Sexuality and Marriage: The Case of Same Sex Marriage

This discussion will talk about a current social issue in the US, the legalization of same-sex marriage. This is a contentious issue and one which I expect to cause some spirited discussion. I don’t need to tell you to be respectful of different opinions. However, posts that simply provide answers such as “because it’s right” or “because my religion says its wrong” don’t address the question and will negatively affect your grade on this assignment. While I always respect your opinions, your goal is to assess the arguments for each side as fairly as you can. That being said, I will not tolerate hate speech of any kind, so offensive comments will be deleted and you will receive a 0 on this discussion. This is a moment to use your critical thinking skills.

The recent discussion by the Supreme Court has made marriage legal in the United States. This reflects changing attitudes toward same sex marriage in recent decades. In 2013 about 46% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but in the last year that number has declined. In fact, according to 2015 data Americans (57%) support same sex marriage and only about 39% oppose it. Prepare for this discussion by first reviewing current attitude trends on this issue provided by the Pew Research Center link opens in a new window and take a look at an outline of the current issues on this topic that can be found in ProCon.org/Same Sex Marriage link opens in a new window.

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Now to explore more personal experiences lets take a look at the positions argued in the following personal essays:

● A personal essay outlining the position of some people who who oppose gay marriage can be found in Why I Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage link opens in a new window.

● A personal essay discussing the position of those who support gay marriage is provided by activist Scott Bidstrup in Gay Marriage: The Arguments and Motives link opens in a new window.

Despite the changing legal landscape with regard to marriage, same-sex couples still face inequality. Based on the information you are provided above and additional academic resources consider the following questions:

● Explore the positions of both those who support same-sex marriage and those who oppose it.

● What are the justifications for each of the positions? What arguments do you find most compelling? Why?

● Based on your analysis, why do you think members of the LGBT community still face inequality in the US?

● Finally, consider the impact of the Supreme Court ruling to legalize same sex marriage, what social institutions have been most impacted? Explain? (you might consider the economy, family, gender roles, the law etc…)

Readings:

● Benokraitis; Chapter 7: Sexuality and Sexual Expression throughout Life.

● Risman & Rutter: Reading 15: From Outlaws to In-laws: Gay and Lesbian Couples in Contemporary Society

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