Gay Marriage: a Slippery Slope to Polygamy – Assignment Example
The paper "Gay Marriage: a Slippery Slope to Polygamy" is a wonderful example of an assignment on gender and sexual studies. Same-sex marriage is an intensely polarizing issue in America as well as around the world. Gay marriage is a recent issue which has led to Supreme Court challenges in both Canada and the United States and is hotly contested by those who are for same-sex marriage as well as by those who are opposed. Is the traditional form of marriage the only “true” form of marriage or is it an archaic concept desperately in need of a redefinition? Is the concept of gay rights a legal issue or one which is imbued with questions of sexual morality? Can homosexual couples demand the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples? An analysis of the Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health case in the state of Massachusetts provides much insight into this topical issue. In deciding this case in favor of the plaintiffs, the Massachusetts Supreme Court found that denying same-sex couples the right to marry infringed upon the guarantee of equality in the Commonwealth Constitution of the state and thus rendered these prohibitions illegal. Importantly, the majority decided that private morality cannot dictate fundamental human rights such as the right to marry and the need for equality in society trumps concerns regarding the morality of homosexual behavior. Importantly, the majority opinion utilized the case of interracial marriage to demonstrate that questions utilizing a moral argument are often wrong. Advocates for gay marriage emphatically argue that it is a civil rights issue and since marriage bestows certain social benefits, denying gays the right to marry infringes on their rights to equality. They further argue that marriage is not intrinsically tied to procreation and point to examples of artificial insemination to prove that lesbian couples can also give birth and rear children. The court agreed in a major step forward for equality in this country.