Same-sex marriage is a rather controversial topic since it spurs a lot of debates between the people and leads to various disputes. One of the major debates in the United States deals with the recent legalization of the same-sex marriages throughout the country and the reaction of the population on the new legislation. Although same-sex marriage has a lot of supporters, this act undermines traditional values and opposes religious principles causing many conflicts in society and, therefore, needs to be banned.
Overall, the recent legislation of the same-sex marriages has had a long history of debates and conflicts. The civil rights movement regarding gay marriages started in the seventies with the major case Baker v. Nelson. It was the first high-profile attempt to register a same-sex marriage, but the court banned it and emphasized on the traditional values, which were not present in the gay marriage. For a long time, the issue of the same-sex marriage did not receive much coverage until the nineties, when the same-sex marriage was allowed in Hawaii. The local Supreme Court found the prohibition of gay marriages, issued by the state, unconstitutional. Around the same time, the opposite movement intensified with the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act. It was passed in 1996. The key idea of the act was that the marriage needed to consist of two people of different genders, thus, prohibiting homosexual individuals from getting married. The previous decade has marked a big growth of the supporters of the same-sex marriage among the American population, and they were legalized in particular states throughout the country with Massachusetts being the first one.
The 2010s began with the major changes for the gay marriage when Barack Obama expressed his support for this issue and encouraged banning the Defense of Marriage Act (Nakamura). In 2014, already half of the states in America ruled in favor of same-sex marriages making them legal (Liptak).
The proponents of the gay marriage state it is the constitutional rate of every individual in the United States to be able to get married to whomever he or she wants, and this choice should not be limited by the gender of the partner. They state that it is not necessary to be in heterosexual relationship to be able to form marriage and have a family. On the other hand, every individual should have a right to create a family, and it does not have to be limited to some relationships only.
Another argument in favor of the same-sex marriage is that the United States is a secular state, so marriage should not be defined by religion. Therefore, the proponents claim that even if some religions are against gay marriages, it does not mean that the government has to listen to them and take their opinions into consideration. Quite the opposite, it should allow all adults to be married despite the religious dogma. The proponents of the same-sex marriage also add that traditional family values have changed over the years, so it does not make sense to use them as the arguments against the legislation (Liptak).
Although these arguments deserve recognition and have some logical base, it is important to present the other side of the issue. Same-sex marriages represent deep challenges for the American society and family formation in general. Firstly, it is necessary to mention that although the United States is a secular country, it is also a very religious one, where the majority of the people are members of a particular religion. Therefore, those individuals who are faithful members of the church or other religious institutions follow the religious principles. It is necessary to point out that some of the biggest world religions, which are also dominant in the United States – such as Christianity, Islam, or Judaism – oppose same-sex marriages. It is impossible to ignore the views of the people who represent these beliefs because they are an important and influential part of the American society, and they make up a large percentage of the total population. Also, the religious groups have their rights. A good example is Katie Lang, a clerk in the state of Texas, who disagreed to register the same-sex marriages stating that she has her rights as a citizen and a Christian (McLaughlin). She stated that her religious convictions prohibited her from allowing gay marriages, and therefore, she would not support it. Her statement gathered a big support because there were many other Americans who felt the same way about the issue.
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Also, despite the proponents of the same-sex marriage claiming that family values are changing constantly and no longer meet the traditional beliefs, this statement is not completely true. The existence of a family consisting of a man and a woman is still extremely important for a society as a formation that leads to having children and keeping the state stable and growing. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore this fact and avoid it when discussing the legalization of the same-sex marriages. I, for instance, oppose the legislation because of the abovementioned arguments, and there are plenty of people who share similar beliefs.
Thus, the given paper shows the many controversies regarding the legalization of the same-sex marriages and the criticism it has created in society. Due to a large amount of critics, the court’s decision has been analyzed once more and presented on the national level in the form of debates or referendum in order to make a decision, which would satisfy the majority.