Woman-Woman Marriage, Research Paper Example
Words: 2508Research Paper
Same sex marriage is also known as gay marriage. It is creating a legal union between male and male or female and female. In some cultures it is considered redefining laws of marriage within the state or country, which has serious ethical implications. Research on gay marriages shows where as of 2015 seventeen countries across the world have legalized same sex marriages. Besides, there are more polls supporting the gay marriage phenomenon and accepting gay couples as valuable members in the society. However, from a religious perspective there have been immense controversies regarding the ethical connotations underlying gay marriages within the society (Rauch, 2014).
This essay will explore same sex marriage from traditional perspective before arriving at a conclusion regarding reasons for its emergence in certain societies. The guiding question is how ethical is same sex marriage and to what extent is it acceptable among religious/straight groups in the society? As such, this author will align the normative ethics theoretical perspective in presenting the arguments for and against this very sensitive issue.
Normative ethics investigates specific questions that emerge when considering the way one should act. Therefore, the standards wrongness or rightness of actions will be explored instead of moral language meaning and the metaphysics of moral facts. This is not an empirical investigation as conducted in descriptive ethics, but a mere assessment of how right or wrong is same sex marriage legislation/practice. This writer is concerned with whether ir is correct to practice gay marriage or wrong. Consequently, this research reflects a prescriptive ethical analysis of same sex/gay marriage (Baqgini & Fosl, .2007)
Same sex marriage phenomenon
In researching the rightness/wrongness of same sex marriages this author believes that it is worthwhile exploring the historical background to develop a better ethical understanding of the features represented in today’s world.
History relates that same sex marriage has not emerged suddenly on the world’s calendar of events. Researchers indicated that same sex marriges existed in ancient Rome among emperors and was considered ethical for their positions they held in politics. During the medieval era there is evidence that a same sex marriage was conducted in Spain in 1061. The men were married by a priest in a chapel. This highly suggests that the practice was considered right by segments of the community. In more modern times a marriage between two women called the Boston marriage has been recorded. No details regarding where it was conducted and by whom was mentioned (Rauch, 2014).
Contemporary evidence revealed that in 2003 Denmark was the first country to legalize same sex marriages. Sixteen other countries including United States of America followed this trend between 2003 and 2015. The most recent legislations were passed in Miami Dade county, Florida in January and Alaska among Tlingit and Haida Tribes. Same sex marriage could be conducted in Ontario, but other provinces in Canada have not yet legislated the practice. Finland is expected to legalize sane sex marriage in March 2017 (Rauch, 2014).
Culturally, homosexual activity in Nigeria between men is prohibited. Same sex marriage is accepted for convenience between women. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 passed laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. Simultaneously, persons found performing sex with someone of the same gender was prosecuted. The same penalties were extended to persons encouraging the practice. However, members of the Igbo tribe and people inhabiting the southern part of the country engage in homosexuality. Marriage between two women is also considered, but not legalized. This is when a woman is childless and her husband dies. With the matrifocality cultural practice she is allowed to take a wife to maintain family inheritance and lineage. They are considered non-sexual unions. Similar same sex unions occur in Kenya. In relation to prescriptive ethics allowing same sex unions among women is correct for this society (Njambi & O’Brien, 2011).
Vietnamese administration refuses to legalize same sex marriage in the country for ethical premises, but same sex unions are tolerated. Traditionally, persons engaging in same sex unions were fined $24(US) in Vietnam. In November 2013 this policy, was abolished, but no permission to marry upheld. Italy as a country does not recognize same sex marriages. Individual cities however, have passed laws sanctioning the practice. Same sex marriage is illegal in India even though the political administration supports this ideology. Similar controversies regarding same sex marriage exist in China, Russia and Germany, counties which recognize traditional ethics of marriage as being only between a man and woman (Rauch, 2014).
Historically, while same sex/gay marriages seem to have existed among elites and people of influence in the society, legislation sanctioning its practice has never been published in public records as today. Besides, more countries are considering adopting laws sanctioning gay marriages in their society. However, with seventeen (17) countries in the world from 196 independent nation states same sex marriages acceptance rates are still low nationally. United States of American is a country with an estimated immigrant population of 281 million. Consequently, it is understood why same sex marriage is legalized in almost every state in the country as of 2015.
Exploration of the legislation
Legislation for same sex/gay marriages vary from country to country as well as among states and provinces. The United States of America version of the same sex marriage legislation came into existence in1996 when President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 104-199 known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of the legislation redefined “marriage” and “spouse” applicable both federal law as well as administrative bureau or agency in the United States government. Section 2 of DOMA ambioguously relieved jurisdictions within the United States of the obligation for recognition of same-sex relationships legally created in any other jurisdiction (Rauch, 2014).
However, on March 16, 2011, subsequent bills were introduced called companions repealing DOMA. These bills were introduced by the Democrat house and senate. They were called the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA. Further, In a Supreme Court hearing between United States v. Windsor, the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA was challenged. Marriage for federal application was union of a man and a woman. Consequently, on June 26, 2013, Section 3 of DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote (Rauch, 2014).
In January, 2014 the House of Representatives introduced the State Marriage Defense Act. This legislation forced federal government recognition of marriage validity relative to a person’s legal residence; instead of where/when it was celebrated. Under the Obama administration further clarifications pertaining to marriage evolved. Ultimately, a general standard defining marriage was agreed upon and the Windsor verus United States of America ruling in 2013 was invalidated restoring Section 3 DOMA. Currently, 36 of 52 states in United States of America legally recognize same sex marriages (Rauch, 2014).
Although similar legislations exist among the 17 countries, which have legalized same sex marriage, differences occur according to cultural variations. Subsequently, attempts at establishing same sex marriage legislation at an international level have met with immense opposition. Most countries succeeded in passing legislation only at a sub national level even though full passage is pending. Acute differences regarding the extent to which the sanctio n is ethically valid, prevail from territory to territory. Questions regarding the righteousness of such a legislation still pervade the minds of people.
The major irregularities that exist in same sex marriage legislations across the globe are indicative of the controversies locally and internationally regarding acceptance of same marriage culture within societies across the world. Normative ethical considerations also project that while it is right for some segments of the society it is definitely wrong for another. From a sociological perspective this is an emerging subculture seeking to erode the sanctity of marriage itself. Christians who still consider the Sodom and Gomorrah bible story as sacred denounce this practice as merely evil due to their religious persuasion. This explains reasons for some nations of the world criminalizing the practice within their territory denouncing it as a curse. Hence, this exploration still questions the ethics of same sex marriage being practice in the 17 counties which have legalized it and those considering implementing similar laws..
The motivating reality of same sex- marriage was revealed by an analyst covering the emergence of this subculture within our global community. The contention was that the polls regarding acceptance of gay marriage is not changing drastically since early attempts to legalize it across United States of America. Julaine Appling (2015) confirmed in a January news report that advocates of the legislation in their states ought to put their concerns to a referendum if they are sure that acceptance of their concerns have been shifted towards them ((Umhoefer, 2015).
Further, the analyst recalled a 2006 nationwide poll where 59% of American voters were in favor of redefining marriage to include gay couples. The argument is that while 37 states have since legalized gay marriages Republicans or GOP independents do not approve of gay marriages in the country. According to Appling’s (2015) in 2014 52% of voters were in favor of changing the constitution to accommodate same sex marriage state and nationwide. These results are indicative that there is no signifcant moral shift on the issue as it relates to its rightness or wrongness (Umhoefer,2015).
A Pew Research providing updates on gay marriage debate across America and world wide reported that Christians feel the emergence of gay marriage laws would undermine the traditional marriage protocols as outlined in the holy bible. A poll also revealed where Americans were loosing faith in religions. As such, Christians were neither for nor against gay marriage showing any distinctive position. The poll revealed that despite these new perspectives from the Christian community a fierce battle still existed between factions of the society regarding acceptance of gay marriages (PEW research center, 2012).
It was noted that while president Obama was the first sitting president in the US to support gay marriage, subsequently, the legislations were opposed in New Jersey banning gay marriages. This was instituted by Republican governor Chris Christe in 2012. However, gays and lesbians continuie to advance that they should not be treated any differently from other couples because it is a violation of human/natural rights. Besides, gays argue that they did not have right to survival benefits as same sex couple. Therefore, after being together for many years when the other partner died their estate went to close family members (PEW research center, 2012).
Further, distinct divisions concerning the legality of same sex marriage occurs among the American religious community. For example, Catholic Churches, Evangelical Christian groups like Southern Baptist Convention publicly oppose gay marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are among the Christian denominations holding on to the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman in its traditional context. Alternatively, the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements currently accept gay marriage. The United Church of Christ a member of the liberal Christian churches also accepts gay marriages (PEW research center, 2012).
Currently, Protestant churches are battling with the ethical implications of ordaining gay clergy as well as performing same-sex wedding ceremonies. Since legislation has been passed sanctioning same-sex marriage a wedge has been created between the socially liberal and conservative segments of the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Lutheran and Presbyterian along with other conservative congregations. There have been such heated controversies. in some instances an entire dioceses deflected from their national churches as more openness to gay clergy and gay marriage is embraced. The concept of situation ethics appears dominant in the conception of gay interventions in among these church leaders. The correct action must ultimately produce love. As such, embracing gays with love is the most appropriate action to take (PEW research center, 2012).
From the public opinion investigation two factions, who create the most controversies regarding gay rights to marry emerge from distinct political and religious platforms. It could be assumed when assessing the stand taken by Republicans that it is interwoven into their religious culture. This is similar to their position on abortion. The real issue then could be summarized from an ethical perspective as leaning towards a religious, spiritual interpretation regarding the rightness of same sex marriage.
How ethically/morally correct is this practice and how would it reflect on our young people in the future? What morals are we building in our society should this same sex marriage phenomenon escalate? Are we looking at another Sodom and Gomorrah crisis is what some religious forces are asking? From a normative ethical perspective in these public opinion persuasions also, is the inherent character of the gay advocate, which takes precedence among supporters marriage when the normative ethics is applied. He/she signifies a person with relative values to one considered straight and thereby is entitled to the same treatment from the human/natural rights within this ethical paradigm.
Profound arguments emerged from exploring the same sex marriage phenomenon and public opinion applying normative ethics theoretical perspectives. They leave a number of questions unanswered. Normative ethics encompasses explaining concepts pertaining to virtue ethics ultimately articulating the right way a person should act. Is same sex marriage right from a biological perspective? Historically, there have been significant differences. For example, the practice seemed a pleasure experiment engaged in by emperors who were filled with vice. In Nairobi and Kenya same sex marriage encounters suggested a morally right way to act because virtue is established when progression of the matrifocal lineage is enhanced in this segment of the African society.
Countries/ groups/individuals that perceive same sex relationships distasteful/unholy do so from a natural/biological incorrectness paradigm. Scientists have discovered that apart from people born hermaphrodites there is incorrectness in performing sexual intercourse with the same sex. A man’s body was not designed to have sex using the anus or a woman’s mingling with the clitoris. This is an un-natural use of the body and not the way a person should act biologically. Homosexuality is a choice people make and could hinder progression of the human race because sex according to Abraham Maslow was designed to progress the human race and not for pleasure. Same sex marriage is incorrect from this premise. Therefore, same sex marriage is unethical when applying normative ethics relating rightness/wrongness of how a person should act.
This essay was written questioning the rightness/wrongness of same sex marriage. How ethical is same sex marriage and to what extent is it acceptable among religious/straight groups in the society? A thorough exposition applying normative ethics theoretical perspectives was undertaken. Concepts were interwoven into establishing correctness and incorrectness relative to its history, legislation and public opinion. It was concluded that from a biological premise same sex marriage despite counter ethical propositions is wrong/incorrect and unethical based on normative ethics conceptual frame work.
Baqgini, J., & Fosl, S. (2007). The Ethics Toolkit: A Compendium of Ethical Concepts and Methods.Malden: Blackwell.
Njambi, W., & O’Brien, W. (2011). Revisiting “Woman-Woman Marriage: Notes on Gikuyu women. NWSA Journal 12(1); 1-23
PEW research center (2012). Overview of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States. Retrieved on March 13th, 2015 from http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/07/overview-of-same-sex-marriage-in-the-united-states/
Rauch, J. (2014). Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Umhoefer, D. (January 2015). Julaine Appling says views on same-sex marriage aren’t changing much. Journal Sentinel
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