Same sex marriages have been described as many things; an affront to God, an inherent right by all individuals, a desecration of the sanctity of marriage as well as an expression of love between two people of the same sex. There are numerous argument both for and against it with some citing its possible impact on adopted children, the degradation of society as a result of same sex couples, its affect on religious tolerance and the possible ramifications of social harassment due to many believing that the act itself is against the very principles of nature and evolution.
What must be understood is that the concept of same sex marriages is relatively new to society with people still adjusting to the widespread proliferation of homosexuals Same sex marriage can be considered a dramatic leap in legitimizing what most consider an abnormal form of behavior yet it must be questioned whether such a practice should actually be condoned. From a religious standpoint gay couples marrying each other is undeniably an affront to God and violates church doctrines which are literally thousands of years old. From a social standpoint same sex marriages create undue social tension which may or may not result in violent repercussions for individuals belonging to the homosexual community. It must also be noted that members of the homosexual community are often thought of as carriers for various forms of sexually transmitted diseases and as such same sex marriages are thus connected to legitimizing a behavior that promotes the spread of STDs. Furthermore, from a community standpoint same sex couples are often thought of as bad influences for their children due to a certain degree of homophobia wherein they believe that exposure to homosexuals may place their own children at risk for sexually deviant behavior.
It is based on these various opinions that this paper will explore the various issues related to same sex marriage and will attempt to determine whether this particular type of behavior can be considered either positive or negative.
One of the current prevailing arguments against same sex marriage is the notion that since same sex couples normally adopt children in order to start a family then children adopted by such couples are at risk in developing the same sexual orientation as their parents (SOLODNIKOV and CHKANIKOVA, 38 – 59). The logic behind this particular idea stems from the belief that since children develop their behaviors, personalities and sexual characteristics based on what they observe from their parents then it is likely that children adopted by same sex couples will become gay themselves.
It is based on this that it argued children should be free to choose their own sexual characteristics and not be negatively influenced by those that adopt them. In fact it is due to this particular line of reasoning that during the late 1990s it was noted that adoption procedures for gay couples was often harder, more restrictive and met with a greater degree of denied adoption due such institutions fearing for what might happen to the children adopted by such couples (SOLODNIKOV and CHKANIKOVA, 38 – 59). Studies such as those by Solodnikov and Chkanikova (2010) refute this claim stating that based on data reviewing the sexual orientation of children of various gay couples over a period of several years it was seen that such children grew up to be relatively healthy heterosexuals with no negative behaviors (SOLODNIKOV and CHKANIKOVA, 38 – 59). In fact other studies back up this claim and as such it can be seen that the assumption that gay parents will create gay children is definitely false. On the other hand it cannot be stated that there are no negative consequences for the children of gay couples. A study by Joslin (2011) revealed that children of gay couples often have to deal with the social stigma of having gay parents due to the fact that it is still not a widely accepted norm for a child to have same sex parents.
Negative consequences of such a stigma can range from being classified as being gay, insults, bullying, social isolation and other forms negative social consequences (Joslin, 81 – 101). It was noted by Rogers and Fossey (2011) that while such problems are relatively minor early on due to a child’s innocence and the fact that the social stigma is not immediately apparent the fact remains that as the child grows older they become more aware of the difference in their familiar situation with that of other families and this, combined with the negative social consequences of having gay parents, at times results in childhood depression and the development of personality traits related to being a loner, becoming anti-social or other similar behavioral characteristics which distance a child from becoming sociable (Rogers and Fossey, 423).
One of the negative connotations attached to homosexual behavior as well as same sex marriages has been its connection to the supposed spread of sexually transmitted diseases among members of the gay population. It is actually a commonly held belief that members of the gay community actually participate in various forms of deviant sexual behavior in which a single individual has multiple partners and practices bizarre sexual practices which as a result supposedly facilitates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS. While it may be true that same sex partners practice sexual activities that are outside the norm of what most people would consider “traditional” methods of sexual relations the fact remains that there has been no conclusive evidence which specifically indicates that STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are more prevalent among the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual) community as compared to the normal heterosexual population. In fact studies such as those by Brody and Weiss (2011) clearly point out that the level of sexually transmitted disease between the two groups is actually the same and that the misconceptions regarding homosexuals having multiple sexual partners is no different than an ordinary heterosexual also having multiple sexual partners (Brody and Weiss, 298 – 300). Furthermore it was noted by studies such as those by Grulich et al.
(2009) that being a homosexual does not immediately make a person more vulnerable to catching STDs, in fact it was even noted that members of the gay community often practiced safer methods of sexual activity as compared to members of the heterosexual community (Grulich, et al, 1813 – 1817). Thus, when taking into consideration the growing number of same sex marriages it cannot be immediately assumed that such activities will lead to the spread of STDs since it has been proven so far that the risk is just the same between straight and gay couples.
When examining arguments directly against same sex marriages it is often the case that religious dogma comes up as one of the main proponents against the continued practice of same sex marriages.
From Christianity to Islam same sex marriages are considered an affront to what many consider “the natural order of things” with religious texts specifically prohibiting the union of two people from the same sex. What must be understood is that from a social standpoint the arguments of various religions against same sex marriage do make sense since social stability hinges on maintaining social institutions of which heterosexual relationships are a cornerstone. Furthermore, if one were to take into account the concept of what can be consider a “moral relationship” then from this standpoint same sex marriages can be considered immoral since they go against what many consider as a moral and responsible union of two individuals (Whitehead, 63 – 79). In fact religious text specifically state that all unions must be between a man and a woman with those engaging in homosexual relationships often considered an aberration of set standards and as such deserve to be stoned or outright killed (Whitehead, 63 – 79). In fact when examining various aspect of Christian theology it is often seen that homosexual relationships are considered an affront to God and as such tolerance for homosexuality has always been a contentious issue in the Catholic Church. While it may be true that Christianity espouses a doctrine of tolerance and love for one’s fellow man the fact remains that to this day it considers homosexuality as being perverse, immoral and nothing more than individuals giving into their baser desires (Whitehead, 63 – 79).
The result of the Church’s view on the subject of homosexuality has actually affected members of its own congregation resulting in various Christian communities often socially ostracizing or persecuting people who have been identified as being homosexual. The reason why the Catholic Church and other religions have this particular stance is actually connected to institutional theory which specifically states that individuals tend to prefer to adhere to traditional institutions and ideas despite the presence of newer and more improved systems since it is in their belief that age equals stability. In the case of religious beliefs it is the age of the doctrine which specifically condemns homosexuality that gives it a degree of credibility in the eyes of the Catholic Church and its followers and as such explains why to this day the stance of the church continues to be against same sex marriages.
From a cultural perspective, while same sex marriages are increasing in various areas within the U.S. as well as in several countries around the world the fact remains that though it is tolerated due to arguments presenting marriage as an inherent right, whether people are gay or straight, the fact remains that it is still not universally acceptable across all cultures. For example, in the Middle East same sex marriages are expressly banned and the homosexual culture is thought of as bizarre, strange and an affront to God which results in it being ruthlessly suppressed (Dunne, 55).
In fact in a lot of cultures homosexual behavior is frowned upon and those who “come out of the closet” are times shunned by their family and friends. This is not to say that homosexuals are bad people, in fact some of them are actually quite nice, rather what must be understood is that their choice of lifestyle is considered by many to be abnormal and an intentional lifestyle choice. When examining the homosexual culture it is often said that a person does not choose to be a homosexual rather they are born that way and thus, in their eyes, homosexuality is a perfectly normal behavior. This is a rather interesting viewpoint to consider since homosexuality and heterosexuality are usually thought of as behaviors which develop as a result of both environmental and psychological influences (Jeffs, 66 – 71). As such becoming gay or straight is dependent on the way a person develops and is not based on a person being born gay. Rather, based on social control theory which states that people often develop abnormal personality patterns based on a lack of social bonds which prevent such behaviors from manifesting it can be said that homosexuality is merely the result of abnormal development during an individuals development stage wherein a certain lack of social bonds whether in the form of father figures, mother figures, friends or other constraining factors are usually not present resulting in the development of tendencies related to abnormal behavior which manifests itself as homosexuality (Jeffs, 66 – 71). Based on this it can be assumed that homosexuality is not a direct result of a person being born that way rather it is merely the manifestation of abnormal patterns of behavioral development during a person’s formative years of development.
Based on the presented data this paper concludes that not only does same sex marriage have the potential adversely impact the social growth of children due to the stigma of having gay parents but it must also be noted that due to effects of religious doctrine, negative social responses and the fact that the behavior itself is thought of as morally wrong this research paper disagrees with the concept of same sex marriage and it should be stopped in the mean time.
As this paper has shown the concept of same sex marriage is still thought of as being an affront to religious, social and natural laws and as such at the present it merely invites greater degrees of negative and even possibly violent responses. While it may be true that from a human rights standpoint there is nothing wrong with it the fact remains that society still isn’t quite ready to openly accept it and thus it should not be implemented until such a time that homosexuality is either totally removed or universally accepted.
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