For the past few decades, same-sex marriage, identified as the marriage of two people of the same gender in a civil or religious ceremony, has been one of the most controversial, multifaceted, and hotly contested topics in the public, religious, political, and criminal justice arenas. While most global nations have restricted same-sex marriage by traditions, faith, and legislation, legal and societal reactions have varied from criminalization to celebration, causing both emotional and political battles between the institution’s opponents and proponents. Generally, opponents of same-sex marriage argue on the basis of the institution being abnormal and unnatural; hence, violating the natural law, moreover, many argue that children are better off when raised by opposite sex couples as households of same-sex couples lack the appropriate gender role models and endorse what they term as unconventional sexuality as a highly varied option (301). However, I strongly oppose this assertion; this paper therefore examines some of the arguments for same-sex marriage, arguments against, as well as counterarguments concerning the issue.
Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage
Creation of a More Accepting Society
Perhaps one of the primary benefits of not only recognizing but also accepting same-sex marriages is based on the fact that it creates a more accepting society. Concerning this, by affirming the fundamental human rights of various minority groups such as the LGBT group, this enables contemporary societies to open up a way for other political, cultural, or any other minority group inclusive of revolutionary ideologies. Therefore, just as racial equality initiated the rise of women’s liberation, ultimately, genuine gay liberation has the potential of spawning the liberation trend that leads to more stable societies. Moreover, acknowledging the legality of same-sex marriages or relationships, and normalizing them ultimately reduces homophobia as well as discrimination and violence against the LGBT group. As pointed out by Joe Valentine in the story, families with same-sex couples tend to face stigmatization therefore by supporting such unions ultimately this stigmatization will gradually reduce; hence, creating a society that is more diverse, accepting, and democratic (305).
Creation of Stable and Better Homes for Foster Children
Another advantage of same-sex marriages as highlighted by the story is the fact that they provide better and stable homes for children as in the story Doreen Price provides Joe Valentine with a stable home despite his father’s absence together with Deb Valentine, Joe’s mother (305). Today, one of the major social problems facing the contemporary world is shortage of adoptive parents, and, as a result, loving adoptive parents, thus having parents regardless of them being gay or straight is better that the already overcrowded foster care system. Therefore, same-sex marriages are beneficial as they increase the pool of couples who have the capability of adopting children consequently, removing them from the child welfare system into more loving and stable homes. This is ultimately good for not only the children in the foster care system but also for the country as it significantly reduces the taxpayer’s financial burden. There are other numerous advantages linked to same-sex adoptive parents, for example, same-sex couples are more likely to not be motivated but also more committed and involved as compared heterosexual couples, this is due to the fact that they rarely become parents by mere accident since they actively choose to work hard in order to become parents as opposed to heterosexual couples who record a high accidental pregnancy rate (306). Moreover, like in the case of Joe Valentine, children raised in same-sex households are also likely to be open-minded, tolerant, more sympathetic to differences, and ultimately most of them believe in equality for all human beings as opposed to children raised in traditional opposite sex households (305). With regard to foster children, since most same-sex couples experience bias, prejudice, or discrimination at some point in their lives they are able to relate better to kids in the child welfare system with somewhat troubled pasts. Furthermore, as evidenced by Joe Valentine’s story of growing up in a same-sex household, children of same-sex couples show little to no differences in mental health, achievement as well as social functioning among other measurers (Pp. 307).
Basic Human Right
Conclusively, in accordance to the universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16, both women and men have the right to not only marry but also to create a family without any type of limitation due to nationality, religion, and race. Therefore, it is only right to recognize and accept same-sex marriages as people also have the right to freedom of expression which allows individuals to express their sexual orientation as well as their gender identity without any type of hindrance. Therefore, denying individuals from the LGBT community the right to marry and establish their own families only serves to discriminate, hurt, and deprive same-sex couples inclusive of their family’s equal dignity as other human beings. It also serves to label and treat them as somewhat second-class citizens who, to a great extent, are not deemed worthy of participation in one of society’s most fundamental institutions. Furthermore, unfair or discriminatory treatment against same-sex couples not only harms the couple but also their children, therefore, by denying parents their civil rights these children are also denied numerous other rights. Therefore, allowing same-sex marriages will help untainted children to grow up in loving families and become successful members of the society such as Joe Valentine.