Over the years, people have shared different views over similar issues. There has been no one time that all people have been contented by a decision, no matter how good it looks to all. This is due to the different perspectives that humankind views issues. Due to the uniqueness of every single individual, these differences have come to be assimilated in the society. The society has agreed that since no one decision can be appealing to all humans, the side that has the majority of the people will win and their decision will stand. This is what is today known as democracy in governance, where the will of the majority stands out as the will of the society. The will of the minority is disregarded. This may not be the best way to govern, since the majority might not necessarily be correct. However, democracy is regarded as ‘not the best form of governance but a better one is yet to be discovered’. Therefore, whenever there are contemptuous issues in the society, then different groups are warring and one of the groups eventually wins. Apart from the following will of the majority, the society has further devised other mechanisms to ensure that the best decisions are reached. Institutions such as the judiciary have therefore been put in place to determine the most viable ways to deal with an issue. Such an issue that has been debated across the world, with some people fighting against while others advocating for it is same-sex marriages (Lahey & Alderson 2004).
Same sex marriages
Same sex marriages can be interpreted into either a man-to-man marriage or woman-to-woman marriage. Traditionally, it was unacceptable and anyone who identified themselves with the behavior were considered social enemies (Lahey & Alderson 2004). However, it was well known that there were lesbians and gay people in the society. This however did not go to the extent of marrying but was just used for entertainment. Many priests and bishops in the Ancient Roman Catholic Church were rumored to be gay since most of them could not uphold the vow of celibacy. The nuns as well could not uphold the value of abstinence and ended up involving themselves in lesbianism. Further, powerful men in the ancient times were known to be gay. However, marriage to these people was always bisexual. Despite the fact that they had romantic relationships with people of their sex, they still upheld the value that a family was supposed to be made up of a man and a woman.
Until 1970s, marriage between people of the same sex was unheard of (Badgett 2003). However, there arose debates and legal suits that demanded from the United Sates government to allow same-sex marriages. The government was clear at the time and stated its stand that it would not allow the act, terming it as unnatural. With the increase of personal freedoms in the society, the number of gay and lesbian personalities has soured in the recent past. The social shame has significantly reduced and some of these homosexuals have declared their sexual orientations publicly. Due to the soaring of their numbers, they have even gone a step further and registered their organizations and have gone on to demand for their freedom and rights. In some societies and regions, such as Africa, the act of homosexuality has remained secret among those involved for centuries, but recent news show that their numbers has soured and their vocality increased as well. In some regions in Europe and the United States, same sex marriages have been constitutionally allowed (Badgett 2003). In Europe, 22 out of the 51 countries have allowed some sort of same-sex marriage. In several other countries, this has been allowed to an extent where people are allowed to cohabit with people of their sex. In several other countries, however, the constitution defines marriage only as union between a man and a wife. Examples of countries that have fully allowed same-sex marriage are Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain among four others. Those who constitutionally oppose this type of marriage are Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia among others. In the US, same sex marriage is not permitted by the law due to the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (Badgett 2003). However, some states permit it but the federal government does not recognize the rights and obligations of couples in same-sex marriages (John 2012). The federal government, also, allows states to recognize or discard such marriages that had been done in other jurisdictions. In six states of the US such as Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York among others, same sex marriage has been granted permission. States of Rhode Island and Maryland do not permit same sex marriages but recognize such marriages that have been done in other jurisdictions (Aaron 2012; Zezima 2007). California had earlier on allowed same sex marriage but they have recoiled and only recognize such marriages that were entered before 5th November2008. Other states such as Maine, Washington and Maryland will determine their decision after the referendum that will be held during the 2012 elections (Aaron 2012). There have been many people who are for the idea that same-sex marriages should be legalized. However, there are equal forces that are working their ways against this form of marriages in the US.
Debate over same-sex marriage in the United Sates
Marriage is an important aspect in the lives of the American citizens. This is because it comes with over 1000 benefits and protections such as health, pensions, family leave among others. In 1996, a Defense of Marriage Act, widely known as DOMA was enacted and defined marriage as a union between one woman and one man. However, some people challenged this act and reasoned that according to the 22nd amendment of the American constitution, the move was not constitutional. There have been many personalities who have come out and criticized same-sex marriage while others have equally approved it. Those against it term it as unnatural and unethical while those who lobby for its acceptance term it as an exercise of sexual freedom.
The United States president, Barrack Obama, publicly announced his support for same sex marriage on 9th May 2012 (John 2012). This made him the first president to advocate for the same while still in office. Further, this was contradictory to his earlier statements in 2008 when he dismissed same sex marriage as ungodly. He mentioned that as a Christian, marriage was a holy institution and was supposed to be between one man and one wife. During the May 2012 interview with ABC news, he noted that the acceptance or rejection of this form of marriage should be decided by the individual states.
Apart from president Barrack Obama, there are other people who actively support same-sex marriage. Influential people such as those in media have aired their support over the issue. Glenn Beck, a renowned commentator stated his support for this form of marriage, stating that since it did not have any effect on him, it did not have to be stopped or illegalized. He stated that people should be given the freedom to choose what pleases them (Silver 2011).
However, another equally renowned media personality, Rush Limbaugh, stated his displeasure with the legal and constitutional acceptance of same-sex marriage. He states that since there is a definition of marriage, which is a union between a man and a woman, anything that contradicts with this translates into breaking of the institution. He highly disregarded the efforts to legalize same-sex marriages. His sentiments were supported by Newt Gingrich the former speaker of the House of Representatives. Newt stated that the US constitution stated clearly that marriage was the union between a man and a woman and anyone who goes against that is against the constitution, which is regarded as the most important document in the American history. He termed support for same sex marriage as an insult and outrageous disrespect for the constitution. He prompted the Congress to move quickly and reaffirm that marriage was a union between one man and one woman.
Contrary to Newt’s comments, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi voiced her support for same-sex marriage in 2009. She regarded restriction to marry whoever one wanted as unconstitutional and as one that violated human rights. She stated that the DOMA Act aroused discrimination against some marriages which she termed as unconstitutional (Silver 2011). She wished that the American people would allow same sex marriage and she wished all families to treat equally. She stated that the Defense of Marriage Act was supposed to get scrapped off completely. This was also supported by Barney Frank who recommended that DOMA Act was supposed to get scraped off to allow same-sex marriage and allow personal freedoms. Other prominent people such as the US former president Bill Clinton have supported the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the United States.
Apart from the renowned individuals, different groups have also joined the talk about legalization of same-sex marriages. National Organization for Marriage (NOM) supports same-sex marriage and has been advocating for people to be allowed to indulge in any form of marriage they deem comfortable. Restricting gays and lesbians from marrying, yet the constitution demands that there should be no discrimination on any American citizen, is a sign of non-commitment to follow the constitution, they declare. If gay men and lesbians are respected as American citizens, they should be allowed to marry their partners, according to NOM. Another lobby group, Family Research Council (FRC), has, on the other hand, come out very strongly in the opposition of legalizing same-sex marriages. It has differed with the increasing gay and lesbian rights, stating that this would be the first way to end same-sex marriage. FRC argues that since the constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, anything short of that would amount to falsification and radical redefinition of the institution.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is among the leading groups in support for same-sex marriages. It argues that those who have partners of their sex should be allowed to honor the time they have spent together by pronouncing to the society that they would stand by each other for better and for worse (Simmons 2012). This, according to HRC is the best way to honor each other despite the opposition by different people.
The supporters of same-sex marriage have several arguments that they use to push for their agenda. First, they argue that it would empower a minority group in the society, the gay and lesbians (Lahey& Alderson 2004). According to these supporters, supported by psychological experts and researchers, same-sex marriage does not have any psychological or mental effects on the children raised by same-sex parents in comparison to those raised by heterosexual parents (Price 2009). In fact, if they are not legalized to marry, same-sex couples face unfair stigmatization (Donald 2006).
Those opposed to same-sex marriage base their arguments on the natural setting of humanity. They reason that nature has males and females and that male should get acquainted to females. Further, they quote religious factors since no religion supports same-sex marriages. The institution is purely supposed to be between a man and a woman. The opposers also cite an increase in cases of incest and poor parentage if same-sex marriages would be legalized (Price 2009). They also say that children would get hurt if raised by same-sex parents as opposed by the natural way where children are raised by a mother and a father. If this is also permitted, there is a high probability that polyamory, polygamy and group marriages would later follow and spoil the social setup in the US. The referendums on whether to legalize same-sex marriage or not will be carried out later in 2012. The National Organization for Marriage has set aside a large amount of money and other resources for campaigns to ensure that same-sex marriage is legalized in the United States of America.
Facts about same-sex marriages
Same-sex marriages are as a result of attraction towards people of one sex. If this happens, one is likely to become a gay or lesbian. However, there is a group of people within the population who are bisexual and get attractions from both their sex mates and those from opposite sex.
Many theories have been brought forward by scientists and social groups to explain the source of attraction towards members of one sex. There has not been any evidence that gives concrete reason as to why one would become a homosexual (Rosenfel 1986). However, there have been observations that show that homosexuality is also found in animals, which explains that it could be natural after all. Most of the people who are in homosexual behavior have no idea how they got attracted to the lives they live. Most of them believe that they found themselves the way they are.
It has been accepted that some people are naturally attracted to people of their own sex. However, there is a large population that is believed to have been introduced into homosexual behavior at an advanced age such as teenage or adult ages. This might have been as a result of peer influence or pressure from the people one associates with.
Homosexuality can as well result from the parents. Children might end up following the steps of their parents especially if their parents seem to be happy together (Donald 2003). Therefore, happy heterosexual parents are likely to bring up heterosexual children while happy homosexual parents are also likely to bring up homosexual children.
The environment that one grows in is also a major factor that determines their sexual orientation. Experiences at an early age might be a source of determination of the future (Rosenfel 1986). Experiences such as pornographic material to children, sexual assault and experiencing older people having sex may make the child want experience what he/she sees. Some children are lured into sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by their seniors and this makes them vulnerable to emotional and physical excitements.
More research should be carried out to determine the socio-economic impacts of same-sex marriages. This will help determine the course of action. If there will be positive effects to the society, then same-sex marriage should be legalized. On the other hand, if the effects will be negative, same-sex marriage should be completely illegalized through the constitution and other legal channels.
The US government should be specific regarding the gay and lesbian issues, with connection to same-sex marriages. If the government and its agencies decide to recognize and uphold gay and lesbian rights, they should as well strike a social balance. If, on the other hand, they decide that same-sex marriage will not be legalized, gays and lesbians should not be recognized by the government and the constitution. This is because by allowing them to develop relationships and not get married would be unfair to the society.
One sexual orientation is a matter of choice. While some find homosexual life disgusting, others find heterosexual relationships equally disgusting. This therefore leaves us to leave people and their feelings regarding the issue. However, children should be left alone to choose the way they want to spend their lives. Those who recruit young children to follow a certain sexual orientation should be stopped and punished accordingly. Children who are harassed at tender ages or sexually exposed at young ages develop certain abnormal characteristics. Therefore, children sexual molestation should be placed among the most serious crimes. This is because the post traumatic stress after the event may lead them to develop abnormal characteristics that would change the course of their lives towards what they were never destined to be. This is a capital sin equal to a crime against humanity.
Since democracy is currently the best way to govern a country, the referendum that will be held in November should decide the fate of same-sex marriage to the citizens of the United Sates of America. Whatever the majority will decide will stay, but it will surely not be appealing to everyone as in the case of most of the decisions amongst humankind.