One of the most controversial ethical issues that have changed in mid stream is that of the issue concerning same sex marriage in the United States, Over a period of time this issue of marriages of persons with the same sex has made both a change at midstream and also continues changing because all the players involved with this issue still hold strong convictions about the same sex marriages. The people who favor same sex marriages and those who oppose it still continue to give their opinions on the matter especially with strong values and beliefs. The issue of same sex marriages has undergone a number of changes from the way it was viewed in the past the way the peoples views changes due to a number of reasons and finally what the future holds for such a matter. The paper entails all this changes together with a personal opinion of this matter.
Same sex marriage during the long gone days was not a matter that people accepted. This was because it went against the moral and religious values of many people. People believed that marriage was a holy union between two people of the opposite sex, as their religion taught them so. Any sort of such a union was greatly despised by many people and in some cases any body caught committing such acts would most likely face stiff punishment some even got punished to death. Same-sex marriage does not have such a long history in the United States but that history consists of a lot of issues. This issue was first brought to national attention from a case in Hawaii in the year 1993. The Judges at that time found out that the state's constitution required a more meaningful reason to continue denying the gay community equal marriage rights as all other couples. This ruling that was made congress to pass the defense of marriage act of 1996 in order to prevent homosexual couples from enjoying the benefits that were traditionally conferred to the other married couples. From that time many states in have tried in their own ways to define their laws on this controversial issue some recognizing same sex marriages and others not doing so.
Over a whole decade, this issue of same-sex marriage has been seen as an important political issue in the United States. This has set off numerous waves of competing legislation, many lawsuits and number ballot initiatives in an attempt either to legalize or to abolish this practice. This issue has also caused a number of misunderstandings among different religious denominations on whether they should recognize or condemn same sex marriages. The first same sex couple to be legally married in the United States was Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, on February 12, 2004. This was caused by a challenge made to the states marriage law which made the San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to order the clerks to start issuing marriage certificates to same sex couples on the ground that California’s constitution does not allow discrimination. Even though the law of California also only recognized marriage between a man and a woman. At that time the only state that recognized gay marriages was Massachusetts. On the day of that wedding as an act of solidarity many gay and lesbian couples all over the United States went to their courthouses and requested for their marriage licenses all of them were rejected. Only in San Francisco more than a hundred and fifty were issued with these licenses. (Belge, 2010)
In many other states the issue of same sex marriage has received considerable mixed reactions a very good example is the case in California in 2008 where a court ruled that the law that was barring same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But later on in a referendum during the same year in November, the people voted via a ballot measure famously known as Proposition 8 which passed and the ban was henceforth restored. This Proposition 8 was able to withstand a challenge in the state Supreme Court that upheld this ban while at the same time allowing the same sex marriages performed before it was passed to continue being legal. But later on in August 2010, a judge of the federal court found the proposition unconstitutional and the ban was lifted on august 18th. Another major example was the case in Maine in the year 2009 where a bill was approved allowing gay marriage, but just like the case above it received rejection in the polls that November. Also the New York state senate voted down the proposal to legalize gay marriages In December 2009 following more than a year of lobbying for this proposal to pass by the gay rights organizations. (Dematteis, 2010)
Many of those who support same-sex marriages argue that it is a unique expression of commitment and love just like the other kind of marriage between a man and a woman, and that if anybody discriminates against it, the person is interfering with the rights of the gay community. On the other hand those that do not support same-sex marriage agree that marriage is an important bond that is age old tradition but they defer that by allowing same sex marriages the institution of marriage would highly be undermined. But over time the people have changed their opinion on this matter mainly because of the emergence of new laws that have been enacted in many of the united states that allow same sex marriages. The society has also undergone a lot of changes people are allowed to express themselves. Religious views of many Christian denominations have changed the gay community are not discriminated against and as a result the acceptance of gay marriages has improved in the United States.
As recently as March 2010, Washington, D.C. apart from Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, became the sixth place in the nation where same-sex marriages can take place. Also in the July of 2010, a judge of the federal court in Massachusetts ruled that the law Known as the Defense of Marriage Act barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The judge conclude that Concluding that the t gay and lesbian couples deserve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. The issue of same sex marriage is seen as one having a clear future it is becoming more acceptable to the society. The gay and lesbian communities have laws that protecting them from discrimination. With the development of time more states are more likely to accept the practice and as a result allow it recognition and acceptance.
Personally I do not agree with this issue of same sex marriage. Being brought up as with morals and strong religious believes that do not agree to such a matter. I still find it strange how the society has come to accept this issue. This issue causes bad morals to the society to a great extent. But on the other hand I also believe in respecting other peoples opinions on their personal matters and as such the gay and lesbian communities should not be denied of their right of expression of love and commitment. They should be allowed to marry and all laws that do not agree with this should be abolished as they too are human beings.