Same-sex marriage, the notion that two members of the same gender can be joined in a legally recognized union that is the civic basis of marriage, is a hot topic in the United States. The dispute over same-sex marriage has raged for years; the debate reached a fevered pitch after the 2004 presidential election, when “voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments […] limiting marriage to one man and one woman.” Four years later, the discourse that proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage employ has changed very little.
[...] Gerstmann makes no claims that homosexuals are entitled to special treatment because they are inherently superior to their heterosexual counterparts, although a certain conservative influence is evident in his approach to support same-sex marriage he ultimately derives the legitimacy of same-sex marriage from the Constitution, a document that could be seen as an instrument of the government and therefore reflecting the interests of society as a whole, rather than from a natural rights-based argument, as a traditional liberal might. Nathaniel Frank, writing an Op-Ed piece for the NYTimes titled “Joining the Debate But Missing the Point,” makes a similar argument in support of same- sex marriage but reaches it following different logic. [...]
[...] Homosexual critics of same-sex marriage also have their own specific arguments against endorsing the institution, as outlined by Dennis Pilon in his article Freedom to Choose: Gay Marriage and its Radical Others.” He claims that homosexual opponents feel “that the support of gay marriage represents a kind of assimilation to straight values and ideals.” Their other argument is “that the widespread acceptance of gay marriage would threaten the existence of a separate gay and lesbian community.” Taking the second argument first, an obvious conservative influence can be seen, but with a completely different effect from the arguments Segura brought up. [...]
[...] First, the arguments against gay marriage make two contentions at the core of their arguments, according to Gary Segura of the University of Iowa explains in his introduction to Symposium on the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage”: First, homosexuality is fundamentally morally inferior to heterosexuality and represents the sinful outcome of perverse choices. Second, homosexual unions, by being inherently non-procreative, are fundamentally inferior to heterosexual unions. To grant legal status and recognition to inferior unions of immoral people undermines the importance of the institution, thereby eroding the foundation of civil society. Both claims blend conservative and ascriptive elements, but in different ways. [...]
[...] Works Cited Adam, Barry. Defense of Marriage Act and American Exceptionalism: The Marriage' Panic in the United States.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol No (Apr. 2003): 259-276. AP. States Ban Same-Sex Marriage.” CBS News Nov Mar < http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/30/politics/main646662.shtml>. [...]
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