In Favor of Same Sex Marriage Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Gay Marriage

Whether to allow same-sex marriage or not is a hotly debated topic in many Western countries at the present time. Belgium, Canada, Spain and the Netherlands have recently legalized it. Should same-sex couples, committed to a long-term monogamous relationship, be allowed to marry? Many people feel that the answer to this question should be a firm: No!

The arguments they put forth against same-sex marriage usually include the following:

marriage is a fundamental and unchangeable institution, marriage is traditionally between persons of opposite sex, if same-sex marriages are recognized then bigamous, polygamous, incestuous marriages and marriages with animals must be recognized too, same-sex couples can't have children, society has an interest in promoting marriage as the environment for procreation and child-rearing, same-sex parenting is less good for children than the parenting found in traditional family units, same-sex parenting may bias children towards a homosexual lifestyle, same-sex relationships are less stable and less faithful than opposite-sex relationships, allowing same-sex marriages will damage the institution of traditional heterosexual marriage, marriage is defined by scripture and tradition as involving a man and a woman, and finally, marriage between one man and one woman is a religious sacrament. This essay will refute these contentions with valid arguments to the contrary.

It is simply not true that marriage is an unchangeable institution. Not only do different societies differ in their institutions of marriage, but even in Western society marriage has changed a great deal. Perhaps the biggest change is that marriage is now a partnership of equals, which was not the case originally. Marriage has changed in its make-up in many ways: the age at which people marry, the racial mix now possible, the gender roles and responsibilities within the marriage etc. The concepts that revolve around the idea of marriage have change radically over the years, so to draw a line now would seem artificial and illogical.

Marriage may well be traditionally between members of the opposite sex, and this may be the 'norm' but this does not necessarily mean that opposite-sex marriages are the best or the only form of acceptable permanent partnership. If definitions of marriage are in flux, and this is hardly debatable, then this argument lacks any logical force. Shouldn't societies be able to extend the scope of marriage if a majority of its members want to do so?

Many feel that if same-sex marriages are recognized then bigamous, polygamous, incestuous marriages, and marriages with animals must be recognized. This argument however has no merit at all; there are plenty of reasons for rejecting these other types of marriage that don't apply to same-sex marriages: polygamous marriages exploit women, incestuous marriages risk producing children with damaged health, giving incest a seal of approval weakens a taboo that is vital for preserving the family as a safe place for children. Anyway, this is a "red herring" argument; nobody is actually arguing for the legalization of any of these forms of marriage (except for a small group in favor of polygamy), so there's no danger of having to recognize them.

Some have argued that procreation is an essential element of marriage, and usually bring up this point in the context of arguing against same-sex marriage. But when you look at it in detail, the argument that…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

The Economist. "The case for gay marriage." Feb 26th 2004 .

Wikipedia Encyclopedia. "Same-sex marriage."

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