Marriage as defined by Chambers 21st Century Dictionary is one the state or relationship of being husband and wife, two the act or legal contract of becoming husband and wife and three the civil or religious ceremony during which this act is performed; a wedding. Gay marriage has been a topic that has been discussed in the United States for several years now. You have people that have different viewpoints on how they feel about gay marriage more so the big question everyone argues is whether it is right or wrong.
We will be discussing gay marriage in this paper focusing on the ethical problems this issue faces. We will look at gay marriage from the deontology theory and then contract the theory from the relativism, emotivism and ethical egoism theory. Lastly I will discuss which of these views I discussed is closer to my view on gay marriage. Growing up I was always told marriage is between a man and a woman and that God wants us to be married and be fruitful and multiply, fruitful meaning having children. This is something that I was told by my parents, grandparents and the church.
I chose to discuss gay marriage because it is really something that I have conflicting feelings about based on what I think is right and what I have been told is right, when I was growing up as a young child in a Christian environment. Many Christians quote that God found it unacceptable for same sex relations to take place, because it is wrong. Furthermore, God created woman for man and man for woman, not woman for woman or man for man, as stated in the book of Genesis. You have polls that have been conducted where people still think that gay marriage is wrong.
Then religion may be one of the most controversial issues regarding gay marriage, many religions find gay marriage to be immoral and a sin. I think that same sex marriage should be allowed although many of my family and friends wouldn’t agree with my choice. I look at the issue like any other issue that our country has faced like women suffrage and slavery. I don’t think a couple should be discriminated or treated unfairly just because of their sexual preference.
The United States of America Constitute states that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights. Thomas Jefferson offered as his examples of such rights “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Mosser, 2010). So shouldn’t same sex couples be allowed to have those same rights, shouldn’t they be able to enjoy the life of an American dream that we all aim to achieve. By not being able to pursue these rights we could look at this as a violation of the Constitution. This can present an ethical problem for same sex marriage. Deontology ethics claims that the way to decide if an action is moral is to examine the intentions.
Mosser writes that “deontology looks at the reason for which an act is done, and the rule according to which one chooses to act. Deontology doesn’t deny that acts have consequences; rather, it insists that those consequences should not play a role in our moral evaluation of such acts” (Mosser, 2010). Any time there is an ethical issue there is an ethical problem to follow that issue. First ethical problem we will look at is gay parenting. Many people believe that children being raised by gay parents will deprive them of normal development. Many Americans believe gay men and lesbians should not have or adopt children and that children would not develop “correctly” with homosexual parents, although research has shown that same-gender couples are as nurturing and capable of parental obligations as other couples. ” (Avery, Chase, Johansson, Litvak, Montero, & Wydra, 2007). In the article Children Raised, 2001 a “study of 55 children–19 raised by lesbian couples, 10 by single mothers, and 26 by heterosexual couples–found uniformity among the categories vis-a-vis social skills, well-being, and academic performance”.
I feel as long as a child is being raise by people who love them whether they are male or female and if they are being raised by a same sex couple the love the child would get from both parents won’t deprive them of any development deprivation. Although many children may experience some form of negativity from other people like classmates or people who may be against gay marriage. You might hear sometimes how children don’t understand why their parents can’t be married or they treated indifferently or talked about because their parents are gay.
Another problem we have is with control. Society deems that is okay for a heterosexual couple to be out in public hugging and kissing each other in public. You have some cities or states that may prohibit this action for homosexual couples. Society sees this as wrong and I think that is why you have a lot of people who are afraid to come out and say that they are gay. Nowadays people are just a little more open to discuss their sexuality as before they were not because they were afraid of the repercussion that they may face.
It is even worst for those who are in high power position like celebrities, government officials or people who may be well known throughout the community, as soon as they reveal that they may be gay it is plastered all over the news media, social networking sites and various magazines. It is really bad when they say oh this person was out holding hands or seen kissing his partner out in public. It is easier if you leave in a state that is more receptive to this like California, New York and Massachusetts. You really won’t see this behavior being favored in the Bible belt (the south).
My thing is leave them alone if they chose that lifestyle that is their choice, they should be allowed like any other person in this country to freely walk out in public and hold hands and share a kiss. Now another problem is that some people believe that a same-sex couple raising children could destroy the family and social background that our society currently accepts with an opposite-sex couple. I think a child could still develop normally when they are provided the same love and nurturing necessities of life when provided by either couple whether gay or straight.
A child needs love and encouragement to grow and flourish as an individual and that can be provided by people whether gay or straight. The environment a person is raised in does contribute to the type of person that they become, if they are receiving love, support and being nurtured by a gay couple it’s no different than opposite couples. Couples whether gay or straight will have that influence to teach a child what is wrong and what is right in life. As a child spend time with family members whether, gay or straight this will be part of the development process to teach a child who they are.
I think a child growing up in a same-sex marriage or relationship will allow a child to learn tolerance and acceptance. They will be more prone to accepting things that others may not and be able to tolerate things more than others, cause having a child in an opposite-sex marriage or relationship they may not learn those same values as much as the other person. Same sex marriage would benefit children by increasing the durability and stability of their parents’ relationship.
This will also bring increased social acceptable of and support for same-sex families, although those communities that meet gay marriage with rejection or hostility might not materialize. There really is no evidence that heterosexual couples are any more effective than same-sex couples at raising children. Religion is another ethical problem that we must look at when it comes to gay marriage. Religion as defined by Collins English dictionary is “belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers to be divine or to have control of human destiny.
Two any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief: the Christian religion. Lastly the attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or powers. Religion teaches us to believe in god or God or whoever we may believe in, it also teaches us kindness towards others, patience, tolerance and many other things to help us in our daily lives. Religion also teaches us to be able to accept other that may not be the same as us. Some people, including Christians, Jews, Catholics, etic…believe that it is wrong for people of the same sex to have a loving relationship with each other.
I think each religion might have different interpretation on the teachings that is in the Bible, once religion ay interpret a section of the Bible one why while another will interpret that same section a different way. Does it might either religion right or wrong? No, it doesn’t it is one person interpretation over another. Growing up in a Christian environment it was quoted from the Bible that God found it unacceptable for same-sex relations to take place, because it is lustful and wrong. Then it says that God created man for woman and woman for man not man for man or woman for woman.
As a Christian many people say that the primary purpose of marriage is procreation to be fruitful and multiple and that cannot take place in a gay marriage. Equal protection is another problem. The federal government responsibility is to protect and keep all citizens safe, this includes protection under the law. Religion has played a factor in influencing the votes of government officials to ensure equal protection under the law for heterosexuals but not for homosexuals. Bickford states that religious views continuously look down on homosexuality and condemn it.
These views continue to influence the American government and the choices made when voting on laws for equal protection. Our government was formed on the basis of separation of church and state but some people are not able to accept that. So why is our government so influenced by religious organization in dictating what action they should take when it comes to voting on these laws? I don’t know if they fear that they would be retaliated against or loose support or funding from religious organizations.
I know everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs but to allow those beliefs to harm citizens in our country is unacceptable and it isn’t right. These actions cause hatred to spread throughout our country because of that. The government says that every citizen of the United States shall receive equal rights. Now why did the government pass out the defense of marriage act? The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. I think this act is immoral and unfair because it restricts the rights of gay and lesbian citizens.
This act should not have been passed because there really isn’t a reason to justify that act. Mosser states “The deontologist argues that we have a duty, or an obligation, to treat other people with respect; human beings have dignity, and we must take that dignity into consideration when dealing with them. (We also expect others to respect our dignity when they deal with us. ) As the most famous deontologist, Immanuel Kant (1724—1804), put the point, we should never treat another person only as a means to our ends, or goals, but should regard them as ends in themselves.
In other words, I can’t simply use a person to get what I want nor can someone use me to get what he or she wants. We have to consider that other person’s needs and desires, respect them, and try to avoid violating them” (Mosser, 2010). The deontologist in this aspect would resolve gay marriage as stating that all human beings should be treated equally. They are human beings so they should be treated the same way that others are being treated. If a woman and a man is able to marry then a man and a man or a woman and a woman should have that same option.
A deontologist would also argue that a person shouldn’t be treated differently just because of their sexual preferences. Deontology is like living your life by a set of rules. Now the rules can be used to push yourself into doing the “right” thing, even if you’d rather not. Now this would help by saying gay marriage is right and it is the right thing to do for same-sex couples, however there will always be exceptions, and this is where the theory falls flat on its face. You will always have someone who will debate this theory.
Relativism is the idea that one’s beliefs and values are understood in terms of one’s society, culture, or even one’s own individual values. (Mosser, 2010). Now relativism on the other hand would say for gay marriage that what’s wrong for gay marriage is not necessarily wrong for someone else. Therefore, you have no right to tell two men or two women that they cannot marry, just because you feel personally that it is wrong. What you believe and hold as true is not necessary what someone else believes and holds as true.
Relativism would argue that same-sex couples ould argue that marriage is right because this is what they believe in it is part of their values and beliefs. Relativism says that no matter how you argue a point even if every point is completely proven you cannot change someone’s beliefs. This will not work because it is their belief based on how they were raised, religion or even their social influences. I feel that at people whether heterosexual or homosexual should be afforded the same rights under the law of our Constitution. I just wish people would put their differences to the side when it comes to this topic about gay marriage.
What really makes me upset is Christian people that I know in my family and at the church they are so quick to judge someone else and say it isn’t right but I am quick to remind them that we are all sinners. Even though you may not like the lifestyle someone chose to leave you can’t make that person change who they are. If they chose to be with another man or another woman that is their prerogative. Then they are so quick to get upset with the government when it comes to these issues. Everyone wants to bring church into politics.
I really thing that is a sticky situation and it is so tough given the country that we live in because of the diversity that our country has experienced. I just feel that if someone choses and wants to marry someone from the opposite sex let them. I would say the theory that closely match my belief given the two that I discussed is relativism. I don’t see how gay marriage would bring harm to children that are being raised by gay parents. I don’t think same-sex couples should be deprived of certain benefits or rights because of their sexual orientation.
In the article in USA today for gay marriage it states “But preventing gay parents from marrying hurts their kids, as does denying them equal rights to insurance and Social Security benefits, says Aimee Gelnaw, executive director of the Family Pride Coalition” (Elias, 2004). Why should we deny them these rights that they should be entitled to? If two people want to get married, neither society nor the government should be involved. Religion should stop having such a big influence of political policies and the deeper the donation the more they lean towards pleasing that particular religion.
As stated earlier our Country’s constitution allows for the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing gives one person the right to decide what is wrong and what is right when it comes to same-sex couples. What would it be like if the Constitution only allowed certain types of people to be married like only people who tall and has blond hair or black hair. What if they put some stipulation that only whites can marry or only blacks. I am sure that would cause an outrage and scram discrimination.
See this is what happens when our government puts limitations on its citizens. This papers has identified some of the ethical problems with gay marriage we have examined what gay marriage is like using the deontology and theory and contrasted it with the relativism theory. I am not gay but I think that a person should be able to choose who they want to be with. I don’t think they should be discriminated against, and at the end of the day it is their choice who they decide they want a relationship with, whether it be a person of the same or opposite sex.
Society is so caught up in being in everyone business and who is doing what we want to tell people this is the right way to live or you should do things this way because it is right. Who is to say what that something might be better or right for someone else? Lets’ stop forcing our values and beliefs on others and allow people to be who there are. If they are Christian and they are gay or whatever religion they may be I say leave that between them and their god we should not be the ones judging or condemning them because of something that they believe in or desire. We are no better than the next person.
Courtney from Study Moose
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