In today’s society people face some form or type of dilemma and it could either be a personal, ethical, or moral dilemma. As individual’s we encounter personal dilemmas, whether it is professional or educational and with these dilemmas there is always some type of choice that must be made and with this choice there is either a solution or resolution or in some cases the choice that is made could either have a positive or negative effect for those involved.
Within our society we are faced with ethical dilemmas on a daily basis and they come in the forms of newspapers, television, and by Internet. Some of these dilemmas could be about a Congressman/woman, Senators, Politicians, or Celebrities. For this paper the topic that has been chosen and will be discussed is Same Sex Marriage and the following will also be addressed as well: the nature of the dilemma, the ethical decision made about Same Sex Marriage, alternative course of action and why this action was taken, and the outcome of the situation.
Ethics and Morality
So what is ethics and how can it affect me and the choices I make? According to Braswell, McCarthy & McCarthy (2012), ethics can be defined as “the study of what is considered to be right and wrong, good and evil”. For example, let’s say that you caught your best friend cheating on his wife. What do you do? Do you confront your best friend and give him the chance to explain what is going on or do you just ignore what you saw and not say anything to either your best friend or to the wife. This is what would be considered an ethical dilemma in which there is a conflict and that some type of choice has to be made. In this type of situation no matter the type of choice you make it could affect your best friend and his wife in a positive or negative way. Morality can be defined by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary as “…a system of moral conduct” leading ultimately to the living of a moral life (Morality n.d.). For example, if an individual is faced with a moral dilemma this means he/she not only makes the decision about the conflict itself, but as a result there could be more than one action or reason why the individual chose that particular action. Basically, the individual has to make a choice, but with this choice there could be more than one solution or resolution and the decision must benefit the greater good of society in a whole. Same Sex Marriage
As little girl’s we had this fantasy of what our ideal wedding would be like and it would be that the man of our dreams would be up there standing at the altar waiting for his soul mate and best friend. This is what most little girl’s dream of, but the reality of this is the fact that most boys and girls dream about marrying the man or girl of their dreams. The idea of marriage has taken on a whole if not different concept and meaning. When one thinks of marriage it is a union between a man and woman, not a union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Most of us may have family members and even friends that are in a same sex relationship. For most of these couples the only thing they are wanting is to not only spend the rest of their lives with their partner, but to have it legal and recognized in the state they live in. On October 14th, 2014 same sex marriage not only became legal in 23 states, including the District of Columbia, but in the first time in our history President Obama gave his full support to same sex marriage stating this: “At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married” (ProCon.org). In a decision that was made by the United Stated Supreme Court same sex couples can now be allowed to receive the same benefits as married heterosexual couples would receive.
For the rest of the 20 states that have not legalized same sex marriage it would seem that there are certain laws, constitutional amendments or both prevent a same sex couple from getting married in his or her own state (ProCon.org). My Personal Belief and Reasons Why I Support Same Sex Marriage To be completely honest this issue not only hits a raw nerve with me, but I have family and friends that have been in a same sex relationship for years and have expressed to me about getting married. For example, I have a best friend, who is not only like a sister to me, but she is considered to be part of our family. My friend and her partner live in a state where there is a ban on same sex marriage and she has expressed to me that she would like to marry her partner, but in order for that to happen she must go to another state to get married. We were both brought up and taught by our church that not only is marriage reserved for a man and a woman, but homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes. When my friend first told me of her plans to marry her partner I expressed my feelings of happiness and excitement. I have never nor will I be judgmental of my best friend’s decisions or choices when it comes to her life. As a friend I will always be supportive and I will stand with her though thick and thin.
My friend and I are both bi-sexual and we are happy with our lifestyle and we do not see anything wrong with the way we live. Many times we have heard that being gay is a sin or that when we die we will not be able to go to Heaven that we are destined for a life of Hell due to our lifestyle. The dilemma in this case is that my friend and her partner do want to get married and in order to do that they must go to Minnesota, Illinois, Nevada, or New York to get married. The problem with this is the marriage will only be recognized in the state they have gotten married in and for some states you must be a resident of six month or longer in order to get married. To be perfectly honest I believe that same sex couples should be allowed to celebrate their union. If heterosexual couples can celebrate their union then why not a same sex couple?
Clearly the definition of marriage has changed and people that were not fully supportive or accepting of same sex marriage are supporting the idea of same sex marriage and if same sex couples were to allowed to marry this would give them the opportunity to adopt a child and provide a stable and healthy environment for the child. In New Jersey, since making same sex marriage legal not only has the economy grown, but it has also provided new jobs and brought in additional money and with Massachusetts being the first state to legalized same sex marriage there has been a decrease in the divorce rate (ProCon.org). Reason for Decision and Outcome of the Situation
With the situation of my friend and her partner wanting to getting married not only do I fully accept and support the idea of their marriage, but knowing that our government has made changes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a much welcome relief and positive change (ProCon.org). With the support of the President of the United States and the Supreme Court decision that allows same sex couples to receive the same tax breaks and pension rights of married heterosexual couples this is just the beginning (ProCon.org) The next step is to lift the ban or constitutional amendments in the remaining 20 states and allow same sex couples to marry. By allowing same sex couples to marry this in no way will weaken the family values, but will only make the family values stronger and more successfully. Marriage should not be looked at as a privilege or a right, but as a reason to celebrate a union between two people that love each other not matter what their sexual orientation and the family unit is now being redefined as well. A family unit does consist of a mother and father, but now the family unit can consist of two mothers and two fathers raising a healthy family in a healthy environment. Conclusion
Whether the dilemma you are faced with is personal, ethical or moral one thing we do know is there is always some type of conflict between the action and positive or negative consequence are made for that action or behavior. Dilemmas are personal in nature and one must find the appropriate course of action to help resolve the issue that was at hand. In the case with my friend and her partner the dilemma was simply they both wanted to get married and in order for that to happen they would have to travel to another state in order to get married, but at the same time the marriage would be recognized in the state they were married in and not the state they live in. With this type of dilemma the possibility of my friend receiving any type of benefits from her partner is looking grave and until the state lifts the ban on same sex marriage her and her partner will remain in a domestic partnership.
Braswell, M., McCarthy, B.R., and McCarthy B. (2021). Ethics, Crime, and Justice: An
Introductory Note to Students. Science and Technology
Morality. (n.d). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed). Retrieved from:
ProCon.org (2014, October 14). Gay Marriage ProCon.org. Retrieved from:
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Personal Dilemma Paper. (2016, May 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/personal-dilemma-paper-2-essay