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Sample Essay on Same Sex Marriage
Same sex marriage essay – Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage. Discuss how the idea of gay marriage has changed over the last decade and show the progression of the movement.
Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage
In the early years, gay marriage was an abomination and received criticism from many members of society. The principal reason as to why many people in society were objected to gay marriage was that it went against religious and societal values and teachings (Decoo, 2014). However, over the past three decades, the perception of society towards the practice has changed. The degree of its social tolerance and acceptance has gradually improved. In the 2000s, numerous social and political lobby groups pushed for a change in insolences towards gay marriage (Decoo, 2014). Though these lobby groups have tried to advocate for the rights of gay people, their principal focus was to change people’s attitudes towards homosexuality.
According to a study conducted in the year 1965 investigating the attitudes of Americans towards gay marriage, seventy percent of the respondents were opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage citing its harmfulness to the American life. Most Americans felt that the practice went against the social and moral values of the American society. In the years between 1975 and 1977, the number of Americans who were not objected to gay marriage increased (Decoo, 2014). However, this number decreased in the years of 1980, when the prevalence of AIDS among gay people hit alarming levels. In the years that followed, the attitudes of the American society towards gay marriage rapidly changed.
The rise of gay social movements has contributed significantly to a change in attitude of the society towards gay marriage. In the early years, people were not exposed to issues of same-sex marriage, but the gay social movements focused on increasing the exposure of gay marriage, while advocating for their equal treatment (Keleher & Smith, 2018). These movements were able to reveal the injustices and unfair treatment that gays were exposed to, and how such unfair treatment tarnishes the image of the society (Keleher & Smith, 2018). The movements persuaded the society to embark on ways of addressing injustices meted out on gay people. Through highlighting these injustices, members of the society acknowledged the need for reforms to bring about impartiality and non-discrimination in marriage.
Political movements in support of gay marriage have as well contributed to changing the attitude of the society towards the practice. As a matter of fact, one of the strategies that gay social movements employed in their advocacy for gay rights were political maneuvering (Demock, Doherty & Killey, 2013). The lobby groups approached aspiring politicians, who would advocate for equal rights of gays to garner political mileage. With time, politicians would use the subject to attack their competitors who were opposed to the idea of same sex marriage (Demock, Doherty & Killey, 2013). This increased political support for gay marriage influenced members of the society into changing their attitude towards the same.
The ever increasing number of gays, particularly in the United States, has contributed to a change in the attitude of the world society towards gay marriage. As the number of gays increased in the U.S., it became hard for members of the society to continue opposing this form of marriage (Demock, Doherty & Killey, 2013). Many families had at least one or more of their family members who would turn out to be gay. The perception of gay people by such families would therefore change upon learning that their loved ones were also gay (Demock, Doherty & Killey, 2013). The media also played a significant role in gathering compassion from the members of the society by portraying the injustices that gay people experienced (Demock, Doherty & Killey, 2013). The society would as a result be compelled to sympathize with gays and lesbians and thus change their stance on same-sex marriage.
Further, the judiciary has also contributed to the change in the attitude of the society towards gay marriage. There were states in the U.S. that initially illegalized same sex marriages, prompting gay people to file discrimination lawsuits (Coontz, 2014). Reports indicate that in the year 2014, there were more than 42 court rulings that ruled in favor of same-sex couples (Coontz, 2014). Some critics of same-sex marriage termed these rulings as judicial activism. They argued that the judiciary was frustrating the will of the American society, which was opposed to same-sex marriage (Coontz, 2014). Following these rulings and the increased advocacy for equality and fair treatment of gay people, some states implemented policies is support of same-sex marriage (Coontz, 2014). Today, the entire United States treats the practice as legal, as was determined by the Supreme Court back in 2015.
The increased push for the freedom of marriage has also contributed to changing the attitude on gay marriage. In the early years, there were states, especially in the United States, that opposed interracial marriages, so that a white could not marry an African-American, for instance (Coontz, 2014). In the years before 1967, there were states that restricted people with tuberculosis or prisoners from getting married. Other states also discouraged employers from hiring married women. However, in 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that state governments had no right to deny people of their freedom of marriage (Coontz, 2014). When such laws were regarded as violations of human rights, gay people also termed the restriction of same-sex marriage as a violation of their liberty and freedom to marry.
Supporters of same sex marriage have also increasingly argued that people should be allowed to marry not necessarily based on their gender but on the love between them and their decision as two adults. According to such people, restricting marriage to a union between heterosexual couples only creates a biased view of human sexuality. For example, they point out that this extreme view fails to acknowledge that gay couples also derive fulfilment from their romantic relationships (Steorts, 2015). They additionally contend that an adult should be allowed the freewill to seek for this fulfillment by starting a relationship with a partner of whichever gender of their choosing. Whether they love a man or a woman should not be anybody’s concern. The argument also notes that gay couples who have come out clearly demonstrate that they are happy in their relationships.
Gay marriage has been the subject of social, political, and religious debates for many years but over the past two decades, the attitude of the society towards it has significantly changed. Social gay movements and increased numbers of gay people has compelled the community to accept and tolerate the practice. The judiciary has as well contributed to this change in attitude by pushing the freedom and right to marriage, thereby finally making the practice legal in the United States.
Coontz, S. (2014). “Why America changed its mind on gay marriageable”. CNN. Retrieved June 23, 2020 from http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/13/opinion/coontz-same-sex-marriage/index.html
Decoo, E. (2014). Changing attitudes toward homosexuality in the United States from 1977 to 2012. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.
Demock, M., Doherty, C., & Kiley, J. (2013). Growing support for gay marriage: changed minds and changing demographics. Gen, 10, 1965-1980.
Keleher, A. G., & Smith, E. (2008). Explaining the growing support for gay and lesbian equality since 1990. In Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, MA.
Steorts, J. L. (2015). “An equal chance at love: why we should recognize same-sex marriage”. National Review. Retrieved June 23, 2020 from https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/05/yes-same-sex-marriage-about-equality-courts-should-not-decide/
Changing Attitudes on Same Sex Marriage Essay Outline
Thesis: Gay marriage was regarded as an abomination in the early years, but in recent times the attitude of the society towards same-sex marriage is gradually changing.
In 1965, 70% of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage.
- They cited its harmfulness to the American life.
- Prevalence of AIDS among gay people further increased this opposition.
Social gay movements contributed to change in the attitude of the society towards gay marriage.
- Gay movements increased the exposure of members of the society to gay marriage while showing their sufferings.
- Through social movements, the society saw the need for equality and fair treatment of gay persons.
Political movements in support of gay marriage have as well contributed to change in the attitude of the society towards gay marriage.
- Political bodies and politicians pushed for equality of gay people in efforts to garner political mileage.
- The influence of politicians changed the attitude of the society towards gay marriage.
The incidence of gay people, particularly in the United States has contributed to change in the attitude of the society towards gay marriage.
- Increase in the number of gay persons pushed people into accepting gay marriage.
- The media contributed in gathering compassion from members of the society by evidencing the sufferings of gay people.
The judiciary upheld the legitimacy of same-sex marriage.
- In 2014, 42 court rulings were made in favor of gay marriage.
- There are more than 30 states today with policies in support of same-sex marriage.
The increased push for the freedom of marriage contributed to changing the attitude on gay marriage.
- The Supreme Court ruling in 1987 that stopped governments from restricting the freedom of marriage worked in favor of same-sex marriage.
Supporters of same sex marriage have also increasingly argued that people should be allowed to marry not necessarily based on their gender but on the love between them.
- Restricting marriage to a union between heterosexual couples only creates a biased view of human sexuality.
- An adult should be allowed the freewill to seek for the fulfillment of love by starting a relationship with a partner of whichever gender of their choosing.
Gay marriage has been the subject of social, political and religious debates for many years but over the past two decades, the attitude of the society towards same-sex marriage has changed. Social gay movements and increased incidence of gay people has compelled the community to accept and tolerate gay marriages. The judiciary has as well contributed to this change in attitude by pushing the freedom and right to marriage.