This subject sparks heated debate in various countries, often leading to legal battles for marriage equality. The landmark Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges transformed the lives of countless people who wanted to marry spouses of their choosing. Any associations of same-sex partners sued state agencies in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee, citing the constitution’s prohibition on gay unions (Obergefell v. Hodges: 576 US, 2015). Their argument was that the states were in violation of equality rights in the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution under civil rights. The outcome of the case favored same sex unions since it supported that an individual had the right to marry a person of choice.
Same sex marriage has been legalized in some countries but it is still a contentious issue due to differing views. Marriage has been evolving throughout history and different cultures had unique practices such as arranged unions, dowries, or formation of family alliances (Polikoff, 2008). The fight for equality rights and fairness has contributed to emergence of new ways of doing things such as acceptance of same sex marriages in some cultures and although some groups are against it I support gay union as a fundamental right.
Part 2: Ethical argument
Freedom of liberty is a fundamental right for many Americans granted by the constitution to ensure that every citizen enjoys equal right regardless of their marriage decisions. However, ethical issues emerge when people try to exercise the right by marrying a person of their choice such as in the case gay relationships due to different opinions from the society. The main ethical dilemma involves the need to protect the fundamental right of equality and protecting the societal values of a country. Some gay couples also express interest to adopt children, which again questions the decision to have same sex union, which cannot lead to childbirth. According to the class textbook, ethical values concern peoples_x0092_ way of life, choices on life matters, as well as the role of self conscience in making decisions about life (Thames 2018). According to utilitarian belief, they are doing what brings the happiest outcome for own greater good. Utilitarianism belief would support that they are doing what is moral based on grounds of their happiness._x0094_ In the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling that legalized marriage between two people of the same sex throughout the country_x0094_ (Obergefell v. Hodges: 576 US, 2015). On the other hand, Kantian deontology theory will be used to oppose the proposition. Kant perceived the moral law as an absolute command and maintained that human reason alone could establish its content. Thus, following Kant_x0092_s views people should, _x0093_Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law_x0094_ (Cornelius, 2002). Arguing using Kant theory, gay marriages cannot be made a universal law since people have differing values.
Part 3: Explanation and Defense
Discriminating against same sex couples deprives them from several federal benefits and rights provided by state governments to married couples. The deprivation of said benefits has demonstrated a negative social impact and on same sex couples, families and children. gay couples should be given support of mental health and should be recognized not by who they choose as a partner but as to what they contribute to society as a whole. Equal rights for everyone is what this country stands for including same sex couples. Protection of rights and freedoms of citizens requires understanding of the utilitarian ethical theory that argues that people should weigh the positives and negative impact of any action taken (Thames, 2018). Legalizing gay marriages ensure enjoyment for state benefits such as social security retirement and survivor benefits, health benefits, income tax, inheritance rights and medical decisions in the event your partner becomes ill. The benefits exceed negative consequences on morality in this case. Protection of gay marriages does not harm the society in any way since the couple does not interfere with other individuals_x0092_ freedom. The utilitarian theory supports my argument that gay marriages should be allowed and the couple given a chance to enjoy their union.
People deserve fair treatment regardless of the choices in life relating to marriage unions. If gay couples can fight greater positive effects in their relationship, they should be allowed to enjoy their union and not denied by the constitution their right to legalize it. According to the utilitarianism theory if the choice made has less negative consequences compared to the positives then it should be accepted (Cornelius, 2002). Gay people are productive in the society and contribute to the development of the economy through tax and other contributions. Depriving same-sex couples of the benefits they work hard for and earn is a form of discrimination. Being married by a church, religious group or in private ceremonies is not the same as when that marriage is recognized socially or politically unless the state has granted them a marriage license. Involving the state in same-sex marriage shows that the state approves and grants dignity or expresses approval _x0093_The state has an interest in marriage because they serve the public good by protecting child well-being, civil society, and limited government_x0094_ (Lopez 2013). Therefore, the state should not deny them the equality right and the freedom of choosing their life partners.
Part 4: Objection and Response
On the other hand, same sex marriages go against many societal norms and religious views thus may not be considered morally right. More so, a union of same sex people hinders procreation since the two cannot bear children of their own (Polikoff, 2008). In recognizing same sex marriage, the state would remove procreation from marriage leaving it to self-satisfaction. The Deontology theory argues that an action can be wrong regardless of the outcome, thus even if people may enjoy in gay marriages and equal rights, the union will never bear children. Some of gay couples may want to adopt children but the environment may not be considered as conducive for raising kids by some societies. More so, why would people who cannot give birth to their own child be interested in raising children from heterosexual couples? It would be unfair to the kids raised in such an environment since the union does not form a complete nuclear family unit of father, mother, and children. It is in the state_x0092_s best interest to fully support only heterosexual relationships and marriages consisting of the union of one man and one woman that results in childbirth and provides the best growth environment.
However, this proposition may not be acceptable since not every person adheres to the religions or societal customs that have been established. The constitution protects everybody regardless of beliefs therefore; gay couples should not be denied the right to have families. According to the moral and the ethical theory of deontology, people should act on the maxims that contribute to the universal law (Cornelius, 2002). In this case, the constitutional law should be considered when judging gay unions rather than the societal or religious laws.
Part 5: Conclusion
Gay union has been a controversial issue for a long time due to varying norms of the society and religious affiliations. This paper has highlighted the reasons same sex should be accepted to ensure equal rights to the couples. It has also focused on opposition to this argument by questioning gay marriages especially on the aspect of family formation. The legalization of same-sex marriage through states has directed the society one-step closer to a broader movement towards equal rights by recognizing family diversity, provide legal protections, and social recognition for same-sex couples. Nevertheless, will the state provide protections towards inequities and discrimination based on marital status? However, considering that, every human being deserves rights, freedom to equality, same sex marriage should be allowed, and the couples respected.
Cornelius, T. (2002). Application and Implications of Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Pragmatism for Medical Practice. In Changing Health Care Systems from Ethical, Economic, and Cross Cultural Perspectives (pp. 101-111). Springer, Dordrecht.
Lopez, K. (2013). Why is government involved with marriage anyway? National Review. Retrieved from https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/why-government-involved-marriage-anyway-kathryn-jean-lopez
Obergefell v. Hodges: 576 US (2015). Oyez LII Supreme Court Resources. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556
Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? An introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd ed.). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Polikoff, N. D. (2008). Beyond straight and gay marriage: Valuing all families under the law. Beacon Press.
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