Essay on Same Sex Marriage

Submitted By wlumbra
Words: 1012
Pages: 5

Same-Sex Marriage: Fairness versus Immorality
William Lumbra
SOC 120
Professor Dibello
July 23, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: Fairness versus Immorality The debate on whether to allow same-sex marriage along with recognizing the union of two individuals on par with traditional marriage is one which will continue. This is not only a debate about equal rights, but for the majority of the arguments, it’s about if it is morally correct to allow two people of the same sex to marry. The U.S. Constitution states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The debate has revolved around deciding which pursuits of happiness are acceptable and which ones violate the morals of the greater good. Ethically we should be allowing same-sex marriage, since allowing same-sex marriage does not diminish the value of traditional marriage, It provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and if heterosexual marriage is acceptable, then it's only fair to allow the same-sex to marry. If we were to view the debate of same-sex marriage from the deontologist perspective, it would come down to what is the fair thing to do. It does not matter to the deontologist whether the act is morally acceptable or not, but is dependent upon what provides the greatest increase in happiness, utility as deontology refers to it. If we are to allow a man and a woman to marry, this will increase their utility, which provides the greatest good for that particular group. While disallowing individuals of the same-sex to marry prevents them from increasing their particular level of utility. If we were to apply the Golden Rule as Mosser stated, “that I should treat others as I wish to be treated” (2010, Sec 1.7), we would see that same-sex marriage is not being treated the same as traditional marriage. The deontologist does not care if the act of same-sex marriage is viewed as being morally right, only that we are treating each group with fairness. One of this country’s bedrocks is an individual’s right in regards to pursuit of happiness. We in America believe in our freedom and “one thing we reject is withholding opportunities on the ground that people or their (lawful) behaviors are immoral” (Rajczi, 2008, Pg. 476). Believing that what someone does may not be morally right, does not give anyone the right to prevent that person from performing it. This would be denying that individuals pursuit of happiness. The right to marry someone of the opposite sex is recognized throughout the world and is available to everyone. “Homosexual persons may, after all, exercise the same … right that the rest of us can exercise: the right to marry an eligible opposite-sex partner” (Barry, 2011, Pg. 249). So the opponents of same-sex marriage would argue that the right to marry is not denied homosexual individuals, only the right to choose which type of marriage. Everyone is being treated fairly, since everyone is allowed to marry someone of the opposite sex. This argument fails when we ask the question; if it’s fair to force a homosexual person to enter into a heterosexual marriage. From the deontologist view, the right to marry is not the same at the right to choose which type of marriage to engage in. The homosexual group as a whole would be denied the right to marriage as compared to the heterosexual group. Applying the Golden rule to this argument, we could say that heterosexual individuals can marry, but only if it is will an eligible member of the same sex. They would not accept this as fair treatment, so why should it be acceptable the other way. The view of deontology is simply if it is fair to all involved, without any regard to the consequences, values or emotions involved. Leaving fairness out of the equation and basing our judgment on what we feel is right or wrong, is how the Emotivists would like this