Ethics of Same Sex Marriage
Society has many views on same sex relationships and marriages, people are either for it or against it. In this paper, we will first look at same sex marriage in America and how homosexuals and heterosexuals feel about the issue. We will look into the ethical issue that same sex marriage presents. We will look at how the classical theory of how deontology would resolve the issue of same sex marriage. Next, we will contrast deontology with the perspective of relativism. Finally, we will see which of these views on same sex marriage is closest to my own personal views. The ethical reason behind why people in society believe that same sex marriage is wrong is simply due to discrimination. Society does not have a valid reason why same sex marriage should not be allowed; it is just simply based on one’s own biased reasoning for not allowing it. Same sex marriage is something that people have been fighting for rights for many decades. Andrew Koppelman (2004), celebrated journalist and author, states that “Most Americans agree with the first sentence of the proposed amendment: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." The main question this raises is whether this rule is important enough to enshrine in the Constitution” (p.4). Many Americans can agree that the first sentence of the amendment is broad and that it invalidates domestic partnership laws that allow same sex couples the rights of marriage without the name (Koppelman, 2004). Marriage is not just a word but rather an institution, which the amendment makes impossible for same sex marriage to have the rights to that institution. In 1996, the defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevented the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages and allows individual states to have the power to define their own family laws. This allows each individual state to choose whether to ignore the first sentence of the amendment or agree with the first sentence of the amendment when deciding whether or not make same sex marriage legal in one’s own state. With this being said, a governor can choose to allow same sex marriage in the state they govern; however, when that governor’s time has lapsed and another person takes over, that person can decide to remove same sex marriage. All of same sex couples that were married in that state are now no longer considered married in the eyes of the law anymore. Also if a same sex couple gets married in their current state that they reside in where same sex marriage is considered legal; then the couple decide to move to another state that does not allow same sex marriage, they are then not considered married in the eyes of the law in the current state that they are now living in (Koppelman, 2004). In The Limits to Union: Same-Sex Marriage and the Politics of Civil Rights, Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller (2002) writes that gay rights activists have been fighting for same sex marriage rights since 1970. In 1990, one gay couple and two lesbian couples applied for a marriage licenses in Hawaii at the department of health, several people in the states made efforts to challenge the marriage laws and were denied. In 1991, the three couples hired a local civil rights attorney proceeded to sue the state circuit court for violations of their rights of privacy and equal protection. The judge ruled that the same sex couples did not enjoy the right to marry, which followed with the couples filing for an appeal in 1993 with the state supreme court. The state supreme court made the first national ruling that rejecting same sex marriage applications was unconstitutional gender discrimination, but didn’t show a state interest. The state at the time felt that not allowing same sex marriages did not uphold moral values and protect children and filed for a motion to reconsider; however, it was rejected in the Supreme Court (Goldberg-Hiller, 2002). Like Hawaii, many same sex...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document