Several states in the US have legalized same sex marriages, while there are still, a few which ban the unions. The truth is that in ages past, such a legalization, even the admission of the possible existence of such same sex relationships could have been unthinkable, and impossible.
What prompted such a legalization is the fact that marriage is a fundamental right highlighted in the constitution, which bestows equal rights to all citizens, regardless of their sexuality and gender in their marriage unions. Those in support of the union are acting in consideration of these rights and liberties, and treat marriage as a secular institution and not a religious one.
The fact is that times have changed and society keeps evolving with every change. The various agents of socialization we are exposed to continue to awaken us to new realities and possibilities, which in turn affect the way we behave, and the kind of believes we uphold, even dictating those which we let go of.
For example, the place of gender roles as traditionally stipulated between the male and female has evolved. The boundaries governing these roles continue to dissolve, with newer, more relevant ones, taking their place. Laws in our society continue to evolve so they can cater for the changing needs of our constantly evolving society. It is the same case with the same sex marriage issue. More and more gay people began to come out, seeking recognition and acceptance in society. The section of society that accepted the reality headed this change.
The president of the US himself supported the move, he even went ahead to ensure that gay couples enjoyed the same benefits bestowed upon straight couples. He even eased the rules in the military so the men and women serving therein could enjoy their love and marriage lives under no discriminative conditions.
The side in opposition to the legalization cites, among other reasons, the fact that same sex marriages go against the traditional stipulations of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, that involves the procreation, bearing and rearing of children and that same sex marriages will only weaken even further an already weakened institution of marriage.
The reality is however against these claims. The traditional stipulations of marriage were worn out way long before the legalization of same sex marriages. Bearing children and making a family are no longer the major drives in straight heterosexual couples, and while it is true that not all people are able to bear children, some couples decide upfront not to have any.
With the high divorce rates in our society, marriages are no longer the ‘for better for worse’ institutions they were traditionally meant to be.
The debate on the same sex marriage issue is bound to continue. It is just the way our society reacts to change. We resist because we fear losing the comfort of what we are used to.
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