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The Ethics Of Gay Marriage Essay

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Obviously, there are several problems inherent to trying to conclude definitively whether or not God, the Bible, or religion in general has an absolute stance on the issue of whether or not homosexuality—and by extension, marriage between homosexuals—is a sin, and therefore, a violation of God’s ethics.

The most significant problem is the fact that religion is a matter of faith, and faith need not be proven or supported to be deemed “true.”  With this in mind, there remains a legitimate reason for those who are not necessarily religious to closely examine the Bible for evidence supporting the ethics of gay marriage because in at least one survey, “a 55% majority [of respondents] believes it is a sin to engage in homosexual behavior, and that view is much more prevalent among those who have a high level of religious commitment (76%) (Pew Forum).

            Since much of the debate over the ethics of gay marriage has resulted in laws being passed to prevent same-sex marriage by defining marriage as an act between one man and one woman, and these laws are passed by the majority—a majority that primarily turns to the Bible for ethical answers—proving the validity of same-sex marriage in the same arena seems an excellent place to begin, but absent a willingness to reevaluate one’s faith based on a new interpretation or a newly argued logic, other avenues must be explored by those who believe gay marriage is indeed ethical.

            The U.S. Census Bureau began tracking Unmarried Partner Households in 1990, and the statistics collected during the 2000 Census revealed that of 165,449,101 total households, 59, 969,000 households identified as either Married-Couple Households or Unmarried Partner Households.  54,493,232 identified as Married-Couple Households (80.9% of total partnered households) and 594,391 identified as same-sex partner, Unmarried Partner Households (85% of total partnered households) (CITE).

If these numbers are accurate, it appears that more coupled households are made up of homosexual partners than heterosexual partners, a statistic that flies in the face of a common argument against gay marriage: that it will undermine an already fragile institution and increase the rate of divorce.  It appears that more same-sex couples have formed a solid, living union than have opposite-sex couples, and that it’s not homosexuals who are falling apart at the married seams.

            Historically, those who have not fit the social majority have been denied equal rights.  An obvious parallel can be drawn between interracial and same-sex marriage.  It took the Supreme Court to declare “that the law against interracial marriages violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment.”  With its decision, “the court held that such a right is covered under the Fourteenth Amendment because such decisions are fundamental to our survival and our consciences.  As such, they must necessarily reside with the individual rather than with the state” (Cline).

            Many would argue that unlike racial heredity, homosexuality is a choice, but whether or not this is true is irrelevant.  The United States of America is built on a number of fundamental rights that are so obvious, that The Declaration of Independence deems them “unalienable.”  Beyond the words of the Declaration, our country protects the freedom of choice with a passion verging on vengeance, which means one has to consider the freedom to have faith no more or less important than the freedom to love.

            The problem remains the circular relationship between religion, ethics, morality, and each individual’s interpretation of that circular relationship.  It is this degree of necessary interpretation that makes a concrete decision about the ethics of gay marriage so difficult.

References

Buehler, R.  Bridges Across the Divide.  Retrieved September 09, 2006, from http://www.gotquestions.org/about.html.

Buehler, R.  Bridges Across the Divide.  “On bridge building and Bible reading.”  Retrieved September 09, 2006, from http://www.gotquestions.org/about.html.

Cline, A.  “Loving v. Virginia (1967): Race, Marriage, and Privacy.”  About.Com. “Religion and Spirituality.  Retrieved September 09, 2006, from http://atheism.about.com/od/

            courtdecisions/a/LovingVirginia.htm.

Elgin, D. (2003, July-August). The self-guiding evolution of civilizations.  Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 20, 323-337. Retrieved September 06, 2006, from Expanded Academic ASAP via Thomson Gale (A106143461).

GotQuestions.Org.  “About GotQuestions.org.”  Retrieved September 08, 2006, from http://www.gotquestions.org/about.html.

GotQuestions.Org.  “What does the Bible say about gay marriage / same sex marriage?”            Retrieved September 08, 2006, from http://www.gotquestions.org/gay-marriage.html.

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, The.  “Religious Beliefs Underpin Opposition to Homosexuality.”  November 18, 2003.  Retrieved September 08, 2006, from http://pewforum.org/docs/index.php?DocID=37

Robinson, B.A.  ReligiousTolerance.Org.  Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.  Retrieved September 07, 2006, from http:// www.religioustolerance.org/aboutus.htm.

Townsley, J.  “Search for God’s heart and truth.”  Bridges Across the Divide.  Retrieved September 09, 2006, from http://www.bridges-across.org/ba/faith/jt_sfgh.htm.

Townsley, J.  “Search for God’s heart and truth.  Addendum 4: David and Jonathon.”  Bridges Across the Divide.  Retrieved September 09, 2006, from http://www.bridges-across.org/

            ba/faith/jt_add4.htm.

U.S. Census Bureau.  Married- Couple and Unmarried Partner Households (2000).  (Table 1).  Table.  “Married and Unmarried-Partner Households by Metropolitan Residence Status: 2000.”  February 2003.  http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-5.pdf.

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