Same-sex marriages: Viewpoints and Theories

Essay by kerrilynnCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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Each individual's journey through life is unique. Some will make the journey alone, others in loving relationships-maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment. We need to consider our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has many shapes, forms, and colors, yet many people have a hard time coming to that realization. On November 18, 2003, Massachusetts' highest court declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage, becoming the first nation to declare this. Many people, both in favor of and against this decision, were interviewed and spoke out as to why they feel how they feel. The real question this article poses is, should same-sex couples have the same rights to marriage as opposite-sex couples? There are many different viewpoints and theories related to this ethical dilemma, which include egoists, social contract theory (Thomas Hobbes), consequentialist and utilitarian beliefs, Immanuel Kant and deontological ethics, and virtue ethics.

Each viewpoint and system of belief differs from another, yet they all make very strong, convincing points.

Egoists only do what would be in their own best interest to do. They believe that by acting selfishly, one creates a better world. Based on these and many other beliefs of theirs, they would be absolutely one hundred percent against same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages only really benefit those individuals getting married so there is no rational reasoning as to why egoists would support this decision and they don't. It is no direct benefit to society or anybody else involved and therefore egoists would not be in favor of this. They are not gaining anything by this Massachusetts' highest court decision. Also, this court aided gays and lesbians in many ways. They are making a statement to the world, really, that same-sex couples have the same...