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Moral Relativism and the Same-Sex Marriage

There are many contemporary moral issues that some societies or religious organizations condemn. One of such aspects is same-sex marriage, which has evoked numerous debates in political, religious, legal, and some other dimensions. Various cultures tend to accept marriage in different ways, depending on the moral and ethical norms accepted in them (Akpan). Hence, whereas some cultures accept same-sex marriage, others criticize it most strictly. According to the postulates of moral relativism, “there is no universal or absolute set of moral principles” (“Moral Relativism”). Different societies have different moral codes, which should be respected equally.

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There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than others. Therefore, it would be wrong of developing countries or those with strict religious principles to condemn the decision of some progressive Western countries to allow people of the same gender to become legally married. As Akpan notes, the question of such marriage’s moral status is one of the hot debates among many people and cultures (1). However, one should bear in mind that it is the right of every separate individual to form a family with whoever they like.

The moral code of our own society has no special status and is merely one among many. The same concerns every other society and people living in each of them. It is a common belief that Western cultures are much more open to same-sex marriage issue and more willing to accept and promote it. However, in fact, same-sex marriage is not a new phenomenon, some cases dating back to the early Roman Empire (Akpan 2). Furthermore, despite the general belief that Western cultures promote such marriage, many people are unaware of the fact that such a legal relationship is practiced in other communities, for instance, Sub-Saharan Africa (Akpan 2). Thus, one should take into consideration every society’s regulations rather than stubbornly stick to one’s own and view it as the only one admissible.

Moral relativism also teaches people that there is no universal truth in ethics – there are no moral truths that hold for all people at all times. Hence, what seems to be right for one person can look wrong to another, and vice versa. The meta-ethical dimension of moral relativism argues that there are no objective reasons for finding one culture’s moral values over another’s (“Moral Relativism”). These arguments testify that every opinion has the right to exist, and every person’s decision has value. Therefore, same-sex marriage can be arranged between individuals who want it, and it should not serve as a cause of anger or dissatisfaction for those who do not want it.

Undoubtedly, it may be hard for many people to understand the needs of those who follow disparate norms of private life. After all, the moral code of a society determines what is right and wrong in that society. However, moral relativism explains that there may be more than one right answer to any ethical question (“Moral Relativism”). Thus, even despite the moral views generally accepted in society, there may be members who do not agree with the ethical regulations and endeavor to prove to everyone that other opinions have the right to be acknowledged.

Finally, everyone should realize that it is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other people. Every human is born different, in a different country and environment. Later, every person is growing up in specific surroundings with a special circle of family and friends. After all, the atmosphere does not necessarily serve as an explanation of one’s homosexuality or the inclination to get married to a person of the same gender. Sometimes, biological constituents play a more crucial role than ethical and cultural aspects. If someone decides to get married, no matter what age, sex, social status, or other characteristics of the chosen partner are, one should have the right to do so.

Works Cited

Akpan, Chris O. “The Morality of Same-Sex Marriage: How Not to Globalize a Cultural Anomie.” Online Journal of Health Ethics, vol. 13, no. 1, 2017, Web.

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“Moral Relativism.” Ethics Unwrapped, n.d., 2020. Web.

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