Legalization Of Same Sex Marriage Essay

2510 words - 10 pages

Debate over the legalization of same sex marriage has been a large debate in the US for a long time. The two biggest groups that partake in this opposition come from either the religious community or by gay and non religious individuals. Religion to date plays a big part and influences decisions to keep same sex marriage illegal. It has been shown in studies (Woodward) that there are many religious groups that have been actively involved in support of ballots such as Proposition 8 in California. The influence from the religious sector is not unanimous. It appears that not all religious groups are opposed to same sex marriage. There are some denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (2009) and the Presbyterian Church (2009 -2010). They offer services and perform same sex marriages. This proves that since there is not total religious buy in and support amongst religious groups opposing same sex marriage. More importantly lack of unanimous agreement within the Christian faith itself, which has had the most persuasion to date in this debate, brings to the forefront the ongoing, issues, controversy, and fight for legal recognition of same sex partnerships.
These largely based Christian groups have had historical roles in defining what relationships are and what marriage is. They have been very high profile in the debates over marriage, influenced outcome in voting nationwide against same sex marriage. These same religious groups are also very public and publish information easily available to the public about their financial contributions in support of bills such as Proposition 8 in order to keep same sex marriage illegal.
With the separation of Church and State, how is one particular religious view allowed to prevent any individual from having the same rights to be in a committed relationship, responsible to each other and not have the inalienable rights that all people should have the right to be denied? Religious views and arguments do not belong in an area that involves these human rights and same sex couples should be entitled to have the same benefits as a heterosexual couple.
What marriage means and its definition changed historically over time. In the Christian faith, marriage was controlled by the Church and all legal conflicts resolved by the Church courts. They believed that all marriage that was to be with one a man and woman. It was considered a life-long commitment and was entered into, with a contractual state of mind. This then legally defined each person’s role. The man was the head of household and provider for the wife. The wife and all of her assets became the husband’s property. The husband represented them both legally and the wife no longer had a legal identity. Only by death of either would the status change (Henley 2008).
Today, marriage has evolved and changed in many ways. Partners in marriage do not have civil control over one another. Both partners in marriage are now equals. Pre nuptials are used...

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