To begin with, it should be noted that most people believe that they justly deserve the rights they are granted by their government. The position is that an upstanding citizen who pays taxes, serves community and abides by the law should fully enjoy the rights, given by his country. It should be highlighted that in modern world, even in developed democracies, not all citizens are afforded equal rights. In America lesbians and gays are consistently denied some rights that are generally taken for granted by the average citizen. Specifically, lesbians and gay couples are denied the right to marriage even if they are upstanding common citizens. It should be mentioned that they are held at an unfair disadvantage just because of their sexual orientation. Such social discrimination caused a lot of protests for the legalization of gay marriage (Hull, 66-68).
It should be mentioned that the idea of allowing two people of the same gender, but different identity to enter into the institution of marriage has brought out drastic reactions and emotions from many different groups of people. Surveys show that those who engage in the debate believe strongly in their convictions. Two main loudest voices tend to come from the religious community and the gay community, the former arguing against same-sex marriage and the latter in favor of it. Religious groups, principally from a Christian based faith, make the most influential attempts to keep same-sex marriage illegal (Babst, 28). Many religious associations refuse to offer services or employ same-sex couples. There are few Christian groups who argue for same-sex marriage; they tend to believe that gay and lesbian people were created as such by God and could have the same rights as others. The common argument against this position is that same-sex relationships are immoral; they are made against God’s will and subvert the main goal of human sexuality, which is to produce children. It should be mentioned that the Islamic faith openly rejects homosexuality, especially any thoughts about marriage, citing the story of Lot in Sodom as a condemnation of this phenomena (Babst, 34-37). The Jewish church varies in its approach to same-sex marriage, but the opinion is rather negative.
Researches show that many of those who take a particular position on homosexual marriage do so because of their traditional beliefs about family (Pinello, 52-53). People argue that a child has a right to grow up with a mother and father, and to raise her or him in a homosexual household is to deny that right. From the other side, scientific studies have found that many children raised by homosexual parents are capable of providing common heterosexual parenting to their own children in adult life (Hull, 120).
It should be mentioned, that “against” position has many counterarguments, especially from the political and democratic point of view. In society, denying individuals rights because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation is usually classified as discrimination. Alternatively, to make some steps against gay marriage and not allowing either two males or two females getting married to one another may become a serious form of illegal discrimination towards the whole society. It should be noted that the fight is for lesbian and gay couples to gain legal recognition in civil rights, not religious recognition, so the powerful opinion of church is not so important. According to surveys most people against same-sex marriages usually agree that they do not hate homosexuals they just disagree with their lifestyle because of church affiliation (Pinello, 59-60). That is why all those who argue for legalization of same-sex marriage try to bring the information that the battle to legalize homosexual civil unions is not trying to change the beliefs of the churches. The opinion is that homosexual unions are to be recognized by the state, but not by all churches. The opinion is that it would be unfair for the government to take the decision about what people should or should not believe, but this does not give government the right to make some discrimination against lesbian and gay couples in the eyes of the law. In other words, the government and religious beliefs have to be separate in taking decisions.
One more position of defense of legalization is that heterosexuals have already seen great injury to children and families from welfare dependency and divorce over the first years of new century. Same-sex couples have shown much better result in divorce rates, so it could be as an argument for the stability of such families. What is more, if same-sex couples are paying taxes to build roads and help public schools like the heterosexual couples, they could be afforded the same rights (Dupuis, 87).
It should be mentioned that there are no programs that give gay or lesbian survivor benefits like the ones that are usually provided for heterosexuals who are divorced or married. Homosexual partners are not able to take benefits of their deceased, despite of the fact that all working citizens pay into the Social Security system for survivor benefits. This leaves many couples with an unstable retirement. The legalization of same-sex marriage can bring the big benefit to homosexual couples in the aspect of social protection. What is more, it will bring a benefit to federal budget with a big profit from wedding industry.
Taking everything into account, it should be concluded that the conflict over same-sex marriage is a serious one because of the many social factors involved. Political and social groups are working hard to form their own opinions and arguments and the final solution is still undefined.
Babst, Gordon. 2009. Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good. Lanham: Lexington Books. Print.
Dupuis, Martin. 2002. Same-Sex Marriage: Legal Mobilizationm and the Politics of Law. New York: Peter Lang. Print.
Hull, Kathleen. 2006. Same-Sex Marriage: The Cultural Politics of Love and Law. New York: Cambridge University Press. Print.
Pinello, Daniel. 2006. America’s Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Cambridge University Press. Print.