage to society?
Traditionally, lesbian relationship is considered as taboo and American culture is no exception. Because of the Judeo-Christian orientation of most of the Western world, gay and lesbian relationship is perceived as forbidden and abominable. Accordingly, “most twentieth-century Americans consider marriage to be an institution that intrinsically involves different- rather than same-sex partners”. Although most Americans tolerate same-sex relationship, in the context of marriage, the marriage of gays are, traditionally, inconceivable. However, over the years, the exclusion of gays from marriage was viewed as a social persecution. For the same reason, during the civil right upheaval in the 1960’s same-sex marriage is among the major issues that emerged. The changing perspective of the masses towards lesbian relationship became pronounced when lesbians and gays openly protested in substantial numbers. Today, national survey indicates that 33% of the American population is agreeable to gay marriage although a substantial number of 58% is still opposed to it.
More Problems than Solutions
Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that allowing marriage to lesbians and gays is a basic human right based on equality. Accordingly, instead of changing the traditional institution of marriage, it is emphasized that gay and lesbian couples want to ‘join’ marriage rather than ‘change’ it. In reality though, several implications are believed to be an inevitable consequence of allowing gay and lesbian couple to marry. Accordingly, taxpayers, consumers, and businesses would be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships as these couples would be enjoying the civil benefits provided to marriage couples. Extending civil benefits enjoyed by wedding couple to gay couples, in consequence, can create economic issues since the government would be forced to recognize gay and lesbian partners for eligibility in social security and other government subsidized benefits not to mention the children that the couple will raise being eligible to similar benefits as to children of married couples. Another implication is that schools will be forced to teach children that homosexual relationship is similar to heterosexual relationships, which is ethically unimaginable. Gay marriage would also pose a serious threat to religious freedom. As some religions are quite intolerant of homosexual relationships, the government support on same-sex marriage would deem practices of some religion as unconstitutional and discriminatory thereby subject to state sanctions. It is also believed that fewer people would marry if homosexual marriage is allowed. As study made in Netherlands, the first country to have legalized same-sex marriage, revealed that there is indeed a decrease in marriage rate among couples after same-sex marriage was legalized. Most likely, the decreased rate of marriage in Netherlands reflects the idea that their people have become disillusioned to marriage because of the legalization of gay marriage. One particular reason for this disillusionment is the fact that most homosexual tolerate engaging in sexual activity with other partners while heterosexual couples are inclined to observed monogamy. As a result, homosexual marriage could advocate polygamy and would most likely affect the lifetime partnership that traditional marriage advocates. Another problematic issue that would eventually arise from gay marriage is the procreation and parental issues associated with it. According to Skipp, family values are seriously at stake as more children would grow up fatherless or motherless. Currently, it is quite difficult to assess how a wide-spread gay marriage would do to the upbringing of children but evidently, children that grow up without a normal family orientation develop psychological issues. Scientific developments have made single parenting very much possible although there are still ethical constraints regarding the use of such technologies. As birthrates eventually falling because of the lack on natural procreation, test-tube babies would be the most practical option for lesbians and gay couples, which would eventually challenge the ethical standards of the medical and scientific community.
Although some people believe that the American culture is liberated to accept gay marriage, in general, Americans are not yet ready for homosexual infiltration on its culture. But then, allowing gay marriage would enable such scenario to occur since it would create a social revolution, massive enough to extend into every fabric of American institutions. Before policy makers get swayed by the noise created by homosexual movements, the immediate and lasting effect of allowing gay marriage should be carefully evaluated.
Eskridge, W. (1993, January). A History of Same Sex Marriage. Retrieved December 2014, from http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2503&context=fss_papers
Hunter, N. (2012). The Future Impact of Same-Sex Marriage: More Questions Than Answers. Retrieved December 2014, from http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Hunter-GL-Same-Sex-Marriage-Article-2012.pdf
Pew Research Center. (2013, March). Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics. Retrieved December 2014, from http://www.people-press.org/: http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/3-20-13%20Gay%20Marriage%20Release.pdf
Sprigg, P. (2011). The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex “Marriage”. Retrieved December 2014, from http://downloads.frc.org/: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF11B30.pdf
Trandafir, M. (2009, November). The effect of same-sex marriage laws on different-sex marriage: Evidence from the Netherlands. Retrieved December 2014, from http://www.iza.org/: http://www.iza.org/conference_files/TAM2010/trandafir_m6039.pdf