Gay Marriage - Should a man be allowed to marry another manWhy is it illegal For a man to marry a man or a woman marry a woman?? i mean we say we are a free country, but if gay's cant marry who...

Gay Marriage - Should a man be allowed to marry another manWhy is it illegal For a man to marry a man or a woman marry a woman?? i mean we say we are a free country, but if gay's cant marry who they want we can't be one!
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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to the state, marriage is a legal contract that confers certain legal rights to a married couple, including property rights. (Divorce, therefore, becomes a matter for the court.) According to the church, marriage is a sacred union blessed by Jesus in the New Testament, one of the sacraments, like baptism. These two interpretations of marriage make the issue of gay marriage very complicated and frequently emotional.

Many of those who oppose gay marriage reject homosexuality as an aberration. Some view it as not only an unnatural state, but a sin, as well. Some politicians oppose gay marriage because endorsing it would mean the loss of political support.

The bedrock opposition to gay marriage represents the rejection of homosexuality. To accept homosexuality would require a major change in personal attitudes, and therein lies the current controversy. Some believe that homosexuality is an inherited biological condition; some believe it is a matter of choice. So, the issue of gay marriage is complicated not only by religious beliefs, but also by conflicting beliefs about the biology of homosexuality.

Gay marriage should be addressed as two issues, one civil and one religious. It is up to the church to decide whether or not to bless gay unions (and some churches do). For the state to deny a couple the right to enter into a civil contract, however, seems clearly discriminatory.

States should not issue "marriage" licenses to anyone; they should issue civil union contracts that would confer the same legal rights to every couple. Marriage licenses should be issued by churches. Taking the element of religious belief out of the controversy would simplify the issue tremendously for all--except for those who will continue to reject homosexuality as a sin. The rights one one individual, however, should not be trumped by the religious beliefs of another.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clearly too black and white. If there were an easy solution, somebody would have come up with it long before now. And there is that matter of thousands of years of human history to consider.

Okay, a civil union among three or more people . . . Hmmm. Wouldn't that be--oh, I don't know--a corporation?! If such an arrangement existed, can you imagine what any subsequent divorce proceeding would be like? Imagine 3 or 4 individuals and their personal attorneys all screaming at each other in a settlement conference. Reason enough right there to avoid the concept of a multiple civil union!

Seriously, the whole issue of marriage seems complicated by the blurring of the lines between church and state views of the institution. In some faiths, a civil divorce isn't recognized in the church as a dissolution of marriage, and many marriages are not founded in any way on religious faith. And many people marry solely or primarily for economic reasons.

At one time, marriage gave people formal social permission to live together and have children. Married people were (and still are)afforded economic advantages in terms of taxes and benefits that promote the establishment of family households. Being married was the social norm and staying married for long periods of time was more often the rule rather than the exception.

But the times they are a changin', like it or not and 'for better or worse." Considering the incredibly dynamic nature of our society, it isn't surprising that marriage as it currently exists as a legal and social institution is being questioned and redefined by many people.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First I would like to say nice observations to mshurn. I appreciate the irony used while making your points.  It’s difficult for many to remain logical and objective on a topic that we feel strongly about. This topic has jumped from law, to God, to nature, and etc., but I would concur that it is not a black and white issue.

Coincidentally, it was at one time a black and white issue. No mixing of races was acceptable in marriage, and in fact a justice of the peace in Louisiana was recently criticized and has since stepped down for refusing to marry an interracial couple. But, as mshurn has said, “. . . times they are a changin’”.  Perhaps as a society we need to consider the need for change with regard to legally recognized partnerships. Many of the same sex couples I know, have been together longer than a majority of the legally sanctioned marriages that take place today. Hmmm . . .

Next, those arguments about God creating man and woman to be joined together are true (if one believes in the Christian Bible), but let’s not argue in the same post that gay marriages will destroy our country because of a lack of ability to procreate. If God is a creator, and God is in control, than no choice of ours whether it be “gay” or “straight” can supersede the will of God. God gave us choice, but he will complete his will. So if our country fades into nonexistence it is not because of homosexual unions but because deems it.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The purpose of government is to safeguard rights, not regulate marriage, as #7 imputes. Between consenting adults, whether of the same or opposite sex, government should not be found.  And if an individual wants to "marry" multiple partners, what's wrong with that?  Isn't it still legal in Utah? So what if the sexes are different?

#9 wrote "It always gets complicated when the moral values of one group collide with the rights of individuals."

A group can't have a moral value. Only individual rights exist, and they trump everything else.  Freedom is the ability to exercise one's rights. If the members of a group choose to exercise the same rights, then you have a collection of like-minded individuals that define that group.  And they can do whatever they wish, as long as they do not interfere with the rights of another.  So for those who oppose gay marriage, don't have one, marry heterosexually.  If government is to safeguard rights, same or opposite sex marriages should legally be seen as.....the same.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a really interesting question . . . For the purposes of discussion, consider this. If the concept of a civil union to confer legal rights to property, etc. were completely divorced (no pun intended) from the concept of marriage as a religious sacrament, then civil unions would be available to all who were of age to enter into legal contracts. These contracts would have nothing to do with love or morality--they would be legal instruments, just as the state now views marriage contracts. (When a couple takes out a marriage license, they aren't asked by the clerk if they love each other!) The issues of love and morality inherent in marriage then would be left to the church.

This is surely a complicated issue. It always gets complicated when the moral values of one group collide with the rights of individuals.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Krishna, you ask "in what way is legal marriage... intended to make a difference for them".  Two answers:

1.  Advocates of gay marriage see it as an important symbolic acknowledgement that their sexual orientation is as valid as that of straight people.  If they can't marry, the implication is that society disapproves of unions such as there's.  That's clearly hurtful.

2.  Here in the US, at least, there are a great array of privileges that come with marriage.  For example, if I die without a will, my property goes to my spouse.  If I am badly injured or ill she has the right to visit me in the hospital.  There are also tax benefits.  All of these things are not available to same-sex couples who wish to marry.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just playing devil's advocate here, not trying to say what I believe or don't...

Freedom doesn't mean you can do absolutely anything you want.  If we're a free country, how come a woman can't choose to charge a man to have sex with her (except in a couple places)?  If we're a free country, how come one man can't marry two women or two women can't marry one man?

Some of our laws, at least, are based on the morals of the society's majority.  When that happens, some people get their freedom to do what they want trampled.

If you think that's wrong, you have to explain why the two things I mentioned can be banned but gay marriage can't be.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

mshurn -- a question for you:

If the state should do what you suggest, what is the legal basis for limiting this legal right to a "couple?"  Why should it not be possible for three people in love with one another to enter into such a relationship?  Similarly, if they would promise not to procreate, would it be okay to allow such licenses to siblings?

I'm not arguing against gay marriage, but I wonder how one could argue against the situations I've mentioned without having the law enforce one person's moral values against another's.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yup, sure is.  That's why I think our discussions of it are too black and white.

But you still didn't tell me why it has to be a couple and not three, four, however many... :-)

dw1994 | Student

ok all the straights want to band homosexual marriage but what if we gays decided to go against yall? we arent descriminating yall for your oreintation why descrominate us?

ourlittlesecret | Student

If A Man and a woman can marry eachother and make a commintment. for money, of for legal reasons,  and not for love why cant a man and a man wh genuinly love eachother d it ?

xlaurenbx | Student

I think that it should be ok for a man to marry a man and women marry a women because who are we to say...you can't marry them...when you love someone you tend to marry to make the commitment they should not be stopped from marrying people of the same sex when they might actually love them and want to be with them forever...some people may not agree with me but I think that if they love eachother than they should be able to express how they feel and marrying someone is a way that people express that they love eachother.

magicworld | Student

Yup, sure is.  That's why I think our discussions of it are too black and white.

But you still didn't tell me why it has to be a couple and not three, four, however many... :-)

I think everyone should have there freedoms human rights aoll are equal we are in a diffferent world there our parents and grandparents and thank goodness things have changed I would hate to be some mans slave and not have any rights to be my own person.

ghazl | Student

I think that ; god creats men and women to comleted each other .Any man needs woman and any woman needs man either phycal or psycological needs .so if man marries man they will not complete their role in life. they will not have a pure sextual relation  .and how he can pregnant actually he can not .so if he can not give birth and have a child to build his society and his great nation    . in future the new  generation will defends for the welfare of their nation but if we do not have a real and a pure marrage between man and woman our nation will die and it may become a part of history 

citycat | Student

Yup, sure is.  That's why I think our discussions of it are too black and white.

But you still didn't tell me why it has to be a couple and not three, four, however many... :-)

society has certain rules to control lives, however, freedom is in my blood to pursuit in life.

i am in charge of my life. Life is too short to waste on arguing and disrespect.

got to go--chao!~

krishna-agrawala | Student

Accepting the reasons cited by pohnpei's in post#4 as objectives of legalizing same sex marriages, I give below my views.

  1. Should we use law as just symbol?
  2. Some people in society may still disapprove of gay relationships. They have as much right to their disapproval as gay people have the right to their relationships.
  3. Some of the legal implication (or privileges?) of marriage can be effected by same sex couple by mutual agreements. For example, by making an appropriate will or by appropriate contract the couple. I am not sure to what extent same sex couple demanding legalizing their marriages are taking any such steps.
  4. Things like tax benefits and rights to visit your partner in hospitals is important. But is marriage the only route to these benefits. Perhaps, it will be easier to change change specific laws granting privileges to married couples to make similar provision for same sex couples also.
grgsiocl | Student

There are many reasons people SAY they are opposed to gay marriage, but are these the REAL reasons more than half of Americans think it best to deny someone their right to marry? A major thing like denying rights should call for major reason behind it, and none of the supposed ones hold any water. There is only ONE reason they are really against it: narrow-minded fear. Many people are just plain uncomfortable with homosexuality altogether, and do not want to see it becoming accepted by society. Some are downright disgusted with the mere thought of two men sharing a life together, and disguise that fear with something that comes off as a valid claim. There is no reason whatsoever to deny a tax-paying American the right that so many enjoy. This should not even be an issue today. This country is supposedly free, but until same-sex marriage becomes legal, this country, in actuality, is NOT free

krishna-agrawala | Student

Before we can discuss meaningfully the legal rights and needs of same sex couples to marry we need to have clarity on what do we mean by marriage. By marriage do we mean the various rituals associated with solemnising a marriage, or there are some special rights conferred by the society on the married couples that the same sex couple desire to have.

As I see it, the marriage as traditionally practiced in all modern societies is intended to create mutual relationships and obligations between husband and wife. It is a mechanism to put pressure of society on individuals couple to continue and make a success of their relation once they accept it by way of getting married.

Is the same sex marriage intended to put same kind of social pressure on same sex couples. If not, in what way legal marriage between same sex couple is intended to make a difference for them?

By the way, as I understand, it is not as if it is illegal for same sex couples to get married. It is just that, there is no mechanism for marriage of same sex couples. I am sure there is no legal prohibition for same sex couples to enter into some kind of mutual agreement, similar to the implicit agreement between husband and wife. I personally that such mutual agreement and commitment is the soul of any marriage rather than the various rituals and legal procedures associated with marriage.