When one thinks about the various social stigmas attached to the acceptance of same-sex marriages, one would discover that the prevalent notions are based on stereotypes. It is quite common for people to say that gay individuals are frivolous and lack the dependability required in a marriage. This is partly true, and so is the fact that a majority of the “straight” crowd also suffers from the maladies. In the simplest terms, same-sex marriage, as the term indicates, is the marriage between individuals of the same sex.
As per definition marriage can be enumerated as “the union between two individuals regardless to their gander”. However, in accordance to the Webster Dictionary, marriage is defined as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law” (Merriam-Webster 1). Nevertheless, the same institution also provides an alternate definition of marriage by stating “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage” (Merriam-Webster 1). Thus the application that “marriage is the union between male and female” becomes void.
There is disagreement over whether this term is analogous to gay marriage, since some people can be homosexual, and could still be in a heterosexual marriage. Those who oppose the usage of the term “gay marriage” do so because they would like the genealogy to include what are called “LGBT”, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender relationships. In the US, as late as the 19th century, two women would cohabit and make commitments to each other, in what was known as “Boston marriage” in a system. According to Rauch (1996) there can be nothing against same sex marriage because “it serves two of the three social purposes that make marriage so indispensable and irreplaceable for heterosexuals” (Rauch, 1).
Gay marriage is a socially (and in some cases legally) recognized form of marriage between two persons of same gender. After 2001, more than 10 countries have legalized the process, and in many other countries, it is an ongoing socio-cultural debate if the process will be legalized. There are several aspects of the debate, as if the same-sex couples will be granted equal rights to a straight couple or anything different. As of now, there is a change of attitude that has been noticed in the general public, and in many cases gay marriages and relationships are getting recognition.
The debate on gay-marriage on religious grounds is one of the most important topics in recent times. Here most of the ideas are formed on religious grounds. The first controversy is how gay marriage affects the freedom of religion, and there are several religious organizations who deny every contact with people in a gay marriage. Pope John Paul the II, criticized the decision of legalizing the gay marriage in the Netherlands in the year 2001, and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI continued the opposition. In many cases the process is called one of “the most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good today” (Winfield 1). In the United States, several Christian groups are vocal in opposing the aspect. Groups like, Orthodox Church in America, Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Mennonite ChurchUSA etc. are opposing the rule. In 2009, Christian leaders from different groups of the United States have issued the Manhattan Declaration, which is known as an influential statement that aims to unite the Catholic leaders and evangelicals throughout the world to fight against the spread of abortion and gay marriage, and more than 475000 individuals have signed the declaration until the end of 2010.
Historically speaking, the movement to support gay marriages began from the 1970s in the United States, and after the passing of the Defense of Marriage Act in the year 1996, the movement became more and more prominent. In recent times several polls have shown that more than 50% of the common public wants to make gay marriages legal, but still the issue has not been decided politically. Until now 41 of the 50 states in the United States have not recognized gay marriages.
But all over the world, the support for gay people is increasing day by day. Initially it was considered as an act of sodomy or a social dogma, and nowadays people can openly declare their sexual orientation. With the change of the social order all the aspects are changing, and this is considered as a most important socio-cultural change in recent times. In United States, there have been a large number of homosexuals, and they still have not received their general rights. It will be important for the Government to recognize gay people and take them under the law. It will be helpful for everyone who is involved in the aspect, as well as the society.