Marriage Equality For Gay Marriages Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Women's Issues - Sexuality Type: Research Paper Paper: #16182114 Related Topics: Equality, Marriage, Same Sex Marriage, Polygamy
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Same Sex Couples Should Have Marriage Equality

Same sex marriage, which is commonly known as gay marriage is described as a union or marriage between two people of similar biological sex or gender identity. Same sex marriages have generated numerous debates in the recent past given the increase in the number of gay couples and increased enactment of legislation to support these kinds of marriages. The increase in the number of same sex marriages is attributed to the consideration that marriage is a fundamental right and prohibiting these kinds of marriages amounts to violating the rights of these individuals. From a legislative point-of-view, same sex marriages have been legalized in 37 states in America and 16 countries across the globe. One of the major issues surrounding same sex marriages is whether the couples should have marriage equality. This issue or concern has generated considerable debates that have been characterized by contradictory arguments.

Overview of Same Sex Marriages

As previously mentioned, same sex marriages can be described as marital unions or marriages between two people of the same biological gender. The increase in same sex marriages in the recent past can be attributed to increased calls for equal access to civil marriage by same sex couples. These couples have continued to ask for equal treatment on the premise that marriage should be available to every committed, loving couple despite sexual orientation or sex. However, opponents against these marriages have constantly refuted these claims and argued that same sex marriage would have considerable impact on opposite-sex marriages and couples. The opponents of same sex marriages also argue that same sex relationships and unions cannot be regarded as fundamental human rights but an issue of choice.

According to Cahill, Ellen & Tobias, the arguments by opponents of same sex marriages are futile since allowing same sex couples to marry does not have any link or effect on traditional marriages between opposite sex couples (p.2). Despite the opposition, same sex marriages have continued to increase in the recent past based on the increased changes that continue to happen in the society. Actually, the concept of conventional marriage has continued to experience changes over time, which has contributed to the inaccuracy of the definition of marriage as often being a union between a man and a woman. Moreover, the concept of same sex marriage is protected by the constitutional devotion towards individual freedom and equality.

Marriage Equality

One of the major issues that have surrounded same sex marriages is whether same sex couples should have marriage equality. Marriage equality has emerged as a major issue since same sex couples tend to experience several barriers as compared to heterosexual couples. Some of the major challenges same sex couples experience include barriers to health care services, discriminatory attitudes and treatment, and a limited understanding of health care risks. In some cases, these couples and their families are usually affected by the failure to legally recognize their unions, which contribute to inequalities with heterosexual couples.

Marriage equality has continued to be a major issue in relation to same sex marriages despite the fact that these couples marry for relatively the same reasons as straight couples. Similar to heterosexual couples, same sex couples want to get married for love, celebration of commitment, and rite of passage ("Marriage Equality," par, 1). However, unlike same sex couples, heterosexual couples have more than a thousand legal protection and benefits that are geared towards protecting them and their families. Some of these legal protections and benefits are denied to married same sex couples, which can be considered as discriminatory. The denial of these protections and benefits to gay couples continues to increase discriminatory practices and the unfair treatment of these individuals.

The denial and discriminatory practice against same sex marriages in terms of marriage equality can be regarded as violation of civil rights and the constitutional commitment towards promoting individual freedom and equality. Actually, civil and political rights refer to rights that safeguard people's freedoms from unnecessary violations by the government and private organizations. These rights help in ensuring that individuals participate in civil and political...

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Through denying same sex couples marriage equality, the government is in effect suppressing or discriminating against the ability of these individuals to effectively participate in civic and political life. Therefore, the denial infringes civic and political rights and does not promote physical integrity and safety.

Arguments against Marriage Equality for Same Sex Couples

As evident in the above analysis, marriage equality is an important way of protecting the civic and political life of same sex couples. However, the provision of such rights i.e. similar legal protections and benefits that heterosexual couples are entitled to have been opposed by various people and organizations who are against same sex marriages. One of the arguments that have been used to deny same sex couples marriage equality in terms of legal protections and benefits is the claim that states should have the right to regulate marriage. For instance, Missouri State has argued against providing marriage equality to same sex couples on the premise that the state should be permitted to regulate marriage without concerns regarding the requirements of the country's constitution (Baume par, 18). This implies that states want to have their own powers to determine the kinds of marriages allowed in their jurisdictions as well as the types of protections and benefits available to couples based on their sex and sexual orientation.

Secondly, marriage equality has been denied to same sex couples on the premise that the institution of marriage has conventionally been identified as a union between man and woman. This implies that marriage can only be considered exclusively as union between man and woman who are provided specific legal protections and benefits. Therefore, any union between same sex individuals should not be categorized as such and should not be given similar protections and benefits as straight couples.

The third argument against marriage equality for same sex couple is the claim that such an initiative would further change the purpose of marriage from reproduction and bringing up children to satisfying adults. In this case, the significance of sexual relations to the society is reproduction rather than mere adult gratification. Therefore, a marriage or a marital union can only be taken seriously and deserves certain benefits if it results in reproduction. Since same sex couples can never produce children between themselves, they should be entitled to the same legal protections and benefits as heterosexual couples.

Arguments in Support of Marriage Equality for Same Sex Couples

While the arguments raised by opponents same sex marriage seem logical, they cannot be used as the basis for determining marriage equality for same sex couples because of the fundamental flaws underlying them. First, the argument that States should be permitted to regulate marriage without consideration of constitutional requirements is flawed because such a measure could contribute to violation of fundamental human rights. Actually, States derive most of their jurisdiction and legal mandate from the constitution and cannot therefore establish laws in total disregard to the constitution. Moreover, allowing States to establish and regulate their own marriages does not automatically eliminate all constitutional challenges (Baume par, 19).

Secondly, the argument that same sex couples should not have marriage equality because of inability to produce children by themselves is flawed because of the various factors that determine procreation even for heterosexual couples. If procreation should be used as the only basis for providing legal protections and benefits to couples, then infertile heterosexual couples should not be granted these protections and benefits. Procreation cannot be exclusively used as the means for determining marriage equality since some straight couples enjoy legal protections and benefits despite being unable to produce children or deciding not to have children despite being biologically capable of doing so.

Third, same sex couples should not be denied marriage equality since marriage has historically been defined as a marital union between a man and woman. Throughout the history of humanity, the definition of marriage has constantly changed t accommodate the numerous changes in the society that affect marriage. For instance, when polygamy unions became common in the society, the definition marriage was changed to accommodate such unions. Therefore, rather than deny marriage equality for same sex couples on the basis of the historical description of marriage, the definitions should change to accommodate these marriages and provide them similar legal protections and benefits as straight couples.

Same sex couples should have marriage equality not only because of the flaws associated with arguments against such an initiative but also because of the benefits that come with marriage equality. One of the societal benefits of marriage equality for same sex couples is the fact that it contributes to positive health outcomes. Same sex couples in legally recognized unions and in States with laws that promote marriage equality tend to experience relatively fewer depressive symptoms and lesser stress levels ("Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples," p.2). Actually,…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Baume, Matt. "Everything You Need to Know Now About Marriage Equality in Missouri." Advocate.com. Here Media Inc., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2014/12/15/everything-you-need-know-now-about-marriage-equality-missouri>.

"Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples." Committee Opinion Number 574. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Sept. 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.acog.org/-/media/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/co574.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20150331T1647420840>.

"Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples in New York Frequently Asked Questions." Lambda Legal- Making the Case for Equality. Lambda Legal, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/fs_marriage-equality-same-sex-couples-ny_1.pdf>.

"MARRIAGE EQUALITY." Revel & Riot. Revel & Riot, May 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.revelandriot.com/resources/marriage-equality/>.
S, Cahill, Ellen M, and Tobias S. "Talking Points On Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples." National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, 2002. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/resources_and_tools/TalkingPointsonMarriage.pdf>.


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"Marriage Equality For Gay Marriages", 31 March 2015, Accessed.23 January. 2022,
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