The issue of same-sex marriages is rather disturbing because numerous religions deny it due to various reasons. The moral ones consider it as a sin and violation of all God’s laws, which is the most common argument against such marriages. In fact, denial of the rights of same-sex couples to get married is often a matter of stereotypes and assumptions that have been inappropriate and even false. Today, there is a great number of organizations that protect and fight for the rights of gay couples. Forbidding these types of marriages is viewed as kind of discrimination since their freedom of choice is directly violated. Various countries have legalized same-sex marriages to provide these rights and make the society friendlier to such a policy. The U.S. actions taken in this direction are also positive, considering that the prevailing number of citizens supports them. Moreover, letting gay men and lesbian women not to hide and be sure about their choice of relationship is another positive issue. It seems rather unfair to make same-gender spouses pay equal taxes or other payments and deprive them of the ability to create a family with the beloved one just because some people consider it to be wrong. The existence of different types of homosexual pageants is inextricably linked to the successful outcome of both mental health and the policy as it promotes basic freedoms, equality of rights, and discrimination avoidance, which are declared in the Constitution.
Social categorization is considered as discrimination since it is unethical and immoral to divide people into some groups. However, this is one of the world’s negative features: judging people according to some personal prejudices and standards. Quite often, existing assumptions and stereotypes are built on a false understanding or a refusal to accept their way of life. Heterosexual couples are very likely to be unable to comprehend all that, hence creating a wrong image and adding it to a general picture the outer world offers. Societal antigay moods have created a term in clinical studies – internationalized homophobia (Meyer, 2003). Internalized homophobia reveals the failure of the process to forefend stigma and thoroughly overcome negative self-perceptions and attitudes (Meyer, 2003). Under such conditions, it is of utmost importance to promote equality and non-discrimination. Moreover, if same-sex marriages were supported legally, appraisal and devotedness would be even higher. For instance, providing gays and lesbians with the right to marry officially would let them feel as a complete and properly functioning social unit. Another point for legalization is that the internal environment within the society is expected to change. This is an effective solution to reduce existing stigma and prejudices as well as support differences and diversities within cultural groups. To allow gays not to feel awkward, all possible kinds of festivals become a chance to show themselves, reveal their energy, and stop worrying about being judged. The opposite thing is the fact that numerous people, both homo- and heterosexual, visit such events to watch and usually enjoy the atmosphere, which is really colorful and festive. These kinds of pageants and parades also help to go through all possible difficulties gays face in their everyday lives. Some of the main ones are also discussed below.
Stress Level of the Couples
Social concerns and stresses caused by considering same-sex marriages to be illegal play a significant role and may have extremely negative consequences. Existing prejudices concerning homosexual couples lead to numerous cases of mental disorders connected to misperception of their choice and lifestyle. However, back in the 1960s-70s homosexuality was viewed as a type of mental disorder and was included in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders although after numerous arguments and discussions it was excluded from it (Meyer, 2003). The main problem relating to a question of why gays and lesbians are so much inclined to face mental disorders might be connected to “minority stress”, which occurs when one cannot be absolutely open and has to conceal the relationship in order to prevent misunderstanding, critics, and rejection from the society (Meyer, 2003). Hence, it is not surprising that living in such conditions may result in different illnesses and disorders. From this point, a question arises: what steps should be taken to reduce the number of homosexuals willing to commit suicide because of the above-mentioned reasons coming from the surrounding world. Leaving the same-sex relationship invisible would deprive people of the support coming from society and family, which is extremely important in such situations and could help to resist a destructive sense of shame and social isolation. A negative outcome may be as follows: it can make individuals distance themselves from their partners, resulting in devaluation of the relationship.
Another issue arising from the legalization of same-sex marriages is the ability to adopt a child. Numerous organizations claim that this is wrong and fight to forbid this. A benefit of the U.S. policy seems obvious: a great number of orphans all over the country would have a family. It is actually not so much important whether same- or different-sex parents raise a child. This idea should be thoroughly considered as it may add to a more successful future of the society and country. Being parented would foster well-being of adopted children, give them a chance to live and grow within a family, and get support and help whenever they are needed. So far, the advantage exists for married couples as their unit is viewed as a stable one, whilst for same-sex couples it is difficult to explain why they want to adopt and prove that they are absolutely sure about their own social unit. Moreover, it has been proven that gay or lesbian relationships are to last longer even without being legalized (Strohm, 2012). From the governmental point of view, of course, it is understandable why adoption is denied to such couples: there is no guarantee that they will not break up in the near future; however, even married couples cannot guarantee this 100 percent (Strohm, 2012). From the economic point of view, same-gender families are even more secure than regular families and have more chances to provide a child with numerous opportunities; however, they may still get rejected due to discrimination (Strohm, 2012). According to different published credible researches, there are no differences in parenting skills based on sexual orientation or with respect to the psychological health or adjustment of children raised by heterosexual or homosexual parents. What really matters is the knowledge of how to properly raise a child so that he or she becomes successful and prosperous in the future. Moreover, there have never been found any claims concerning inclination of children raised by gay-parents to become gay only. Hence, it is expected from the government to take this into consideration.
Not always, but often, gays and lesbians are rejected the post for being who they are. Many companies or businesses say that they cannot promote or even employ the person due to their religious views (Smith, 2005). Again, if an employer is unwilling to hire a homosexual person due to personal reasons or biases, he or she may be easily sued in court, but there is no guarantee which side the court will take. Even when a state legalizes same-gender marriages, the federal law claims the regulation to be local and it is not going to be recognized outside the state. Hence, for instance, if one has gotten married in Massachusetts, when the person leaves the state, the marriage means nothing (Smith, 2005). Practically all constitutions, including both federal and state ones, declare marriage to be legal when it is between a man and a woman only. Thus, numerous legal actions take places in different states in order to win or prove the right for marriage for same-sex couples as well (Smith, 2005). In order to avoid these useless processes, constant quarrels, discussions, disagreements, and arguments, it would be indeed better to legalize same-sex marriages.
The Attitudes of Americans
According to the poll conducted by the Washington Post, more than half of Americans questioned are for the legalization. However, the fact is that it was conducted in states where same-sex marriages were banned (Craighill & Clement, 2014). The main document followed, whilst speaking about this tender topic, and it was called the Defense of Marriage Act, in accordance with which only a union between a man and a woman may be called a marriage. The respondents expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that businesses may not employ a person due to sexual belonging; besides, surprisingly, eight out of ten people said they supported adoption of a child by the same-gender family, believing they were as good in parenting as heterosexual couples (Craighill & Clement, 2014). Moreover, most Americans today agree that gay couples can be good parents. Nowadays, 64% of respondents agree that gay couples can raise their children properly. This is a great increase when compared to 54% in 2003 (Dimock, Doherty, & Kiley, 2013). Gender gaps are noticed on this question as 71% of women support gay parents and only 57% of men do that (Dimock et al., 2013).
The support for gay marriages has greatly increased during the last decades. Currently, the biggest supporters are representatives of the so-called millennium generation or Millennials. The number of these Millennials (young people born since 1980) will only increase in the future. Today, 49% of Americans support gay marriage and 44% oppose it (Dimock et al., 2013). A considerable part of elder people has also changed their attitude to the same-sex marriage. When asked why they have changed their mind, most (32%) say that they have a friend or a relative who is gay, while others (25%) say that they have just become older and wiser. Finally, some (18%) say that this is just an inevitable change of the world. In 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriages 56% of Americans were concerned that this would weaken traditional family values and only 39% disagreed with such opinion (Dimock et al., 2013). Today, only 46% say that same-sex marriages will threaten traditional family values.
Even though the support of same-sex marriages has greatly increased, there is still a considerable amount of people who question their validity. Among them, many people state that gay marriages go against their religious beliefs. For example, in 2003 58% of Protestants were against gay marriages, while today 44% are against (Dimock et al., 2013). The amount of non-supporters has decreased, but it is still considerable. This fact shows that two-thirds of respondents favor the decision to legally equalize gay and heterosexual marriages despite their religious beliefs.
The same-sex marriage legalization is a very popular issue, especially nowadays when demands for equal rights has been as urgent as never before. Despite the rejection from different governmental institutions, homosexuals also face some other difficulties coming from the society and its misperception of their lifestyle, which may have different consequences, including mental disorders, depressions, and even suicide. Hence, various pageants, festivals, and holidays for gays are some of few ways to forget about or get distracted from these problems. However, the government should also pay attention to the issue and make decisions on a more serious level.