Norval D. Glenn. Sept/Oct. 2004. The Stuggle for Same-Sex Marriage. Society. Vol. 41 No. 6 p.25-28

Essay by xashkaA+, November 2004

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The moral legitimacy of marriage between two people of the same sex hinges on how the authoritative definition of marriage is derived. If marriage is to have a religious foundation, the interpretation of religious texts and traditions will be key; if marriage is a social institution or even a purely economic coupling, pragmatic arguments will have more force, though moral issues will no doubt still arise. Gay rights advocates assert that marriage is a civil right which should not be limited to opposite-sex couples. Their opponents assert that same-sex marriage cannot be allowed on moral and/or religious grounds, perhaps fearing a breakdown of society. Those who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, argue that extending marriage to same-sex couples undercuts the conventional meaning of marriage in various traditions, and does not fulfill any procreational role. Others object on the grounds that same-sex couples should not be allowed to have or adopt children, and that same-sex marriage would make those adoptions easier.

Many other people, while tolerant towards the sexual behavior of others, see no reason to alter their society or government's traditional attitudes towards marriage and family.

The stigmatization of homosexuals is wrong and makes no contribution to the moral health of our society. I will never worry for my children because they'll grow up knowing a gay couple that lives across the street, or because several family friends are gay. They will learn early what we all know: that homosexuality is as permanent a feature of the human condition as heterosexuality. Nothing is gained in denying this. But neither should we deny that the two are inherently different. The gay marriage movement denies this difference in order to borrow "normalcy" from marriage. Thus, it is a movement born more of self-denial than self-acceptance, as if on some level...