Same sex marriage has become a very ethical issue nowadays. Population of gays and lesbians is increasing day by day in the world mostly in the USA, Canada, and UK. In this essay many aspects of this topic are described. We will discuss definition of the same-sex marriage, history of the same-sex marriage, current status, arguments against and in favour of same-sex marriage in this essay.
“There are many similarities to marriage between couples of different sexes. The rules for incoming into, concluding and dissolving marriage are the same, as are partners’ obligations to each other. And the consequences of marriage between two men or two women are much the same as those of marriage between a man and a woman. There are, however, some major differences relating to children and acceptance abroad. With the introduction of same-sex marriage, legislation on adoption will also change as of 1 April 2001. Two women or two men may adopt a child as of that date. However, this applies only to children who are habitually resident in the Netherlands. Adoption of a child from another country will still only be possible for married couples of different sexes.” (Bvijverm)
If two persons of the same sex live together in the form of family then it is called same-sex marriage. Standard definition of family is that it is a structure in which two adults of opposite sex live together and care for their children. this definition is not applied on same-sex couples. But this definition is going to change. Same-sex marriage has become a big ethical issue in the USA and it will become one of the big ethical issues in the UK because gay people want legalization of same-sex marriage.
In 2001 Netherlands has allowed same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage was allowed first time in Netherlands. After this Same-sex marriage was also allowed in some other countries such as Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa and Spain. Massachusetts and California were the states of the United States, which legalized same-sex marriage. In the U.S same-sex marriage first time legalized by Massachusetts Supreme Court on May 17 2004, as a result of a November 2003 decision. After this decision, same-sex couples in Massachusetts got the permission for entering into civil marriages (Mass, 2003, p. 941). In California, the California Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage On May 15, 2008.
Same-sex relationships are not allowed by any religion. All religions give more importance and rights to the heterosexual marriage than a same-sex marriage. Evidences for same-sex marriages in the past have been found. This has become a topic of dispute nowadays because marriage is a basic unit since the beginning of human history and it is very important for the growth of any society.
Same-sex marriage has become a significant topic in last few years. The main reason behind it is that the same-sex marriage has been allowed by some countries. Same-sex couples in many countries are treated almost equally with opposite-sex couples. Enjoyment has become the main aim of sex than conceiving children. That’s why persons, who enjoy sex with person of same gender, like to live with him or her.
“Registered partnership was introduced in 1998. Since that time, same-sex couples have been able to enter into a regulated form of cohabitation which, in law, is equal to marriage in practically every way. Nonetheless, it has now been decided to allow same-sex couples to marry. The principle of equal treatment was decisive. For many people, marriage is a symbol that carries a special meaning. They see it as a way of confirming their commitment to each other. There is no reason why same-sex couples should be denied the opportunity to do so. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry. Couples concerned must take account of the fact that their marriage will not always be accepted in other countries. It is also applies to registered partnership.” (Bvijverm)
A couple can opt any one from the following three options-
- Civil marriage
- Registered partnership
- A cohabitation agreement
This came into existence from 1 April 2001.
Registered partnership is in many ways equal to marriage. In cohabitation agreement parties cover items according to their choice. With marriage and registered partnership, most of the rights and obligations are laid down by law. Maintenance is a good example. In a registered partnership couples are obliged to support each other. This obligation only applies to the parties to a cohabitation agreement if they have included a provision to this effect. Another important difference has to do with legal consequences. Marriage and registered partnership have legal consequences for the partners themselves and their relationship with others. A cohabitation agreement only has legal consequences for the parties who have signed it. (Same-sex marriages, 2006)
“Massachusetts became the first state to permit marriage which involves same-sex couples. It was happen on May 17, as a consequence of a November 2003 judgment by the state’s highest court that denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry violated the state’s constitution. At present same-sex marriages are not recognized by federal law. This statement discusses the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which disallows federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows individual states to decline to recognize such marriages performed in other states, as well as the potential legal challenges to the DOMA.
Moreover this report summarizes the legal principles applied in determining the validity of a marriage contracted in another state; surveys the various approaches employed by states to prevent same-sex marriage; and discusses the recent House and Senate Resolutions introduced proposing a constitutional amendment and limiting Federal courts’ jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA.” (Smith)
In 1996, Congress enacted the DOMA “to define and protect the institution of marriage.” It allows all states, territories, possessions, and Indian tribes to refuse to recognize an act of any other jurisdiction that designates a relationship between individuals of the same sex as a marriage. In part, DOMA states:
“No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.”
People in the favour of the same-sex marriages argue that: To ban same-sex marriage is not justice with gays and lesbians. It shows partiality against gays and lesbians. It is a restriction on freedom of choice. It will make gays and lesbians second-class citizens. Another argument is that heterosexuals are not harmed by same-sex marriage. (Majdloch, 2004)
Persons against same-sex marriage say that same-sex marriage is a immoral act. Marriage is more than sexual relationship. It is a moral relationship. It is a lifetime relation, not just for a short period ( Smith, 2004) This relationship can not be used for long time just for sexual enjoyment. It is a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. They also argue that same-sex marriage should be banned because same-sex couples can’t have children. Another argument is that: Same-sex marriage is not stable in comparison to opposite sex marriage. Same-sex relationships destroy the health of the both persons involved in it.
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