In the 21st century, the topic of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community and same-sex marriages is actively discussed. While the topic is controversial, arguments for and against arise. There are various opinions and attitudes from different countries and nationalities towards the issue. Over the years, the evolution of the opinion about representatives of sexual minorities and their marriages has changed. The proportion of those who believe that sexual orientation is a private affair has increased. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of the inner essence of a person, discrimination and violation of rights on these grounds are unacceptable.
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LGBT is an abbreviation that originated standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The term was intended to highlight the diversity of gender preference and sexual orientation (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2017). Starting from 1988, the term LGBT started to be used in the United States (Twenge & Blake, 2021). Some countries act in support of same-sex marriages and have a legal guarantee of the possibility of the official registration of such marriages. On the opposite side, other countries are critical and act against same-sex marriages. Moreover, some countries keep the official ban on the reveal of homosexual relationships by regulatory legal acts, and same-sex marriage performs a role of a criminal offense (Twenge & Blake, 2021). There is also a neutral position taken by some countries, when same-sex unions are not prohibited, however, there is no possibility of official registration.
There has been and continues to be an active discussion in society regarding same-sex marriage. The discussion is intensified due to attempts of couples of the same sex to formally register their relationship (Lewis et al., 2017). It is supposed that they should have the same rights as any other couples of different genders. Society, for its part, expresses different positions as well as the state as a regulatory body (Lewis et al., 2017). This has an effect on the moral health of the LGBT community, who are discriminated against (Kahn et al., 2018). However, this attitude in society begins to gradually subside as marriages of the same-sex partner format begin to be accepted.
The LGBT community in many countries faces discriminatory attitudes, including from government agencies. At the same time, there are parades in support of their rights and freedom of expression. Many activists, many of whom are not LGBT, are fighting for their acceptance and optional legalization of relationships (Lewis et al., 2017). The attitude towards people and their acceptance should not be based on such characteristics due to their bias.
Constant pressure, negative attitudes, and rejection over the years have had effects on the oral health of LGBT community members. Such an attitude on the part of society caused not only a negative response but also led to depression, self-rejection, constant anxiety, and other consequences (Kahn et al., 2018). While such marriages began to be accepted, such couples began to live more calmly in society and have the opportunity to legally formalize their relationship.
However, opponents of same-sex marriage argue that traditions, history, and religious norms are in support of marriage exclusively between a man and a woman. Moreover, suggesting the right of official marriage to people of the same sex is not appropriate or valid in their point of view. Particularly, as an argument, opponents use the concern about the possibility of raising children in families with parents of the same sex and changing the meaning of the term “family” (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2017). Moreover, opponents of the marriages of people of the same sex vote for the position that adopted children raised by the parents of the same sex are much more susceptible to various deviations and trauma in terms of psychological health. Additionally, the question of fertility and possible extinction arises, since such couples cannot reproduce new children, while they can accept children from orphanages into a family.
Many residents of various countries are still actively criticized because of their actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. Therefore, they cannot enjoy full and universal human abilities and rights. Some participants of the LGBT community become victims of the attacks and crimes and cannot always rely on official protection, their peaceful meetings and demonstrations are prohibited, organizations are often denied registration, and many other rights of ordinary citizens are violated. Direct discrimination occurs when LGBT community members are treated worse than any other due to their participation in a group with certain socially or legally unaccepted characteristics, or because others believe that they are associated with such a group (LeBlanc et al., 2018). Because of such associations, people find it appropriate to humiliate, belittle moral or physical ability, ignore, or demonstrate treatment with contempt for people from minorities.
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However, public disapproval is gradually starting to subside. Since the very announcement of the concept of same-sex marriage, they have been perceived extremely negatively and critically in many countries. Over time, acceptance and, in some cases, even approval from the law began to emerge. Thus, such marriages get the opportunity to register officially and receive public approval (LeBlanc et al., 2018). People who represent the LGBT community and who want to get married get the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of standard citizens. First of all, in the United States, the attempt the recognition of same-sex marriage by law took place in 1972 (Twenge & Blake, 2021). Further, the Supreme Court removed the ban on same-sex marriage in the other states of the US. Therefore, same-sex marriages are currently allowed around the country.
In between the categorical rejection of any form of same-sex marriages and couples and the complete acceptance of same-sex marriages on the same level as traditional ones there are also intermediate options that are successfully used in other countries, such as civil partnerships. Civil partnerships are similar to marriage forms of alliance, which can slightly reduce the pressure on the community of people who are in a relationship or want to marry the same sex they represent.
In different countries, there are movements for marriage equality. This includes the raising of awareness, assistance to deal with discrimination and violation of rights based on gender identity and sexual preferences, and psychological support. Many modern movements for rights are aimed at marriage equality availability for various sexual orientations and genders as a way to reach acceptance. In such a society, LGBT people can exist without a threat to their safety, life, or moral health.
At the same time, many opponents of same-sex relationships and marriages speak of negative influence, propaganda, trauma to the psyche of children and adults, and the unacceptability of such relationships from the point of view of religion. In some countries, there is indeed still religious rejection (LeBlanc et al., 2018). But just as the LGBT community is assessed, many religions also restrict the expression of feelings in public among couples of different genders. Thus, there is no direct discrimination against exclusively lesbians and gays. This is solely a demonstration that some religions have their traditional foundations allowing or not allowing certain manifestations of feelings.
However, over time, awareness grows and people are accustomed to opening relationships, including on the part of sexual minorities. This positively influences acceptance and attitude, making LGBT participants full-fledged members of society. Prejudices based on the standardization of any relationship begin to fade and a positive perception of variations and deviations begins to appear. Therefore, with the acceptance of society, acceptance by state bodies begins, which either support such manifestations or are forced to legitimize them due to public dissatisfaction with discriminatory actions.
In conclusion, acceptance of the LGBT community and marriage between people of the same sex is gradually beginning to appear in modern society. Thanks to this, its participants can more freely exist and communicate in everyday life, which certainly begins to affect their moral health, which has been subjected to pressure over the past years. Whether it is in schools, universities, at work, or in a standard public presence, the LGBT community is less and less under pressure to demonstrate their relationship decently. Over time, society becomes more accepting and understanding of social and sexual minorities, making it only a personal choice for everyone.
Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Flores, A. R., & Gates, G. J. (2017). Social attitudes regarding same‐sex marriage and LGBT health disparities: Results from a national probability sample. Journal of Social Issues, 73(3), 508-528.
Kahn, S., Alessi, E. J., Kim, H., Woolner, L., & Olivieri, C. J. (2018). Facilitating mental health support for LGBT forced migrants: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96(3), 316-326.
Lewis, D. C., Flores, A. R., Haider-Markel, D. P., Miller, P. R., Tadlock, B. L., & Taylor, J. K. (2017). Degrees of acceptance: Variation in public attitudes toward segments of the LGBT community. Political Research Quarterly, 70(4), 861-875.
LeBlanc, A. J., Frost, D. M., & Bowen, K. (2018). Legal marriage, unequal recognition, and mental health among same‐sex couples. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(2), 397-408.
Twenge, J. M., & Blake, A. B. (2021). Increased support for same-sex marriage in the US: Disentangling age, period, and cohort effects. Journal of Homosexuality, 68(11), 1774-1784.