According to Corvino & Gallagher (2012) by 1985, there was no single country that permitted same-sex marriages. As a matter of fact, in entire human history, no country allowed people of the same sex to get married. At the turn of the century, no country had legally recognized same-sex marriage. Today, same-sex marriage attracts significant support. Conventionally, marriage is an association between two people and presumes that these two people are a man and woman (Girgis, Anderson & George, 2012). Nonetheless, various spiritual entities have demanded that the law be specific and define marriage as being between a man and a woman. This paper asks, “Should the constitution be amended to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman?”
Most definitions of marriage assume that men are complementary to women and vice-versa. Additionally, they need each other to reproduce. The re-definition of marriage out of this context not only extends its meaning but also goes against the laws of nature. Corvino & Gallagher (2012) see marriage as the least restrictive means through which the community can be sure of children’s well-being. The future depends on marriages and therefore this is an institution that needs lots of protection (Popenoe, 1996).
Interestingly, campaigns for the legalization of same-sex marriage have made significant progress in the recent past. In some countries, such couples enjoy the same legal rights as couples in regular marriages. Up to five nations have re-defined marriage within their constitutions to recognize same-sex couples, France being the latest. 15 nations have created same-sex marriage laws which provide legal status to same-sex couples and allow them to enjoy spousal benefits enjoyed in traditional marriages (McLanahan, Donahue, & Haskins, 2012). In essence, movements in support of same-sex marriage legalization have achieved enormous success but not without considerable counter-reactions from those who believe marriage should be an association between a man and a woman.
In countering the milestones made by these movements, more than 32 nations and 27 states in the USA have adopted legal charters strictly opposing same-sex marriages (Corvino & Gallagher, 2012). Additionally, despite claims that the indigenous ethnic groups allowed homosexual acts, none of the recognized 561 Indian tribes in America let same-sex marriage (Corvino & Gallagher, 2012). Through marriage, a man and a woman come together. The man plays the role of a husband and a father while the woman plays the role of a wife and a mother. This originates from the anthropological truth that men and women have complementary roles due to their inherent differences. It is not a myth that irrespective of what technology tells us; reproduction ultimately depends on the role of a man and woman. Additionally, it is a social fact that children require both father and mother for upright upbringing (Rector, 2012). Marriage can be termed as an essential building block to human civilization and has many social roles which exceed its private roles. This is perhaps the reason why 41 US states emphasize that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. These States have focused on emphasizing that marriage must remain a man-to-woman affair and not in any manner contrary to this.
Having recognized the vital role played by marriages, State encourages men and women to be committed to each other and act responsibly towards their kids (Rector, 2012). Government promotes marriages as model institutions for bearing and rearing children without infringing on anyone’s freedom. While adults are free to make their own decisions and choose the relationships they desire, it is irresponsible to make the definition of marriage cover aspects that go against its foundations. Sadly, in recent times, marriage institution has weakened as a result of revisionist perceptions guided by an adult passion for kids. These perceptions have altered the whole meaning of marriage.
In concluding, it is necessary to emphasize that legalization of same-sex marriages is an affront to the institution of marriage. The damage such consent inflicts is pernicious and systematic. While not visible at the start, it roots for the gradual loss of the moral fabric of family institutions. Marriage is more than a private affair considering its many social consequences. Its inclusion in the constitution is more than enough to emphasize the importance of this institution in human life. If men want to live their lives with fellow men and women want to live their lives with fellow women, no one should condemn them. Nonetheless, the constitution should explicitly recognize marriage as only being valid when the parties involved are a man and a woman. In this manner, the institution of marriage can stay protected and continue to play its pivotal role in society.
Corvino, J., & Gallagher, M. (2012). Debating same-sex marriage. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
Girgis, S., Anderson, R. T., & George, R. P. (2012). What is marriage? Man and woman: A defense. New York: Encounter Books.
McLanahan, S., Donahue, E., & Haskins, R. (2012). Introducing the issue. Marriage and child well-being magazine, 15 (2), pp. 213-218.
Popenoe, D. (1996). Life without father: compelling new evidence that fatherhood and marriage are indispensable for the good of children and society. New York: The Free Press.
Rector, R. (2012). Marriage: America’s greatest weapon against child poverty. Web.