The freedom to marry a person of one’s choice is considered a non-scarce right. Scarce rights have cost implications attached to exercise and limitations whereas any individual considering they have no costs imposed on others can exercise non-scarce rights. Hence, same sex marriage does not forestall individuals from marrying a partner of their choice and hence the rampancy of gay marriage in the society. Gay marriage has affected individuals in the society whereby the social attitudes towards gays and non-marital sex. This has resulted to the prohibition of same sex marriage in some states in the United States (Burns, 2005).
The conflict theory is found to be useful in helping people understand discrimination and prejudice in the society. The gay members of the society have been continuously discriminated in the society. This discrimination infringes on the gay rights of the homosexual individuals and hence gay marriage. The conflict theory has therefore promoted the acceptance of homosexuals in the society and hence gay marriage. This is evident from the fact that the government in the United States has made legislations that have brought about the legalization of gay marriage. Therefore, the conflict theory has promoted human rights in the sense that the gay members in the society have the freedom to marry.
The functionalism theory is observed to claim that the society is in a state balance. The functioning of the society’s component parts brings about this balance. Among the functional processes in the society includes romantic relationships, marriage and divorce. Therefore, to maintain a state of balance in the society, the gay members of the society should be allowed to engage in marriage without prohibitions or interference from laws and other societal organizations. The lifting of prohibitions come a long way in ensuring satisfaction among individuals in the society among both the heterosexual and homosexuals and hence should be promoted to ensure that a state of balance is maintained according to the functionalism theory.
The symbolic interaction theory takes two forms. The forms include social exchange and symbolic interaction. The symbolic interaction theory states that the society is composed of interaction between individuals who share the same meanings and symbols. This theory is very assistive in the society whereby it gives us an understanding of people by looking at the way they lead their lives. Therefore, the theory has made it possible for homosexuals to be accepted in the society and hence the legalization of gay marriage in the society.
Among the immediate impacts of same sex, marriage in the society is the fact that same sex marriage promotes government benefits. Homosexual activists are continually pushing for reforms in government entitlement programs. The funds to support government entitlement programs are generated from taxpayer’s money. These benefits include social security entitlement. Homosexual activists are also pushing for entitlement to social security survivor benefits. This benefit was set up to support unemployed mothers throughout the country who had no assurance of retirement benefits. This consequently affects the survival of unemployed mothers who depended on the social security retirement benefits. This consequently promoted self-reliance among these women and hence went out seeking employment. This boosted the country’s economy (Miller, 2012).
Homosexual activists are also pushing for reforms that will enable homosexuals to be eligible for the benefits that come along with the raising children. This is ironical in the sense that homosexual partners are not capable of having children. For instance, when one of the homosexual partners dies in homosexual couples and the couple was raising a child. Nonetheless, the deceased partners who were not the biological parent or the adoptive parents were also eligible to the benefits. This is fair for the gay and homosexuals in the society in the sense that it comes as compensation for the hardships that homosexuals endured in their relationships.
Gays pay taxes just like heterosexual people in the society. This is evident from the fact the homosexuals working for the government are fighting for their homosexual partners to be included as dependents. Therefore, the taxpayers’ money should be used as payment for the health insurance for them and their partners just like other people who are not gay. Health care is their right and should be provided to them without discrimination. This will foster the acceptance of gay marriage in the society (Miller, 2012).
Gays have also been accepted in schools within the society because they are allowed to study just like other non-gay students. Teaching schoolchildren about diversity and differences in sexual preferences helps in creating a harmonious and a tolerate society. Homosexuality and issues that revolve around marriage are significant to school children as it helps them understand the society that they live in.
In Lexington Massachusetts, kindergarten children were being taught lessons about homosexuality. This did not settle well with the parents, as they were agitated because children were sent home with books that featured same sex couples. Majority of the parents opposed the curriculum of teaching homosexuality to their parents and hence they insisted they be excluded from such teachings. Homosexuality has spread widely in the society to the extent that it is being taught to kindergarten children. This shows a degree of acceptance within the society. This should be the case because the problems of discrimination against homosexuals should be addressed at the grass roots and hence educating the children on homosexuality is effective in promoting the acceptance of gay marriage.
Same sex marriages have not been considered under freedom of conscience and religious liberty to a certain extent. This is because same sex marriage goes against the religious teachings. Gay marriage not only affects the formal houses of worship like churches but also religious educational and social service organizations and Para-church ministries. All religions teach against homosexuality and gay marriages. However, a consensus should be found to address these issues to help gays live a life where they have the freedom to worship (Miller, 2012).
Gay marriage has had its share of problems in its acceptance in the society. The legalization of gay marriage has also force the hand of religious institutions to promote the union of same sex partners. This is because the opportunities that the state presents to the religious nonprofits would be withheld on the refusal of the religious organization to treat the same marriages the same as opposite sex marriages. On another level, such organizations may be denied the access to government aid and grants availed to faith groups. The access to public facilities when holding events may have the exemption tax status removed. Therefore, same sex marriage threatens religious liberty.
Same sex marriage has faced challenges evident from the fact that fewer people would result to marriage. Even with the legalization of same sex marriage in the United States, very few couples engage in marriage considering the benefits that come with same sex marriage. This is witnessed in a census conducted in the United States whereby the numbers of same sex couple that have sought legal recognition within a particular state are very few when matched to the number of same sex unmarried partners. On the other hand, the numbers of married heterosexual partners are very high as opposed to married gay couples. This comes as a waste of time and resources to the government and the society after pushing for reforms that allowed for gay marriage.
As witnessed among married heterosexual partners, having sexual relations with other partners apart from the spouse is considered a violation of the marriage covenant. This is not the case with homosexual marriages especially among men. From studies conducted on homosexual relationships and partnered relationships indicated that homosexual marriages tolerate sex with multiple partners. This is also the case in instances where homosexual couples are long-term partners. Homosexuals are also greatly featured in AIDS journals as a result of the wide spread AIDS disease among homosexual couples. However, this should be addressed through proper means including encouraging safe sex, faithfulness and sensitizing gay couples to seek health care services that would help minimize risk to infections (Rosenthal, 2013).
Theoretical and empirical approaches gathered from research dictate that same sex marriage bans induce changes in the behavior of individuals that affect their welfare and public health. The theories that influence the behavior of individual in the society are classified into two aspects. The first one states that the laws that influence behavior in an individual are made possible through the direct modification of incentives. The second classification states that laws are capable of influencing behavior through their impact on the norms and social attitudes. Therefore, homosexual marriage has the potential to influence the attitude and behavior of individuals within the society and therefore, the numbers of homosexuals and homosexual marriage is increasing within the United States and the rest of the world. This is evident from the fact that that homosexuality is being accepted and the legalization of gay marriage in in states in the United States and other part of the world (Mello, 2004).
In conclusion, although same sex marriage has faced some opposition in the society, it has promoted the equal treatment of homosexuals who share the same rights under the constitution as their heterosexual counterparts. Therefore, homosexuals in the society should be treated equally as the heterosexuals in the society reason being that they are human as well. This is because same sex marriage bans have affected public health and welfare. This is through the intermediate effects on social attitudes that gay marriage has in the society. The gay marriage issue has been greatly deliberated upon by professionals before legislation. Hence, it is upon the members of the society to accept gay marriage and homosexuals as part of the society (Rosenthal, 2013).