Gay Marriage: A Controversial Moral Issue

Moral issues essentially refer to some acceptable codes of conduct that are recommended by a society or a group of people, such as the religious one, to govern how individuals ought to behave. The moral issues are relationship-oriented and fundamentally stipulate what things people should and should not do. Any member of the society engaging in contrary activities or behavior is deemed to be immoral. Most of the moral inclinations are mostly drawn from the religious perspectives that have well defined moral laws. Constitutions, which are adopted by different countries, are based on the acceptable norms, values, morals, and ethical aspects of the society. Just as the society unanimously accepts that it is immoral and criminal to kill, defining marriage commitments, and sexual demeanor to form part of moral issues. For example, the society is concerned with: how marriage can be dissolved; whether people, including children, are free to engage in sex with anyone they desire; whether sex should be limited to marriage partners only; and whether marriage should be restricted to individuals of opposite sex.

Determination of the moral aspects of these issues throughout history clearly classifies homosexuality as a moral issue in nearly all societies around the globe. In this regard, gay marriage has been morally unacceptable in the societies until recently, when a few isolated constitutions recognized such unions. The subject has remained contentious in most parts around the world and has prompted a number of arguments among members of the society. I once experienced such argument one Sunday morning when I found two individuals engaged in a fierce argument at the newspaper vendors point by the streets over the morality of gay marriage and whether it was right for President Obama to support it. This was in response to an article that featured in the day’s paper, and after listening for a while, following the direction of their talk, I decided to approach them and introduced myself. The following is the dialogue that followed:

Me: Excuse me gentlemen, sorry for interruption. Good morning.

They: Morning! They answered in a chorus.

Me: My name is Plato, I have briefly followed your conversation concerning gay marriage and I felt like joining you in the conversation because I similarly feel it is an issue that touches the whole society.

They: You are welcome. I am Peter,….John (they introduced themselves in a row)

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Plato: I overheard you mention the relationship between morality and religion in relation to President Obama’s response on gay marriage.

Peter: Yes Plato, before a child knows the national laws, he first learns the values and norms that the   immediate family ascribes to. Most of these values adopted by family units and the society are almost universally determined by the religious values parents identify with. Religion and morality are inseparable and are vital in the public life of this country.

John: I think my colleague’s assertion is not correct. There are many children who are born in families not inclined towards any religion but still remain moral.

Peter: In such scenarios, the moral values acceptable by the local society are automatically inculcated in the child. The question is, where did the society draw such moral standards? For me, marriage is one most imperative issue that is critical to the stability of family units, though presently, it is among the most contested public issues.

John: Using religion is a very misleading standard, since different religions subscribe to different values and norms. For example, Muslim Jihadists believe that killing in the name of God is right and that it gives them automatic entry to heaven, while on the other hand, it is sin by Christian standard. In this regard, using religion as the foundation of setting moral values is misleading.

Peter: In as much as there are different values fronted by different religions, there are shared values across the divide. My argument is that most moral values are borrowed from religious values, and in this case, all the major religions are in agreement as far as marriage laws are concerned. Gay marriage and homosexuality in general is prohibited.

Plato: Now, what is your take on the Presidents support of gay marriage?

Peter: Indisputably, in my opinion, it is devilish and an indication of the level of moral decay in which our society and country is now. We have even seen and read some religious leaders publicly officiating gay weddings or supporting the homosexuals who publicly declare their engagements. Currently, as we can notice, there is a lot of lobbing and it is not surprising to see marriage partners employ moral argumentation and solicit the endorsement of religious figures and institutions. That is why we see governors and court ruling in favor or the moral issue. President, in my view, is just one of those succumbing to the pressure.

John:Uhm… I think it is important for Peter to know that in a mature democracy, it is the democratic right of any person to be affiliated to any religious practice, to associate with particular people as well as to choose who to marry, including the sex. Laws recognizing gay marriage have been passed in other states, and who knows, very soon the laws will be passed here. In this respect, I agree with the president that such people should not be condemned but rather be accepted in society. What do you think Plato?

Plato: Well, it is evident that the present political momentum appears to be approving same-sex marriage. However, I am more interested in how to address this issue spiritually and theologically. To those who are Christians or Muslims, the Bible and Quran plainly condemn homosexual marriages under their moral laws. Though is seems they are losing the fight to the political momentum, how they handle the moral issue spiritually matters more. In other regions, such as the state of Maryland, the rights of same-sex marriage have never been legislatively advanced, which is a plus to conservatists like Peter.

Peter: My second take on Presidents position is that it is illegal. It is the sole responsibility of the president to protect the constitution at whatever cost whenever it is under attack instead of making statements likely to fuel the attack.

John: And how is the constitution under attack?

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Peter: In America today, gay marriage is illegal. If you can remember not long ago during President Clinton’s administration, the Defense of Marriage Act known as DOMA was passed and signed into law. DOMA law fundamentally defines marriage as union between one man and one woman. This is the law under attack, which the president needs to protect. On the contrary, the Obama administration has asked the Justiciary Court not to defend this constitutionally enacted law.

John: Laws are made and amended when they no longer represent the aspirations of the society. I think this is one of the laws that have been overtaken by time. It is right for the president to lead the amendments in case a law is retrogressive.

Peter: Soon, DOMA will ultimately reach the Supreme Court. My prayer is that the Supreme Courtwhich is independent upholds this law.

Plato: Sure. In this aspect, it seems that Obama’s reelection campaign promise could be the only hope of the gay. In case president Obama appoints a fifth liberal justice to the Supreme court during his second term, then it will mean that the marriage laws currently enacted in 31 states which recognize  marriage as involving one man and one woman may be declared unconstitutional. This is because the nature of the Supreme Court is majority rule, thus, gay marriage may be recognized in all the states.

Peter: That will be quite absurd! I… I… I cannot imagine such in America.  It is extremely significant for citizens to recognize the consequences of this morally deficient subject and rise up fight it at all levels. This will make the president be restrained on this issue. Presently, the gay lobby groups work tirelessly to see the gay laws passed from local to federal levels.   Otherwise, the moral majority who are against same-sex marriage will have it imposed on them if they do nothing. In my view, the marriage laws should be reinforced, not redefined.

Plato: I concur that gay lobby groups work around the clock to have the law enacted and have succeeded in some cases. For instance, Rhode Island recognized a measure to permit civil unions for homosexuals, and the same is expected in New York. Similarly, Jerry Brown, the California's governor, recently signed a measure that directs that the history of LGBT is to be taught in the government schools, but the bill allows school boards in every school to decide just. These are indications that the public is beginning accept LGBT people and relationships.

Peter: My question is: is it right? Is it moral?

John: Look here Plato, those who condemn gay marriages view that legitimate marriages are only those involvingmen and women. Now, where do they categorize hermaphrodites or even those who change their sex organs through surgical operation? In my view, defining marriage based on sex leads to the question of how to define the sexes - how to determine who is a woman and who is a man, because going by such stringent terminology may deny some people the right of marriage permanently.

Peter: No, no, no, I am still of the view that we must spiritually consider whether we are going to instill a pro-gay lifestyle and culture to our small children or not. It will be tremendously irresponsible of us, if we fail to give moral direction to the young generation by freely accommodating gays and lesbians, who contravene natural law. Nobody champions that someone should be discriminated against because of their status or affiliation. In most cases, the legal issues emerging from such issues are usually settled, but the moral issues normally remain.

Plato: So do you mean that homosexual marriage should not be tolerated?

Peter: Absolutely! It should not be entertained because entertaining it brings immense confusion among the younger generation on what exactly is right or wrong. Let me give an example. If the definition of water has been standard for thousands of years in the past to be water, adding other substances to water now will automatically change it from water to water-like solvent. This means that historical facts and morals that formed the foundation of our existence and unity cannot be changed, and we must collectively stand to defend it.

Plato: Peter, you seem to be fronting strong religious feelings, but what is your take on the gay religious leaders. Don’t you think it is an irony?

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Peter: Those are religious leaders, as you put it, but not Christian religious leaders who are fully guided by the Bible. Such may be ascribing to secret societies and other demonic spirits which are against natural law.

Plato: What about the recent president’s view about allowing gays to serve in the military?

Peter: Military is a very respectable unit in our country, carrying the aspirations of every American. Allowing homosexuals to serve in such highly valued unit in the society, in my view, taints the public image and is a disgrace and dishonor to the country. That is the worst I would expect from the commander in chief.

John: It is their democratic right, remember…..


Ethical and moral standards and issues generally refer to some acceptable codes of conduct recommended by a society or a group of people, such as the religious ones, to govern how individuals ought to behave. The moral issues are relationship-oriented, and they stipulate the rights within a society. For a long time, same sex marriage has been a controversial moral issue all over the world. Arguments for or against are observed at all levels of the society, from the lowest community level to the top government officials, with the proponents arguing that it is a democratic right for anybody to choose who to marry irrespective of the sex without any form of discrimination. On the contrary, those who are against it, view it as immoral conduct against the society values, norm, morals, and ethical standards that have existed for centuries, and that it is against the natural law. It is imperative to note that to legalize homosexuality and gay marriages, there are moral considerations inevitable. Based on the conversation above involving three people, the parties supporting different sides of the morality issue freely argued their moral viewpoints. However, it is apparent from the conversation that non-accepts lose, implying that the homosexuality involving gay marriages topic is still a controversial issue that is likely not to go easily. 

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