Is it ethical to prevent gay marriage?
Lately, when my little sister goes to bed and I can watch programs other than “Curious George” or “Dora,” I have been bombarded with ads on gay marriage. At first I was puzzled as to why they were showing those ads, seeing as Canada has already legalized same-sex-marriage, and then I realized they were from the USA. States were voting on whether or not to allow gay marriage.
Everyone had an opportunity to vote for or against. It puzzled me. How would a, let’s say 20 year old heterosexual man, be affected by two women marrying each other? Is it right for him to be able to vote against gay marriage?
Ethics I believe are very personal. There are bases which can be considered universal, such as killing is bad and sharing is good. However in the end, they are just ideas create by people, by society. That makes ethics very subjective and ever-changing. Everyone has different opinions on what is right or wrong. Even killing can have multiples shades of grey. What if it was in self-defense? What if the person was dying in a slow painful process?
However how many shades of grey does gay marriage have?
Personally I always recall what my father used to tell me about freedom when I was younger: Your freedom ends, where other’s freedom begins. The moment an action stops affecting only me and can affect others negatively, then I should go by what the majority (through the form of our laws) has decided is best. That is the way I think about ethics as well, and I can see how someone voting against gay marriage can have negative repercussions for many.
I find it frustrating how our society seems to move forward and backward throughout the centuries. Previously there was racial segregation, it was not illegal for Caucasians and non-Caucasians to marry in many places but definitely frowned upon. Through how many types of division in our society do we have to go through, how many movements, before we accept that we are all different and creating discrimination only hampers the development of our society as a whole?
Marriage is an action that may seem very natural, yet it is not. It is just a ritual created by our society. As I grew up the idea taught to me was that marrying was what couples should do after they have been together for a (usually) long period of time. However it did not used to be. Marriage used to be about politics, moving up in society, how many oxen your daughter is worth.
From my stand point there is no thing as traditional marriage. Our history is filled with all sorts of different unions. During the time of the Greeks and Romans homosexuality was seen as natural. Around the world polygamous unions were natural as well. Catholics especially surprise me. Catholic is supposed to mean Universal. That would lead me to believe that they would try to include as many people as possible, not exclude them. Yet they are often one of the strongest protesters against same-sex marriage. “A traditional marriage is between a man and a woman.” Perhaps that is their tradition, however that does not mean that it is wrong for two men or two women to marry. What gives them the power to help decide how two people should lead their lives? It seems to come down to freedom. Freedom to choose. They may have the best of intentions, simply using their own freedom of expression to voice their opinion on gay marriage. To me, it feels as offensive as a racist joke.
Right and wrong. Is it right to hamper someone’s happiness just because they do not reach it the way someone else thinks they should?