The Gay Marriage Debate: Finding a Common Ground - Research Paper Example

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The Gay Marriage Debate: Finding a Common Ground
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The Gay Marriage Debate: Finding a Common Ground Introduction Intimacy, partnership, romance, love, and marriage could never belong to gay couples, it was erroneously argued. Today numerous gay couples in numerous countries have disproved this prejudice. This wrong idea of homosexuality beforehand lowered the entire individual and his/her purposes and ambitions to sheer sex, disregarding the complete and affectionate individual as well as his/her spiritual, civil, and creative nature (Wolfson 10). The legalization of gay marriage is a contemporary occurrence that is regarded very contentious by a large number of people, heterosexual and homosexual alike. This essay discusses in detail the debate on gay marriage.
Despite one’s opinion on the issue, gay marriage has appeared across the globe to endure. On the 9th of December 2004, Canada’s Supreme Court decided that gay marriage is compatible with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the constitutional paper that guarantees human rights for every Canadian (Nagle 103). The circumstances in the U.S. are more complex. The standing of gay marriage in the country will necessitate legal amendment to both national and state laws. As a result, the legalization of gay marriage all over the United States will take a much longer time and greater effort. Nevertheless, the country has become one of the very few to legalize gay marriage.
Is Gay Marriage Good for the United States?
There are well-intentioned and reasonable individuals on either side of the gay marriage debate. Unluckily, though, it has been one of the most controversial problems in any country today. 17 out of 50 states allow same-sex marriage while 10 additional states are okay with unions and partnerships. (Ahuja, Barnes, et. al) Critics of gay marriage see the other party as part of a faction of policymakers, judges, and gay radicals, determined to insult traditional social values (Rauch 63). Advocates of gay marriage generally see the other party as religious fanatics or ‘homophobic’ hypocrites who aim to divest homosexual couples of the right to enjoy privileges granted to others (Rauch 63-64).The gay marriage debate has created a rift among people who have shared beliefs and ideals on numerous basic issues—economic stability, violence and nonviolence, democracy against the undemocratic and oppressive character of the American state.
The conflict-ridden debate weakens the capability of average American people to find a common ground. Numerous people who define themselves as radicals, leftists, or liberals sadly take advantage of the issue as a confirmation, and view anyone who opposes gay marriage as an adversary (Eskridge 44). Therefore an evidence-based discourse wherein both parties recognize and understand the essentially honorable ideals that inspire the other party is crucially needed. There are explanations for the dominance of the unfavorable views of individuals on the opposing parties in this debate.
Detractors of gay marriage usually do not provide compelling arguments for their disapproval. Usually they merely refer to the Bible or give ambiguous statements claiming that gay marriage is clearly insane or an abnormality. Most of these opponents of gay marriage think that everyone is already aware of the cons of gay marriage, or must be aware, and those who are not yet aware will stay unaware, hence sensible claims are not needed (Spilsbury 92). Advocates of gay marriage, knowing that most have opposed gay marriage in statewide polls attempt to remove the issue from the opinion poll, expecting that judges will legalize it through a court resolution, just like what occurred in Massachusetts. Thus, they have seemed to the other party as social-engineering experts resentful of the core notion of democracy—that average individuals are capable of making crucial decisions in society (Spilsbury 92-94).
Nevertheless, there are also explanations for the unjust and deceptive nature of the views of individuals on both sides of the debate. Advocates of gay marriage apparently do not see themselves as expert social engineers. They only argue that it is incorrect to vote on issues of rights. They believe that there is no justification to dispute gay marriage other than prejudice, and believe it is as unjust to allow citizens to vote on the right of gay couples to marry as it would be to allow citizens to vote on the intermarriage or civil rights (Polikoff 59). It does not mean that they oppose democracy; it implies that they want justice.
On the other party in the debate, individuals are not the illogical fanatics they are described to be. Consider the fact that detractors of gay marriage usually refer to the Bible as their justification. Does this reveal that they hold no reasonable justification for their arguments because they accept as true what the Bible says? Obviously, those who use the Bible to justify their opposition to gay marriage do not trust in Biblical power on the whole. Individuals select and get from the Bible to justify issues that they trust separately of the Bible. People do not trust slavery hence they do not use the Bible to defend it (Nagle 35). They do defy gay marriage and hence they refer to the Bible on that issue.
Normally an individual who discerningly mentions the Bible against gay marriage may have justifications that s/he cannot express eloquently or persuasively. People are not accustomed to explaining conclusively the reasons they support a side. Marriage is just the newest episode in a long discourse over homosexual equality, not the first, and definitely not the last. However, the evolution of marriage has endowed this discourse particular importance for all parties because the right to marry, as well as the right to choose who to marry, has been considered a core civil right and a dominant sign of citizenship and absolute equality.
Numerous fanatics intensely challenge gay marriage because they believe that such right is the definitive sign of the equality they would not grant to homosexuals—and because they are alarmed with the possibility of it promoting the increasing freedom of heterosexual couples to discuss the conditions of their marital union without being restrained by the laws that once rigidly ruled the responsibilities of wives and husbands (Rauch 69). A large number of homosexuals have supported the movement for same-sex marriage because they, also, view marriage equality as a core symbol of their absolute citizenship and equality, and because acquiring the numerous obligations, guarantees, privileges, and benefits granted by marriage would have numerous tangible consequences for their lives.
Nobody can know for sure the future of the gay marriage debate or the status of homosexuals in American society. Hence, it is difficult to find a different group whose situations and public status have transformed quite conclusively in a very short time. For numerous years now, and particularly since the 1990s, the American people have become more acquainted with homosexuals and more understanding and sympathetic of them (Wolfson 82). Most of all, there has been streams of changes in the outlooks of the young people, who have been raised in a world where they are aware of homosexuals and witness them treated with the decency and courtesy any human being is worthy of.
The detractors of gay marriage identify such changes as well. Their efforts to initiate a constitutional revision on marriage comes from their resolve to enforce the inequality and prejudice of the past into the present and future by inscribing them as absolute laws. History is counteracting them (Polikoff 92). Yet none in history is unavoidable. As usual, the future lies in the hands of the people themselves. The real issue is that there is no true democracy. If there is true democracy, there would be opportunities to talk about crucial issues in a positive, beneficial way. The mass media should facilitate this, not hamper it. The time is ripe for individuals on opposite parties of this and other major issues that face the American society unite to determine a common ground of courtesy and civility to resolve them.
Works Cited
Ahuja Masuma, Barnes Robert, et. al. “The changing landscape on same-sex marriage.” WP Politics. The Washington Post, 14 April 2014. Web. 10 May 2014.
Eskridge, William & Darren Spedale. Gay Marriage: For Better or Worse?: What We’ve Learned from the Evidence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Nagle, Jeanne. Same-Sex Marriage: The Debate. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2010. Print.
Polikoff, Nancy. Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law. New York: Beacon Press, 2008. Print.
Rauch, Jonathan. Gay Marriage: Why it is good for gays, good for straights, and good for America. New York: Macmillan, 2005. Print.
Spilsbury, Louise. Same-Sex Marriage. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2011. Print.
Wolfson, Evan. Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007. Print. Read More
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