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Same Sex Marriage

Business Ethics

Introduction
Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two persons of the

same biological sex or gender identity. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality. Since 2001, ten countries have begun allowing same-sex couples to marry

nationwide: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, t he Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South

Africa, and Sweden. Same-sex marriages are also performed and recognized in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, Mexico Cityand parts of the United States. Some jurisdictions that do not perform same-sex marriages recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere:Israel, the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, parts of the United States, and all states

of Brazil and Mexico. Australia recognises same-sex marriages only by one partner changing their sex after marriage. As of 2012, proposals exist to introduce same-sex marriage in at least ten other countries. The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, resulting from legislative changes to marriage laws, court challenges based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or a combination of the two. In some countries, allowing same-sex couples to marry replaced a previous system of civil unions or registered partnerships. The recognition of such marriages is a civil rights, political, social, moral, and religious issue in many nations. Conflicts arise over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into marriage, be required to use a different status (such as a civil union, which either grant equal

Same Sex Marriage

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rights as marriage or limited rights in comparison to marriage), or not have any such rights. A related issue is whether the term marriage should be applied. One argument in support of same-sex marriage is that denying same-sex couples legal access to marriage and all of its attendant benefits represents discrimination based on sexual orientation; several American scientific bodies agree with this assertion. Another argument in support of same-sex marriage is the assertion that financial, psychological and physical well-being are enhanced by marriage, and that children of same-sex couples benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally recognized union supported by society's institutions. Court documents filed by American scientific associations also state that singling out gay men and women as ineligible for marriage both stigmatizes and invites public discrimination against them. The American Anthropological Association avers that social science research does not support the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon not recognizing same-sex marriage. Other arguments for same-sex marriage are based upon what is regarded as a universal human rights issue, mental and physical health concerns, equality before the law, and the goal of normalizing LGBT relationships. Al Sharpton and several other authors attribute opposition to same-sex marriage as coming from homophobia orheterosexism and liken prohibitions on samesex marriage to past prohibitions on interracial marriage. One argument against same-sex marriage arises from a rejection of the use of the word "marriage" as applied to same-sex couples, as well as objections about the legal and social status of marriage itself being applied to same-sex partners under any terminology. Other stated arguments include direct and indirect social consequences of same-sex marriages, parenting concerns, religious grounds, economically expensive, and tradition.

Definitions of Same Sex marriage


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Same Sex Marriage

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Anthropologists have struggled to determine a definition of marriage that absorbs commonalities of the social construct across cultures around the world. Many proposed

definitions have been criticized for failing to recognize the existence of same-sex marriage in some cultures, including in more than 30 African cultures, such as

the Kikuyu and Nuer. With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognize same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions. The Oxford English Dictionary has recognized same-sex marriage since 2000. Alan Dershowitz and others have suggested reserving the word marriage for religious contexts as part of privatizing marriage, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions, in part to strengthen the separation between church and state Jennifer Roback Morse, the president of the anti-same-sex marriage group National Organization for Marriage's Ruth Institute project, claims that the conflation of marriage with contractual agreements is a threat to marriage

Terms for same-sex marriage

Same Sex Marriage

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Some proponents of legal recognition of same-sex marriage, such as Freedom to Marry and Canadians for Equal Marriage, use the terms marriage equality and equal marriage to indicate that they seek equal benefit of marriage laws as opposed to special rights. Opponents of same-sex marriage such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Southern Baptist Convention use the term traditional marriage to mean marriages between one man and one woman. Anti-same-sexmarriage activist Maggie Gallagher argues that equating same-sex and opposite-sex marriages changes the meaning of marriage and its traditions. Some publications that oppose same-sex marriage, such as WorldNetDaily and Baptist Press, have an editorial style policy of placing the word marriage in scare quotes ("marriage") when it is used in reference to same-sex couples. In the United States, the mainstream press has generally abandoned this practice. Cliff Kincaid of the conservative Accuracy in Media argues for use of quotation marks on the grounds that marriage is a legal status denied same-sex couples by most state governments. Same-sex marriage supporters argue that the use of scare quotes is an editorialization that implies illegitimacy. Associated Press style recommends the usages marriage for gays and lesbians or in spacelimited headlines gay marriage with no hyphen and no scare quotes. The Associated Press warns that the construct gay marriage can imply that marriages of gay and lesbian couples are somehow legally different from those of opposite-sex couples. Same-sex marriage also can be described with the term "homogamous marriage", in the scientific tradition of Greek and Latin terms for family type. Maryland Governor Legalizes Gay Marriage The bill that was signed into law by Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley yesterday would legalize gay marriage in Maryland beginning in January of 2013. But the matter is far from decided and it is a near certainty that the issue will be put to a public referendum during the upcoming voting season in fall 2012. Despite passing the Democrat-controlled Maryland legislature, there is widespread and well-organized opposition to the bill among religious and conservative groups.

Same Sex Marriage

Business Ethics

The irony, of course, is that Maryland was originally founded as a state based almost entirely on its desire to allow freedom of religion. And that inalienable freedom is now pointed to as the primary reason to restrict gays from legally marrying one another. The debate has been raging for months, but both sides seemed content to let the real fireworks wait until the run-up to the referendum, which has been seen as a near certainty from the start. Maryland is a liberal state by almost every measure, but its minority population, in particular, holds very strong ties to their church groups. And it is the minority church leaders who are leading the charge against the legalization of gay marriage. The other element to the gay marriage debate in the state of Maryland is what it does for the long-term political aspirations of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. O'Malley rose to prominence as a well-connected Mayor of Baltimore and has positioned himself as a viable Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate in 2016. Assuming Barack Obama wins another term in November, O'Malley would be an ideal candidate to take the baton for the Democratic party moving forward. He's young by presidential standards, he's good looking and has just enough of a folksy manner to be considered likable and "honest." The whole gay marriage issue is just a piece of the puzzle for O'Malley, so we'll have to see how that plays out for him over the next five years.

Should Gay Marriage be Legal

Same Sex Marriage

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Dive deeper into world history and you'll be rest assured that marriage has been regarded to be one of the most fundamental institutions established in almost all major or minor civilizations. Scratch a little and you'll further find, from its definition of being pious, sacred and unification of two souls, marriage has modified in many forms. The past half century, to just give you a rough estimate has seen marriage become more liberal and it has redefined itself. Not only divorce, interracial and inter-religion marriages have been accepted, the question of legalizing same-sex marriages has become a debated issue. Should gay marriage be legal - the world seems to be divided on this question. Almost 10 countries grant same-sex relationships legal and some have recognized it with numerous terms and conditions. With gay marriage - that is a union of two male adults becoming a hot button topic in both, the eastern and western world, we take an unbiased stance to reveal you both sides of this million dollar question - should gay marriage be legal.

Pros:
Argument #1

Same Sex Marriage

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Proponents of gay marriages give one of the most fundamental arguments for gay marriage. When it comes to choice and individuality, we all have our own human rights. It should be an individual's choice to marry someone of their wish. Any discrimination against a section of people with different sexual orientation seems to be a violation of human rights. No morality or law preaches society to force an individual to live a dual life, on others terms. Be it lesbianism or gay, everyone have their own rights.

Argument #2 Another factor that supports gay life and their marriages is that love must be the only reason to marry someone. As opposed to traditional marriages, half of which end up in divorces, what wrong would it be if a gay man marries his love. Marriage as an institution is not only procreating. It is just one dimension of marriage. Other factors like emotional security, acceptance, respect and love are also critical. If two people find all these virtues in their unification, there seems no reason to reject gay marriages, or for that matter, lesbian marriages.

Argument #3 Kids raised by lesbian and gay couples can find a better life instead of going through trauma of divorce, domestic violence or living in an orphanage. Given the high rate of divorce in traditional marriages, there seems not much weight when heterosexual couples criticize homosexual couples on grounds of being together. After all, people get married to live happily, share burdens and not to get divorced. If gay marriages are allowed, even though the couples won't be able to procreate, they can adopt babies. This can lead to decrease in number of orphans, at least to some extent. Moreover, a couple with respect for themselves, will raise healthy and confident individuals. Is there any reason why love and commitment of homosexual couples be looked with a different opinion than that of heterosexual couples? Won't ending marriage discrimination bring more stronger families in the society.

Same Sex Marriage

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Cons
Argument #1 A large section of society is still against gay marriages. One of the most prominent reasons given by people who're anti-gay marriages is that, same-sex marriages threat the institution of marriage and hence laws related to them. As per opponents of gay marriages, for most of the Americans, all across major world cultures, marriage has been defined to be a union of a male and a female, a husband and wife. These sexual unions have evolved to become standards for society cultures, communities, rules and laws. This marriage institution is unique, distinct and it must be respected. Giving life to new one's and continuing the reproduction patterns is a perfect example of the role of marriage. If marriage between gays and lesbians is allowed, it is opposed to meaning of marriage. Laws need to be changed and a complete over haul of the system is required. Well, if that is not a problem, anti-gay people fear that marriage will have no meaning if gay marriages are allowed. The reason being that marriage has some fixed definitions. While we love and care for many people, it is not that we can marry everyone. Commitment after all, comes in many forms. And if gay marriages are allowed, people can ask for laws regarding marrying more than one person at a time, without a divorce. Even that is a human right, inherently. And why only two people? There can be cases when people ask for laws wherein one can marry any number of people, with closed ones, relatives, etc. There is a huge possibility of this to happen, so say the opponents of gay marriages. The bottom line is that the people against these marriages are not disrespecting gay or same-sex couples, it is just that "marriage" is an altogether different concept, adopted by some laws and rules in society. To argue that a relationship is not marriage, doesn't mean that one is disrespecting it. Moreover, since ages, or even when viewed inherently, the need of a mother and father is basic requirement for the growth of a child. Same-sex couples may face huge problems in upbringing children. It is not possible for people who oppose gay or lesbian marriages to accept the fact that a child can be properly brought up without affection of a mother and protection of a father. This mere idea is challenging the basic structure of society. So what do you think, should gay marriage be legal?

Same Sex Marriage

Business Ethics

Argument #2 One of the another arguments against gay marriage is that there is simply no room for procreation and when we define marriage, it is obviously a manifestation of the desire of couple to have a family, sooner or later in their married years. So if gay couples are unable to have children naturally, they can't be given the status of marriage. Sounds quite an apt argument? Isn't it?

Argument #3 Social researchers have proved it to sociologists that the need of women in a house has more meaning that just the ability to become a mother. A woman has the inherent nature to domesticate man and raise a family. Personal and professional growth of married men has been found to be amazingly phenomenal with women in their life. It is easy to understand that a lady has some vital role to play in life and it seems quite far away from normal social structure to allow gay marriages. The former US President Mr. Bill Clinton, under whose leadership, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed in 1996, himself has accepted that now fabric of social structure has changed appreciably and he has expressed his support for passing of 'Respect of Marriage Act' to give same-sex couples the right to marry. It be noted here that under DOMA, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry. On the similar lines, even Mr. Barack Obama has expressed his views more liberally about right of freedom to marry. So, is it the time for change?

Gay Marriage Facts


The fight for same-sex marriages has triggered mass revolution in various

Same Sex Marriage

Business Ethics

nations. One of the lesser known gay marriage facts is that the Netherlands, legalized same-sex marriages, way back in 2001, the year we entered this new millennium. However, it has some terms, like one of the partners must be a Dutch national. In many parts of the world, it is believed that amongst western countries, US was the first to legalize same-sex marriages, given the liberal societal nature prevalent in US. However, it is one of the astonishing gay marriage facts that in the US, 19 states have banned same-sex marriages! These include:

Alaska Nevada Montana Oregon Utah Nebraska Missouri Michigan North Dakota Ohio Kentucky Oklahoma Kansas Louisiana Arkansas Georgia Mississippi Texas Alabama

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Same Sex Marriage

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Only these states and districts in the US allow same-sex marriages - Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Massachusetts (2004), New Hampshire, Vermont (2009), Washington, D.C (2010, not a state) and the District of Columbia. There can be some variations in terms and conditions that need to be discussed with lawyers before going for same-sex marriages.

In California, same-sex marriages were allowed in the year 2008 for a couple of months however, the court cases have been pending since then and so same-sex couples still don't have rights to marry in California, officially. In states like New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland same-sex marriages are only recognized but it is not allowed to perform marriages. Some other countries where there is a legal recognition of same-sex relationships are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Once again, do check state laws of every state or country, before you plan to get married in any of them. Also, check if back home, you'll be accepted. Another fact is that many other countries have numerous standards of same-sex couples marriages. These are known as "civil unions", wherein couples can live together but not get married or they have some similar constraints. I only mentioned names of countries where same-sex marriages have been accepted in a more proper form. Numerous countries have pending cases when it comes to LGBT rights.

Some Facts about Gay Marriages


In the US, politics is divisive when it comes to LGBT rights or precisely, gay marriages. Much hue and cry is made on the question, should gay marriage be legal? Many states define marriage as a union of members of opposite sex while in many states only civil unions of LGBT members are allowed but marriages are not. This is where the issue of same-sex marriages goes beyond the threshold of religious, moral or the much cried, right or wrong concepts. Same-sex marriages can give couples numerous tax benefits, just like other couples of heterosexual marriages. Many states have allowed civil unions however, civil unions laws are limited to states and they may not be applicable in other states. Marriages however are recognized everywhere. So when we're
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Same Sex Marriage

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talking about gay marriage facts, let us shift our attention to numerous benefits same-sex couples will enjoy. This is one of the arguments for gay marriage. Numerous facts about same-sex marriage or gay or lesbianism are as follows.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritania and Sudan same-sex marriage attracts jail terms or some or the other forms of punishments. These countries are unclear about their stand against or for homosexuality.

Massachusetts was the first state in US to allow gay marriages. It was in California in 2005 that for the first time, gay marriage legislature was introduced in America, though it was defeated.

Gay male sex was considered as a form of crime in nine of the US states, until 2003. It has been found out that gay and lesbian couples have very high divorce rates in the Sweden, one of the first countries to allow same-sex marriages.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act has created huge issues regarding stringent tax laws for homosexual couples.

In the US, under the leadership of President Bill Clinton, the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) was passed and this 17 year old policy allowed homosexual soldiers to serve the army without some military bans. Still, nearly 14,000 gay men and lesbian women were thrown out the army due to sexual orientation issues over the course of years of its existence.

We're living in an era where human intellect is evolving at a rapid pace. Conservative ideologies and age-old customs that were more of an oppressive duty for people have been discarded by society, to quite a large extent. It is a fascinating time for social revolution. People have realized their rights and centuries of laws and rules are being overhauled to give new identity to people. Reading more on Buzzle articles gay marriage pros and cons and arguments against gay marriage can provide you with some more information on this contentious issue.

Numerous aspects of gay marriage facts have raged hot debates in the national and international arena. There was never a time in human civilization, when individuality and right to acceptance

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in society, irrespective of sexuality were challenged on such a massive scale. Social history is changing faster and dynamics of society will sooner be different. Let us wait and watch.

Effects of same-sex marriage


The American Psychological Association stated in 2004
The institution of civil marriage confers a social status and important legal benefits, rights, and privileges. ... Same-sex couples are denied equal access to civil marriage. ... Same-sex couples who enter into a civil union are denied equal access to all the benefits, rights, and privileges provided by federal law to married couples ... The benefits, rights, and privileges associated with domestic partnerships are not universally available, are not equal to those associated with marriage, and are rarely portable ... Denial of access to marriage to same-sex couples may especially harm people who also experience discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, disability, gender and gender identity, religion, and socioeconomic status ... the APA believes that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant benefits, rights, and privileges.

The American Sociological Association stated in 2004


A constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman intentionally discriminates against lesbians and gay men as well as their children and other dependents by denying access to the protections, benefits, and responsibilities extended automatically to married couples ... we believe that the official justification for the proposed constitutional amendment is based on prejudice rather than empirical research ... the American Sociological Association strongly opposes the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The Canadian Psychological Association stated in 2006:


The literature (including the literature on which opponents to marriage of same-sex couples appear to rely) indicates that parents' financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and that children benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally-recognized union. As the CPA stated in 2003, the stressors encountered by gay and lesbian parents and their children are more likely the result of the way society treats them than
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because of any deficiencies in fitness to parent. The CPA recognizes and appreciates that persons and institutions are entitled to their opinions and positions on this issue. However, CPA is concerned that some are mis-interpreting the findings of psychological research to support their positions, when their positions are more accurately based on other systems of belief or values. CPA asserts that children stand to benefit from the well-being that results when their parents' relationship is recognized and supported by society's institutions.

The American Anthropological Association stated in 2005


The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.

The United Kingdom's Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated the following:
The statement uses the term "civil partnership" and not gay marriage. ... lesbian, gay and bisexual people are and should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes ... the rights and responsibilities involved in a civil partnership.

Health issues
Recently, several psychological studies have shown that an increase in exposure to negative conversations and media messages about same-sex marriage creates a harmful environment for the LGBT population that may affect their health and well-being. In 2010, a Mailman School of Public Health study examining the effects of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals found an increase in psychiatric disorders, including a more than doubling of anxiety disorders, among the LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage. According to the author the study highlighted the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals.
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Institutional discrimination is characterized by societal-level conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially disadvantaged groups. Gay activist Jonathan Rauch has argued that marriage is good for all men, whether homosexual or heterosexual, because engaging in its social roles reduces men's aggression and promiscuity. The data of current psychological and other social science studies on same-sex marriage in comparison to opposite-sex marriage indicate that same-sex and opposite-sex relationships do not differ in their essential psychosocial dimensions; that a parent's sexual orientation is unrelated to their ability to provide a healthy and nurturing family environment; and that marriage bestows substantial psychological, social, and health benefits. Same-sex couples and their children are likely to benefit in numerous ways from legal recognition of their families, and providing such recognition through marriage will bestow greater benefit than civil unions or domestic partnerships. In 2009, a pair of economists at Emory University tied the passage of state bans on same-sex marriage in the US to an increase in the rates of HIV infection. The study linked the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in a state to an increase in the annual HIV rate within that state of roughly 4 cases per 100,000 populations.

Legal issues
Divorce of same-sex couples

The extension of civil marriage, union, and domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples in various jurisdictions can raise legal issues upon dissolution of these unions that are not experienced by opposite-sex couples.
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Divorce rates The divorce rate of same-sex couples within 30 months of the introduction of legally binding civil partnerships was slightly less than one percent in the United Kingdom. A study on short-term same-sex registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden found that divorce rates were higher for same-sex couples than opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men. The authors cited that this may be due to same-sex couples "non-involvement in joint parenthood", "lower exposure to normative pressure about the necessity of life-long unions" as well as differing motivations for getting married. On the other hand, as of 1997, the same-sex partnership divorce rate was significantly lower than that of heterosexual couples in Denmark

Conclusion
We come to the turning point in history where people are now being given the chance to change the ban against same sex marriage. Many Americans have a skewed idea of what a homosexual is, when really they are not any different than everyone else, accept for their sexual orientation. There is no biological evidence that homosexual individuals are abnormal or any less of a responsible parent as heterosexuals, but people continue to believe these ideas. In states were same sex marriage is illegal, same sex couples have a feeling of shame following them. People shouldnt feel shameful about their sexual identity, which is innate and natural, shame should be director towards those who have commit serious crimes. Our nation has come a long way from slavery and racism, but intolerance still exists. Homosexuals are fully functioning human being, capable of raising children and having a functional home life. Same sex marriage should not be taken away from two people who want to commit to a relationship with the person they love. We should have the choice to marry the person we love; we should let our children have the choice to marry the person they love; we should support our community and let our fellow citizens have the choice to marry the person they love.

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