OPINION Philosophy of Law

Same-sex marriage: Are you in favor? Why?

No. I am not in favor of the same sex marriage but instead, their rights to civil unions and domestic partnership should be recognized. In order to have a better understanding of my position, let us go back and see the historical timeline of marriage.

History of Marriage

Accordingly, the best available evidence suggests that the institution of marriage is about 4,350 years old. For thousands of years before that, most anthropologists believe that families consisted of loosely organized groups of as many as 30 people, with several male leaders, multiple women shared by them, and children. As hunter-gatherers settled down into agrarian civilizations, society had a need for more stable arrangements. The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting one woman and one man dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia[1].

Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. But back then, marriage had little to do with love or with religion.

If it was not about love or religion, what was it then, you may ask? Marriage’s past purpose was to bind women to men and ensure that a man’s offspring were biologically his. A married woman becomes a man’s property. Married Greeks and Romans could indulge their sexual desires with concubines, prostitutes, and even teenage male partners, while their wives were supposed to stay home and care for the household. If spouses didn’t have children, husbands may divorce them and marry someone else.

While it appears that women are at a disadvantage for being discriminated against in the past, the human civilization has gone a long way now. Women are now recognized to be of equal stature with men, with equal rights and opportunities as provided by law in most countries.

Today, many people hold the view that regardless of how people enter into matrimony, marriage is a bond between two people that involves responsibility and legalities, as well as commitment and challenge. That concept of marriage hasn’t changed through the ages[2].

Why I don’t agree with the same sex marriage?

The first and the most obvious reason is procreation. The modern human, the homo sapiens sapiens, is the remaining among the hominid species. The earliest anthropological records of human and human-like species are with homo habilis, 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago in Africa. For that long history of human, one is certain – we will not exist today if not for the copulation of a male and a female. 

How ever it might have been degrading and discriminatory by modern standards, the reason of marriage to be institutionalized in the past is to ensure the survival of families. A California Supreme Court ruling from 1859 stated that “the first purpose of matrimony, by the laws of nature and society, is procreation.” 

When families survive, the civilization follows. Only the man and the woman can fulfill the task of procreation. A same sex marriage will simply not satisfy this very basic requirement to survival of human civilization. Thus, it is a protectionist stance to allow our continued existence.

The second point is about equality of rights. According to the proponents of same sex marriages, to deny some people the option to marry would be discriminatory and would create a second class of citizens. Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

I beg to disagree. Privileges available to couples in civil unions and domestic partnerships can include health insurance benefits, inheritance without a will, the ability to file state taxes jointly, and hospital visitation rights, among others. Further, new laws could enshrine other benefits for civil unions and domestic partnerships that would benefit same-sex couple as well as heterosexual couples who do not want to get married.[3]In short, the states can provide all the rights and privileges to the same sex couples as what are enjoyed by the heterosexual married couples.

We can debate all we want about it, but even within the LGBTQA+ community, there is schism among those who favor and those who are against same sex marriage. Lesbian activist M.V. Lee Badgett, PhD, Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, stated that for many gay activists “marriage means adopting heterosexual forms of family and giving up distinctively gay family forms and perhaps even gay and lesbian culture[4].” Let us remember that the early calls of the LGBTQA+ communities were recognition and equal rights. It can thus be inferred that the community wants distinction and identity. Now, if the same sex marriage will become mainstream, it is a step towards losing that unique identity. If my proposal of removing all legal hindrances from same sex couples, by granting them all the right, and recognizing their legal unions, what more could be asked for? 

We can respect and recognize the rights of the LGBTQA+ without losing the customs, tradition, scientific, biological and inherent purpose of the marriage institution. It can be said that the institution is evolving through time. It is inevitable that the history witnessed its transformation from a practical purpose to that which involves love, care and mutualities in many aspects. But the core idea of marriage is to create a new generation of humans who will continue.

Again, I am not against the LGBTQA+ community, nor I have hatred or homophobic behavior. My discussion above advocated for equal rights and recognition. To recap, my take is, allowing same sex marriage will put a dent on the institution of marriage, particularly on its inherent and modern purpose, as well as cause the dissolution of the unique identity of the LGBTQA+ community. That being said, a unique identity does not mean it should become mainstream. For if it will become mainstream, and when the world population in the dystopian future will become populated by the community, when majority will prefer to have same sex marriage, the human civilization will be doomed to fail due to the obvious reason that I mentioned earlier.

— THE END —


[1]The Origins Of Marriage: First Love Marriage In the World | The Week. (2015, January 8). The origins of marriage. https://theweek.com/articles/528746/origins-marriage.

[2]Stritof, S. (2021, September 13). A Brief History Of Marriage And How It Has Evolved. Brides. https://www.brides.com/history-of-marriage-2300616.

[3]P. (2021, January 30). Gay Marriage – Pros & Cons – ProCon.org. Gay Marriage. https://gaymarriage.procon.org/.

[4]M.V. Lee Badgett, When Gay People Get Married, 2009

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