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homosexuality_and_marriage - Homosexuality and Marriage The...

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Homosexuality and Marriage The question Should same-sex couples committed to a long-term and monogamous relationship be allowed to marry? Why should marriage be regulated at all? Marriage has been one of the fundamental organizing principles of human society since history began. It is important to the future of society because it provides the best social structure within which to bear and raise children. Most people accept that marriage and family are key institutions in society, and something that it is appropriate for the law to regulate. "In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State." Marshall CJ, 18 November 2003 And because marriage is thought by many people to be an inseparable part of the nature of the family, the proper rearing of children, the regulating of human relationships and the nature and stability of human society, there is little doubt that it is a suitable area for ethical analysis. Why is same-sex marriage so topical? Same-sex marriage has become a live ethical issue in recent decades for several reasons: same-sex marriage has become legal in some countries - Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands have recently legalized it civil partnerships are legal in the UK as of December 2005 US court decisions in 2003 suggested that it would soon be legal there - however, elections in 2004 showed that the opponents of gay marriage had not abandoned the fight to stop it the family laws of many countries now treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally, or almost equally there is no longer a single code of sexual morality personal freedom of choice is now a significant element in morality people are now more accepting of different sexualities and see restrictions on consensual adult sexual behavior as unacceptable the link between sex and procreation has been weakened by reliable contraception enjoyment and the expression of affection are just as or more important aims of sex than conceiving children reproductive technology allows same-sex partners to have children gay activists have made the issue a priority court action in Europe and the USA has made discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal Arguments FOR same sex marriages Those in favor of allowing same-sex marriages argue that: banning same-sex marriage discriminates against gays and lesbians legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't hurt heterosexuals
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same-sex marriages would benefit societies in the same way that heterosexual marriages do same-sex marriages would benefit individuals in the same way that heterosexual marriages do same-sex marriage would benefit any children involved allowing same-sex marriages could benefit the institution of marriage banning same-sex marriage restricts freedom of choice banning same-sex marriages labels gays and lesbians as second-class citizens banning same-sex marriage mixes Church and State in an illegitimate way
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