gay marriage is a controversial and often heated topic in American society and often so elsewhere throughout the world. homosexual behavior is not new. Homosexual behavior and the homosexual lifestyle have been around throughout recorded history, certainly for thousands of years, in fact, was socially condoned in some societies. In Ancient armies, it was often accepted because a man was more apt to fight for a lover than for a casual acquaintance.
For example, unlike today’s military, in Ancient Greece, homosexual relationships between soldiers were viewed as a means to intensify the fighting spirit of the soldiers and strengthen the bond between them. (Burg et al. , 2002) Only recently did interest in issues of sexual orientation move from the realm of the social sciences into other areas of science. Freud believed that there was some degree of bisexuality in all humans (Bell and Weinberg, 1978).
He and other psychologists of his time believed that homosexuality could be explained by the experiences a person had while growing up, thus focusing on environmental explanations for homosexual behavior. Psychologists once pursued the study of homosexuality in an effort to prove that it was an abnormal behavior, but such studies have now led researchers to conclude that homosexuality is somehow linked to the individual experiences and environment a person has while growing up. While this may be the general view of homosexuality in psychology, my experiences with homosexuals are not consistent with this view.
... capital punishment for all homosexual couples? Let us hope not. Homosexuality is referred to as ... hormonal factors are measured, along with the experiences a person has during their early childhood. ... disease and AIDS are diving punishments for homosexual behavior; we know it is a risk ... similar to rape, which should be viewed unacceptably in homosexual and heterosexual relationships alike. Jude ...
The few individuals I’ve known who were homosexual coexisted in the same environment as everyone around them, but their homosexual tendencies were obvious throughout their lives. Today we realize that if environment plays a role in homosexual tendencies, environment is not the entire explanation. Now we know that genetics and biology also play a role. No matter what biological and genetic studies show, there can be little doubt that opponents of gay marriage and the gay lifestyle will only accept that the gay marriage is some kind of sickness or perverted behavior.
While homosexual behavior is obviously out of the norm, there is no scientific research or evidence to suggest that is it either perverted or abnormal. Despite what opponents might claim, our view of homosexuals and our denying them the right to marry is no more than a form of discrimination—irrational, illegal, biased and illogical. Regardless as to how a person views same sex marriage, there is no rational or logical reason to ban it or to discriminate against it except for personal preference/choice. Genetic Studies, Biology and Environment
It is important to consider the biology and genetics behind homosexual behavior. If people insist that homosexual behavior is a matter of personal choice when evidence exists to demonstrate genetic and biological factors are involved, their insistence shows and irrational bias against homosexuals based on prejudice and discrimination. Today, most researchers view that a person’s sexual orientation is dictated by a combination of environmental, biological and psychological factors. Recent studies suggest that both biology and genetics play a role in homosexual behavior.
Studies suggest that a genetic factor passed from mother to son might contribute to homosexuality in men and that male homosexuality might have a very different genetic influence from female homosexuality. (Pattatucci et al, 1995, Bailey et al. , 2000) Studies of homosexuality in families and between twins suggest that male and female sexual orientation may not have the same genetic influences. (Bailey et al. , 2000) Animal studies reveal that sexual orientation can be influenced by altering the hypothalamus. (Cherry & Baum, 1990),
Criminal Behavior and Genetics Can criminal behavior be blamed on certain genes or genetic make-up? Well some scientists believe so. Up until just recently, no one has had any way or incentive to explore the genetic side of criminal behavior. Now that scientists have the tools and curiosity to conduct experiments and do research on this topic, they found some interesting facts. In the 1960 s ...
Much of the available genetic data on homosexual behavior suggests that biological and genetic factors are involved. Some studies have focused on X chromosome since males have an XY chromosome and females have an XX chromosome. One study concluded that the gene that influences homosexual behavior is carried by the mother. Heterosexual females appear to pass the Xq28 gene sequence on the X chromosome to their sons. (see below, Hamer et al, 1993) This study focused on homosexual males, and thus, their findings may not be a reflection on homosexual females.
When the results of genetics studies are taken together, the most reasonable conclusion is that genetics can account for at least 50 percent of a person’s sexual orientation. In general, genetic studies of homosexuality demonstrate that homosexual behavior and the homosexual condition is a result of genes. When male homosexuals were studied, the data of one study demonstrated that most of the homosexual men arose from a genetic factor that was passed down from mother to son. (Hamer et al, 1993) Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.
C. discovered that homosexual brothers are more than heterosexual brothers to inherit the same genetic sequence, referred to as Xq28, on a region of the X chromosome. This suggests that genetics are involved in homosexual behavior although only a region on a gene, not a specific gene, has been identified. The degree of gene influence is unclear. Studies of twins and also of the adoptive brothers of homosexual men reveal a relationship between genetics and homosexual behavior.
(Bailey and Pillard, 1991) Thus, the evidence suggests that genetics and biology rather than environment or personal choice gives rise to homosexual behavior and the homosexual condition. Other studies have demonstrated anatomical differences between components of the brain structures of heterosexual and homosexual males. (LeVay, 1991) These are important considerations when we begin to look at the legal questions surrounding homosexual behavior.
The significance of marriage varies across the world. It is difficult to define marriage in a way that could apply to all marriages, because marriage means whatever the couples marrying take it to mean. It is a matter of perception. The difficulty of defining marriage reflects the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of our society today. The law in Britain has sought to recognize marriage as ...
Thus, discriminating against gay individuals is just as irrational, irresponsible and illegal (or should be just as illegal) as discriminating against an individual on the basis of the color of his or her skin. Furthermore, it should be easier to decide the legality of mistreating people on the basis of the sexual preference than on the basis of their religious preference since religious preference is a matter of personal choice rather than genes. Why, then, is it illegal to discriminate against an individual on the basis of their religion while the legal issues surrounding homosexual behavior are often viewed as unclear?
While there may be compelling reasons to favor heterosexual unions over gay marriages, there is actually no unbiased reason to forbid gay marriages. In fact, even favoring heterosexual marriages is a form of discrimination similar to favoring whites over other races. Certainly, the heterosexual situation constitutes the “normal” or “typical” interaction between sexes, but considering that biological and genetic studies demonstrate that homosexual situations are dictated by actual biological and genetic factors, there is no rational reason to view such unions as “unnatural” or “abnormal”.
We cannot even say with certainty that they are an abnormality as much as a biologically dictated variation, not necessarily even rare, just different. While we can “prefer” heterosexual marriage over gay marriage as a society, there is no rational reason to deny gay marriage or to restrict homosexual individuals to civil unions while denying them a typical marriage (as will be discussed) other than bias. Although theories exist to suggest that environment contributes to and influences the gay lifestyle, it is not clear how this could be true.
For example, if biology and genetics contribute to “at least 50 percent” of gay behavior, why is it that a homosexual male or female raised in the same environment with a heterosexual male or female gives rise to one homosexual individual and one or more (generally a host) of heterosexual individuals? If the environment helped to cause the homosexual behavior, why aren’t there more homosexuals in that environment? To my knowledge, this question has never been addressed or even asked. Likewise with Freud’s idea that childhood experiences contribute to homosexual behavior.
Homosexuality is not just a contemporary ideology or behaviour of people. It has been present even during the ancient Grecian times, and the early African and Native American tribes. In some Native American tribes, a man dressed as a woman was treated with great respect because they were considered to be spiritually gifted (Bidstrup, 2001). In some African tribes, masturbation and other homosexual ...
While no two individuals have the same childhood experiences, in part because everyone responds differently to the same experiences and environment, two individuals treated the same and raised in the same environment does not lead one to conclude that the differences in their behavior is caused by their childhood experiences or their environment. Biological factors, genetics and internal psychological factors must play a significantly more crucial role in their behavior than do environment and/or childhood experiences. Marriage vs. Civil Union
Now that we have briefly reviewed the biological and genetic data to suggest that homosexuality is a genetic and biological condition, at least in part, rather than a matter of personal choice, we are more prepared to consider the legal factors involved with this issue. In states where marriage is allowed between same sex couples, the individuals involved are generally placed on an uneven playing field. Even though they may be allowed to join in a legal union, they are restricted to a civil union rather than a legally recognized marriage.
What is the difference and why is this distinction yet another example of social discrimination? Today, gay couples may unite in civil unions but such unions differ from the marriage granted to heterosexuals in a number of crucial ways. Although a civil union grants many rights that would be denied without it, it fails to grant hundreds of others. Furthermore, marriage is universally recognized everywhere while civil unions are not. Civil unions fail to resolve many financial matters, tax issues, insurance concerns, pension protection, Medicaid and even matters such as filing and filling our forms.
Another concern arises if those joined in a civil union desire to dissolve their union. They have no means to legally terminate their union unless they live in a state that recognizes it. In fact, at present, only Vermont qualifies for this termination. A Vermont law states that “Parties to a civil union shall have all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under law, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage.
In order to understand the duties and relevance of civil attorneys, district attorneys, and defense attorneys, one must first examine the elements of both criminal law and civil law, as well as understand what the judicial system is comprised of and how the courts work. The definition of the word "judicial" includes the following: 1. Of or relating to the administration of justice. 2. Of or ...
” One must wonder why there is a need to make such a statement. If there is no discrimination based on sexual orientation, there certainly is no need for this added point of clarification in the law, so obviously, something is amiss. Much of the controversy about and distinction between “marriage” and “civil union” boils down to religious issues. In general, Christians are against gay marriage. Therefore, at some level, the issue also involves religious issues and the separation between church and state, religion and politics.
While gay marriage is an issue that Christians feel goes against the principles of the Bible, other religions use other holy books and, as a result, do not base their opinions on or form their ideas from the Bible. Although the legal view is that there are no substantial differences in the treatment of a marriage and a civil union, each represents a separate legal category with significant, sometimes glaring differences that only become of concern when they matter the most. While the U. S.
Constitution requires legal equality for all regardless of sexual orientation, among other factors, that legal equality exists largely on paper rather than in fact. Clearly, those individuals forced into civil unions rather than typical marriages are not on even playing ground. Civil Unions are a step forward, but they fall short of being satisfactory. Our present approach to force gay couples into civil unions rather than true marriage, perhaps, is as unjust as the former laws that denied interracial marriage.
In order to give gay couples true rights, laws must eliminate the idea of civil unions and allow gay couples to form true marriage so as to give them all of the rights and privileges recognized in marriage. We cannot continue to tolerate “civil unions” as the satisfactory answer to granting unions between individuals who desire to live as a couple. Just as we moved away from banning interracial marriage, we need to move away from banning gay marriage. We have only emotional and no rational reasons to do otherwise.
Gays: A Struggle for Acceptance " When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference, that reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudice.' - John Shelby Spong Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Newark, NJ November 21, 1996 ...
We have pointed out above that if the biological factors, genetics and internal psychological factors play any role at all in homosexual behavior, that role must be relatively trivial. Therefore, discriminating against gay individuals in any manner such as by relegating them to civil unions rather than allowing them to unite in true marriage, for example, is nothing more than unjustified discrimination and bias just as unjust as denying interracial marriage. We must move away from this and other unfair treatments and practices.
Continuing to insist that homosexual behavior arises from environment, childhood experiences or personal choice with that belief but no supporting evidence even though there is clear evidence to the contrary is nothing more than further bias and discrimination against homosexuals. While homosexual behavior is clearly different from the norm, there is no real evidence that it is abnormal any more than being black in a society that is 12 percent black and 88 percent white and other means that blacks are abnormal. Faulty logic in the absence of supporting evidence does not justify, prove or support an incorrect conclusion.