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According to Rauch (1), same-sex marriage is a marriage union between two couples of the same sex. It can, therefore, take the form of a gay marriage or a lesbian marriage. The question of whether or not to legalize same sex marriages has created a sharp controversy with scholars, politicians, and religious leaders taking different sides. However, with what is seen as a continued civilization, the practice is increasingly being accepted in the today’s society with many states coming up with new legislations to legalize it. Mancoske (1) also notes that the traditional definition of marriage as a religious or legal commitment between a man and a woman is quickly changing as more stress in now being put because of the need for freedom for all. This paper seeks to use Tulmin method as the foundation to present its arguments on this issue with the premise that complete banning of same-sex marriage is a denial of freedom both at the individual and state level.
Same Sex Marriage versus Human and State Freedom
Messerli (1) argues that even if allowing same sex marriage may be seen as weakening the definition of marriage and respect for the same, denying a few individuals the chance to do so against their wish would be like limiting their freedom. He noted that the world is quickly changing and homosexuality is increasingly being legalized in many nations as an accepted lifestyle.
According to Messerli (1), passing of any law illegalizing same-sex marriage would be a form of discrimination against the minority. He further argued that because the practice does not hurt the society or any member in particular, it will not be just to deny a couple who love one another a chance to be together. He added that denying such a couple the opportunity of marrying one another is also seen as an attempt to deny the unfortunate children, who would be adopted by gays and lesbians, a chance to enjoy parental protection (Messerli, 1).
Rauch (1) notes that with the need to provide both the states’ and the individuals’ freedom, same sex marriages are increasingly being recognized by many countries. Though in most states the couples are never permitted to marry, the majority of the states are considering civil union which is itself a new form of marriage commitment. Rauch (1) observes that even though many politicians in various states have openly discouraged same sex marriages, the majority seem to agree that it is an issue that should be left to the states to decide their own course.
Rauch (1), however, notes that this provision has elicited much controversy because of the complexity of the challenges that comes with it. The provision requires that a couple from a state which recognizes same sex marriage be recognized by any other state they choose to visit. The opponents of same sex marriage have, therefore, rooted for the need of a national law arguing that allowing a state to legalize same sex marriage is like allowing the practice in all the states. Their argument has been met with equal opposition force from those who support same-sex marriages. The gays, for example, have maintained that recognizing their marriages in only some part of the nation and not in the whole country limits their freedom and discriminates against them. They have thus been pushing for a legislation, which would provide for the recognition of their marriage in all the United States.
Another issue that arises in this discussion is the need for states’ freedoms. The debate has been intense with areas such as San Francisco even going ahead to allow open marriage ceremonies for homosexuals against the provision of the law. Rauch (1) notes that the question that remains debatable is, therefore, whether people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry. The issue has even been further complicated with such cases like the one by the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts, which in November 2003 ruled against excluding gay couples from the civil marriage. The argument of the judges was that denying this group a chance to marry was a violation of the state’s constitution. The provision has equally generated controversies with some legislators attempting in several occasions to campaign for the amendment of the clause, but they have never been successful.
According to Rauch (1), the decision on same sex marriage should never be made at the national level. He argued that such a decision should be made by the individual states. The states can choose whether they would want to try gay marriage or not. Rauch argued that it would be better if same-sex marriage was legalized to enable the states determine the effects it would have on the marriage institution. He sees this as the best way of determining whether some of the arguments put against same-sex marriages are true. Some of such arguments include the possible rise of the divorce rate and a fall in marriage rate.
Rauch (1) argues that states must practice the spirit of democracy and must neither be dictated for nor dictate for its citizens on what to do concerning this issue. He agued that the decision on whether to implement a straightforward legalization or to set up special provisions to address the issues surrounding the practice should be made by individual states. Rauch (1) noted that such provisions for states would help in finding answers to some issues regarding same sex marriage like where the practice would work best.
Finally, Rauch argued that allowing the states to choose their course on this issue would be the only way to avoid the underestimation of political benefit of a state-by-state approach. He added that this would also help avoid the national culture war bearing in mind that the United States is not culturally homogeneous but made of communities with different moral practices. According to Rauch (1), the individuals who do not agree with the laws of one state should be allowed to live in another state of their choice. He sees this as the best way of providing this group of citizens with their freedom other than centralizing the marriage or the family law at the national level.
A number of gay people have, therefore, argued that only a nationwide recognition of same sex marriage is just and practical. According to this group, having a situation in which their marriage is recognized in some states but whenever they cross borders to other state they are not recognized as having married is a form of discrimination. Those in support of gay marriages have continued to lobby for a guarantee of a full legal equality. Opposing same sex marriage on the ground of immorality and wrongness can never guarantee a good of marriage. It is instead more of the use of marriage as a weapon to fight against the homosexuals.
In conclusion, the traditional perception of the family as a union between two individuals of different sexes has changed with time, and denying people to marry the one they love on this premise is a discrimination against minority. A total ban on same-sex marriage will also be like assuming that any cost of heterosexuals outweighs every benefit that would be realized by allowing same-sex marriage. The only way in which the government would guarantee freedom for all its citizens is by legalizing the same-sex marriage. With the ongoing trend, the practice will continue even if it will not be recognized in some states.