The Longstanding Debate on Same Sex Marriage
Same sex marriage is an issue that is heavily talked about in the society today. The ongoing debate on this issue has reached both positive and negative milestones. Positive in terms of countries and states that have already legalized it and negative in terms of the many people (nations and institutions included) still feel strongly against this kind of marriage.
The opposition comes from the basis of ethics and morality anchored on the teachings of the Church. For others, same sex marriage or union is an offence for people in heterosexual marriages since they seem to perceive marriage as exclusive. For members of the LGBTQI+ community, having same sex marriage is being able to access the rights that others freely have.
The struggle for same sex marriage spans different aspects of the society aside from gender equality. Achieving same sex marriage can also be associated to equal democratic rights and in this case, gender shouldn’t even be an issue. Democratic rights should be designed to be accessible to all and if not, the democratic space becomes questionable.
In the context of morality, people tend to feel obligated to perceive tradition as something sacred and static instead of it being dynamic. It’s true that the union between people of the same sex is not included in any moral tradition but the real concern should be: who set these boundaries in the first place anyway? Obviously, they are people from many years ago. The sociocultural and historical contexts when these moral traditions were developed are very different from that in the present. It is from the development of these moral traditions that laws were shaped to exclude marginalized peoples.
The Technicals of Same Sex Marriage
For countries and states that have legalized same sex marriage, each have different sets of jurisdiction on how same sex marriage functions in accordance with marriage laws. This spans socioeconomic aspects of marriage that becomes functional even in same sex marriages. These variations are not so important since all stand by the primary concept of allowing and legalizing same sex marriage
There is also a debate surrounding the term “marriage” next to “same sex.” For anthropologists and other experts on the issue, the term marriage in itself is gendered and conforms to the heteronormative standard. Aside from this, “marriage” , as a term is not something universally experienced or understood since there are cultural underpinnings in how the term is perceived by members of different cultural groups. For the opposition, the term “marriage” is highly associated to the “word of God” according to Christians which is why marriage should only be exclusive to the union of men and women. In light of this, many advocates also prefer the term “same sex union” to be more universally understood and also to separate any religious implications that may be appropriated to the act of “same sex marriage” or “same sex union.”
The Struggle for Same Sex Marriage
The fight to legalize same sex marriage throughout the world has been a longstanding one. It comes hand in hand with the fight to forward equal rights; both in the context of gender and social class. The LGBTQ community has been subject to different levels of discrimination in their everyday lives; from mild to the extreme ones. There have been hate crimes against the members of this community and up to this day, they still live in fear, unsure if they are safe wherever they go. The stigma associated to the LGBTQI+ community is part and parcel of the reason why people still does not feel convinced of the reasonability of same sex marriage as something as legitimate as heterosexual marriages. Discriminatory acts against the LGBTQI+ is deeply rooted in the consciousness of people, whether it is because of religion or not, it should be accepted that the first step in achieving gender equality is to open eyes and open minds. Aside from this, there should also be laws that strictly address discriminatory crimes that cause harm to the lives of people. Many countries have already passed anti-discrimination laws that should be seen as something very important to the improvement of the society. On the other hand, there are some countries that are strictly against being gay that if exposed, members of the LGBTQI+ community may lose their lives. It’s true that it’s been centuries ago that the concept of homosexuality as a mental illness has been ruled out but in countries like Russia, the stigma against being gay is so bad that it is a risk to have people actually know someone is gay.
The struggle for same sex marriage and gender equality as a whole both has its progressions and regressions. As other countries slowly come to terms with legalizing same sex marriage, more repressive acts are felt by the LGBTQI+ community. One important case is the mass shooting in an Orlando gay night club. The mass shooter did not have any reason aside for being obviously against the LGBTQI+ community. This kind of hate crime directed to the LGBTQI+ community is a prime example of the continuing dangerous repression that they have to deal with. The acceptance of same sex marriage should come hand in hand in preventing these hate crimes to happen. As long as people feel comfortable in discriminating others, no matter what grounds, the struggle to achieve equal rights would always feel like an uphill battle.
Many advocates of the LGBTQI+ community, including icons and famous people have continuously voiced out the need for a universal understanding among people in order to be able to build more meaningful connections in the society. Racial and gender discrimination contribute to the divisiveness present in the society. Instead of condemning differences, why not celebrate them? Why do people always feel the need to exclude other people in their experiences? It is safe to say that everyone is afraid of something but people shouldn’t be afraid of other people. As long as the society is divisive, strife would continue. The only solution is to raise more understanding and that can be achieved through continuous struggle in all possible forms.