Gay Marriage and Use Sociological Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Thus, the stigma of homosexuality, even in committed same-sex marriages is still seen as a sin by many, and thus, the partners face prejudice, hatred, and injustice because of their sexual orientation. In a society that values freedom and free speech, this seems like an oxymoron at best. According to the Constitution, freedom should apply to all individuals. Interesting, this is one aspect of the five freedoms emulated by the Constitution that has not been tested or ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most experts and lawmakers agree that the issue of gay marriage is an issue that should be handled by the states, rather than the Federal government.

Assimilation into society may be one of the most difficult aspects of the gay lifestyle. Some gays "cover" to fit in to society, and some openly flaunt their lifestyle. Throughout history, gays have had several options to assimilate into society. They could convert to the normal heterosexual lifestyle despite their own conflicting needs. They could pass themselves off as heterosexual, while covertly participating in gay relationships, or they could cover up their sexuality without attempting to convert or pass. For most homosexuals, none of these alternatives are acceptable. Assimilation, however, is an important aspect of society. To "fit" in society, one must fit associated patterns that are acceptable. Those who do not fit in are judged as atypical somehow, and they do not enjoy all the benefits of normal "acceptable" society. The gay lifestyle has proved this for years, but this may be the most difficult task that gays face. Even if they marry and create a more traditional family unit, most of society still will not accept their lifestyle or their beliefs, and so, they still will not have fully assimilated into acceptable society. As society changes, perhaps this too will change, but at the present, it seems the majority of society is still unwilling to accept the gay lifestyle, and all the changes to normal society that it implies.

Ultimately, it is difficult if not impossible to establish just what causes homosexuality. Many homosexuals are raised in happy, committed heterosexual relationships. While most doctors and other experts do not understand exactly what causes homosexuality, it is clear it exists, and it must be dealt with in society. There are many sociological reasons that so many people fear and abhor homosexuality. There are also many reasons that it can exist in society side-by-side with traditional familiar relationships. However, each society deals with aberration in its own way, and the U.S. is no different. Anyone or anything that is viewed as different or detrimental to regular society is an enemy that must be dealt with. If traditional society disappeared, then anarchy and chaos could result. Therefore, there are certain norms that must guide society, and these norms include acceptable behavior, reproduction, and family. If these norms disappeared, then eventually the American family could disappear, and this would be a dangerous trend in society. Therefore, it is easy to see why homosexuality and same-sex relationships pose such a threat to organized society. If all relationships deteriorated to this level, then eventually society would collapse, there would be no children to carry on society, and the family unit, which is the glue that holds society together, would collapse. This is one reason so many people fear homosexual unions and their legitimacy. They fear eventually they would destroy the family unit as it is known and accepted today. However, not all couples are homosexual, and not all homosexuals pose a threat to society and its' values. Society may alter as time passes, but the image of the family unit is so long standing that it is difficult to imagine it ever disappearing. It may alter, but it will always remain, just as it has remained throughout recorded history. The only thing that may someday change is how the traditional family is viewed. Someday, the traditional family may be expanded to include same-sex couples. It does not seem this would cause a collapse in society, but rather it would create more harmony and the opportunity to move on to other important societal issues that need to be addressed.

In conclusion, most gay couples who want to marry face many societal obstacles. Their states may have banned gay marriage. Their marriage in another state may not be recognized in their state. They may be ostracized from regular society because of their lifestyle. They may not be able to assimilate into regular society even if they do manage to marry and show their commitment toward one another. Homosexuality is still much more than a sexual preference. It is a societal issue that raises many questions and has few discernable answers. Gay marriage is only one aspect of this issue, and it is an issue that ultimately must be addressed and understood, so that society as a whole can become more accepting and move on to other important issues that need addressing, such as hunger, poverty, and care of the aged and infirm.

References

Lewin, E. (1998). Recognizing Ourselves: Ceremonies of Lesbian and Gay Commitment. New York: Columbia University Press.

Powell, Brian. (2004, October 15 - last update), "Gay marriage," (University of Indiana), Available

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/tips/page/normal/1440.html (Accessed: 2004, December 20).

Stacey, J. (1998). Gay and Lesbian Families: Queer Like Us. In All Our Families: New Policies for a New Century: A Report of the Berkeley Family Forum, Mason, M.A., Skolnick, a., & Sugarman, S.D. (Eds.) (pp. 117-138). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, M. (2001). Parenthood Alma Mater: Family - outings - and the Making of the Modern Other Mother (Mom). In Queer Families, Queer Politics: Challenging Culture and the State, Bernstein, M. & Reimann, R. (Eds.) (pp. 231-253). New York: Columbia University Press.

Woog, D. (1999). True Stories of Gay America's Straight Allies True Stories of Gay America's Straight Allies. Los…

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