Gay marriage is one of the most explosive issues of our time, in so far as it raises questions about what concepts such as the family, justice and even love mean in our social discourse. The arguments against gay marriage tend to emphasize how the recognition of homosexual love destroys the family structure. However, how can certain rights be attributed to one group and not another in a society that claims to be democratic? The support of gay marriage is thus the support of a concept of social justice without any exceptions and a commitment to democracy itself.
First, from a more abstract perspective of justice, not authorizing gay rights undermines our very democratic concept of justice. That is, justice is closely tied to a concept of a lack of discrimination. Consider these words of Dr. Prudence Gourgechon in the context of this issue: “discrimination frays the human spirit.” To attribute to certain groups certain rights is a clear example of discrimination. The outlawing of gay marriage is thus incompatible with any respectable concept of justice.
But there are also very specific legal reasons why gay marriage must be allowed. The website arguingequality.org has made a study which contends that marriage grants Americans exactly 1,049 legal rights. (www.arguingequality.org, 2013) Not allowing homosexuals to marry means depriving of them of these same legal rights. How can this be called a non-discriminatory justice system in this light?
And do not forget the point about a basic humanism. From where does the arrogance emerge to define what two human beings feel for each other, and thereby define love? This is a totalitarian and cruel behavior, restricting some of the most basic human sentiments and the public display of these same sentiments from an entire segment of the population.
In a contemporary democracy, it appears difficult how one can argue against gay marriage. For this essentially means arguing against justice, the law itself and a fundamental humanism. It is a discriminatory practice that threatens the very foundations of democracy.
Gourguechon, P. (2012). “Ten Reasons to Support Gay Marriage.” Psychology Today. May 10. Retrieved at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psychoanalytic-excavation/201205/ten-reasons-support-gay-marriage
www.arguingequality.org (2013). “Chapter 1: A Matter of Justice.” Arguing Equality. Retrieved at: http://www.arguingequality.org/chapter1.htm