Same-sex marriage refers to the coming together of two people of analogous sexual orientations through a religious or a civil ritual. The need for recognizing same-sex marriages has attracted diverse opinions from a wide variety of scholars, politicians, and religious parties. This raging debate implies that people have diverse opinions regarding the way same-sex marriages affect the institution of marriage. Depending on the angle from which scholars approach the issue of same-sex marriages, opinions of those who embrace it may need to be considered. Denying people their privilege to marry their preferred same-sex parties may be viewed as disregarding the existence of diverse sexual orientations. Consequently, such a move would be deemed as violating the rights of groups such as the LGBT.
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Statistics Regarding Same-Sex Marriage
Some countries such as the U.S., Israel, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, and South Africa began to support same-sex marriages almost two decades ago. Statistical findings indicate that one in a hundred women identifies herself as homosexual (Yen and Zampelli 197). This observation corresponds to two in a hundred men who recognize themselves as gay (Yen and Zampelli 197).
In England and Wales, the Office of National Statistics indicated that 239,020 heterosexual marriages took place in 2015 (Yen and Zampelli 197). This figure was a drop of 3.4% based on the number of similar cases reported in 2014. Although such a decrement occurred at a time when the number of people willing to wed was going down, same-sex marriage occasions were on the rise around the globe.
While religious scholars oppose the issue of same-sex marriages, those who advocate for civil rights actions support it. This latter group believes that illegalizing same-sex marriages amounts to a contravention of people’s civil liberties (Perry and Snawder 789). Antagonists of gay marriages base their claims on parenting and religious concerns. They view marriage between individuals of similar sexual orientations as capable of translating into incest and polygamy among other marital ideas expressed by natural law theories.
From another angle, if one of the goals of marriage is to establish a family, it is crucial to note that parenthood is not limited to the direct siring of children. One can become a parent through other ways such as adoption. In this case, same-sex marriages may be considered legitimate because partners who decide to adopt children help to restore their destinies, despite being abandoned by other irresponsible heterosexual parents.
Hence, any move to view same-sex marriages as compromising the significance of heterosexual unions, as depicted in the article by Dillender (578), may be criticized. Several studies reveal that same-sex married partners are capable of raising children normally or even better compared to their heterosexual counterparts (Lax et al. 528; Carson et al. 16). Hence, children from either form of marriage stand a better chance of getting the necessary attention.
While some religions may be against same-sex marriages, it is imperative to realize that people come together as partners for diverse reasons, some of which enhance the welfare of children such as those who are adopted. Viewing the union between people of similar sexual orientations as inappropriate ignores the existence of various groups of people, including the LGBT whose members should be granted equal rights of marrying their preferred partners. Consequently, same-sex marriages should be permissible in countries, which regard them as a platform for contributing to their economic development.
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Carson, Andrea, et al. “Public Opinion and Policy Responsiveness: The Case of Same-Sex Marriage in Australia.” Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 53, no. 1, 2018, pp. 3-23.
Dillender, Marcus. “The Death of Marriage? The Effects of New Forms of Legal Recognition on Marriage Rates in the United States.” Demography, vol. 51, no. 2, 2014, pp. 563-585.
Lax, Jeffrey, et al. “Are Survey Respondents Lying about their Support for Same-Sex Marriage?” Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 2, 2016, pp. 510-533.
Perry, Samuel, and Kara Snawder. “Longitudinal Effects of Religious Media on Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage.” Sexuality & Culture, vol. 20, no. 4, 2016, pp. 785-804.
Yen, Steven, and Ernest Zampelli. “Religiousness and Support for Same-Sex Marriage: An Endogenous Treatment Approach.” Social Science Quarterly, vol. 98, no. 1, 2017, pp. 196-211.