The rights of homosexuals have been increasingly supported with time, but sadly gay marriages are not appropriately accepted. Gay marriages are resisted mainly because of the false propaganda undertaken by opponents of gay marriage. The pros and cons of gay marriages need to be debated, if it is to be fully supported, and the propaganda against it, is to be exposed. Gone are the days when homosexuality was a very serious crime and homosexuals looked upon as people with sick mind. Of course, homosexuality may still be considered a crime in many societies, particularly backward societies, but here too it is not as dreadful as it once was. The American Psychiatric Association too removed homosexuality from its official list of emotional and mental disorders in 1973 (APA, 2008). All these point out to an increasing acceptance of homosexuality among people that homosexuals are a part of our society and should have equal rights, equal protection, and equal support from all welfare activities. However, it is unfortunate that this unprecedented support to homosexuality ends here, as this invincible backing is not fully extended into gay marriage.
Opponents of gay marriage do not hesitate to support their case with unimaginable and senseless arguments, in desperate attempt to prevent gay marriages. The opposition to gay marriages stems up from facts, that don’t intend to keep up with the changing times and trends. The opposition to it is so flimsy and irrelevant that their very mention highlights their inappropriateness. Such statements against gay marriages include the perception that gay relationship is unnatural and immoral, same sex-marriage is untried, and that same sex marriages can lead towards legalization of other such illegal relationships like incest, bestial marriage. Such propaganda is intentionally directed to prevent implementation of gay rights.
This indifference to gay marriage arises from people’s perception of marriage and homosexuality. The general thinking even among supporters of homosexuality, is that gays have multiple partners and that their relationships are not deep or emotional. Gays are considered as uncommitted and not being capable of forming lasting relationships. Of course, these may be true, as gays do have such relationships too. However, it should be noted here that such relationships also exist in heterosexual or straight society, although to a lesser extent. What people don’t understand about gays is that, as gays grow and mature, they too like their straight counterparts begin to value and seek committed lasting relationships. The values exhibited by gay couples in their daily routine are perfectly comparable to that of straight couples. They are loyal to their partners, involve themselves in family life, play an active role in the development of their communities and neighborhoods. Like hetero sexual couples, many gay couples also serve on school boards, volunteer in charity activities and also donate generously to their communities.
Some people are concerned that since gay marriages has not been tried; it may have disastrous outcomes, and therefore need to be avoided. It is true that anything not experimented may have unforeseen catastrophic consequences. One must not forget that African-American marriages were not allowed, till the end of civil war. Even in 1967, there were at least 15 states that prohibited interracial marriages. However, gay marriages have been subjected to actual experimentation and have seen results. Denmark legalised gay marriages in 1989. Several Dutch cities have had same-sex marriage rights for many years. The clergy at first offered opposition to the Danish law and a survey conducted at that time indicated that about 72 percent of the clergy opposed the law. However another survey conducted in 1995 revealed that 89 percent of the clergy supported the law (Bidstrup, 2004). Gay marriages have been experimented and shown to be successful and have a positive contribution to the family life and society.
Gay marriage is opposed by many on the grounds of religion. Although some religions oppose homosexuality and gay marriages, there are also some which do not recognize it as something important to be preached upon. Many homosexuals are drawn towards Buddhism because there isn’t any homophobia preaching in it. The Theravada Buddhist viewpoint is that all relationships i.e.; gay, lesbian or straight are personal matters involving mutual consent (Robinson, 2008). All relationships are considered constructive and acceptable as long as both partners are happy. Many people, who believe in Christianity, oppose homosexuality and gay marriage, on the basis of the bible. It should be noted here that the bible was written at a period when there was no understanding of homosexuality or psychosexual orientation. The bible does not recognise people as lesbians or gays. The inference was only directed to homosexual acts committed by persons considered heterosexual .An important aspect of bible interpretation when it comes to homosexuality is that, many Christians literally take all references to homosexual acts while they interpret other texts with much flexibility. The bible actually pays very little attention to this subject and most importantly Jesus speaks nothing on this topic, in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, only two passages refer to homosexuality, among the several thousands (Piazza, 2007). This apart, most instructions and recommendations of the bible are of lesser relevance today, like avoiding pork.
Same-sex marriage is also opposed just because it doesn’t facilitate birth and continuation of species. People need to realize that marriages are not necessarily directed to bearing children. Marriage is more about sharing, love and commitment and less about bearing children. Not all heterosexual couples bear children and infertile couples marry too. As for the continuation of species, human species are in no danger of dwindling due to reproductive failure. In fact the population explosion is really disturbing and serious issues are at stake for the oncoming generations. The resources available for man are limited and population explosion would lead to resources crunch. Gay marriages can only help in slowing the rate of population increase, than adding to it.
Many people fear that same-sex couples cannot provide the necessary environment for children’s normal growth. Such people don’t know that gay couples are equally capable of raising children as much as any straight couple. It has been shown that children raised by gay couples, either from adoption or through earlier failed heterosexual marriages, have been judged to be as good as the children of straight couples. Several studies and research has shown that there are no significant differences between children of gay and straight couples. Psychologists are of the opinion that the gender of the parent is not important in raising the child; it’s the love and commitment on the part of the parents that matter.
Little do the promoters of anti-gay philosophy realize the difficulties of gay couples arising from denial of their rights. When marriage and civil rights are not provided to the gay couples, the society only puts them to hardships and adversity. Even though gay couples are now socially accepted than ever before, the withholding of civil rights to gay couples can sometimes be life ruining and life threatening. The inconvenience and sufferings of gay couples as a consequence of these unequal rights can be endlessly said. In most American states gay couples don’t have the right to make medical decisions for their partners at times of emergencies. State laws insist that the hospitals reach out to the families of the hospitalized partner. Very often, the families have estranged relations with the gay couple, for a considerably long time. It is obvious that the decisions taken by such families would not be in the best interests of the couple. The hostile family also has the right to exclude the partner from the treatment room. In matters of law, arrest or imprisonment, the whims of a hostile family and the cooperation of a homophobic judge can have devastating effects on the gay couple. The sufferings of gay couples would only end when marriage rights are provided for them.
No country can claim personal liberty and individual freedom for its citizens when it curtails gay marriages. Educators need to develop individuals to be responsible persons capable of loving, marrying, and raising a family, irrespective of the partner’s gender. Society can only emphasize its approval of gay marriage when it is legally allowed. However, the courts would not approve it unless the society accepts it. Thus there is a wait for the first step, which the society and court expect the other to take (Gautam, 2008). The right of individuals to exercise their choice on personal matters would ultimately be given to them, to enable them to select the gender of their partner. Conservative societies should recognize and be willing to accept newer trends and passions. The discrimination against gay marriage would ultimately be ruled out like racist discrimination, and justice restored. Gay couples await a day they can live happily with all their rights and liberties, without any fear or discrimination; and that day would soon dawn.
American Psychological Association. (2008) Sexuality [Electronic version]. Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.apa.org/topics/orientation.html#whatcauses
Robinson B.A, (2008). The Buddhist religion and homosexuality [Electronic version]. Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_budd.htm
Bidstrup Scott, (2004). Gay Marriage: The arguments and the motives [Electronic version]. Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm
Piazza M.S, (2007). Homosexuality and Christianity [Electronic version]. Retrieved on
November 2, 2008, from http://www.cathedralofhope.com
Agarwal Gautam (2008) Same sex marriage – No stigma [Electronic version]. Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.lawstudent.in/bcsamesexmarriage.htm