The civic rights of the LGBT community have long been a subject of heated debate among politicians, lawyers, and journalists. Currently, these people do not face any criminal prosecution in the United States and many other countries. In the twentieth century, many Western societies have become much more tolerant toward these individuals (Rimmerman and Wilcox 247). At an official level, contemporary communities perceive homosexuality as a norm.
Nevertheless, gay people are still deprived of many important privileges, such as the ability to marry each other or adopt children. Overall, these individuals should have the same rights as heterosexual people. Much attention should be paid to such problems as marriage, various property and taxation problems, and the ability to adopt children.
There is no legal and ethical ground to discriminate against them only the basis of their sexual orientation. The main premise is that a person should not encounter any legal, political, or social challenges provided that he/she does not pose any threat to the community or separate individuals.
This is the main thesis that should be analyzed in greater detail. On the whole, the existing legal disempowerment of the LGBT community can be explained by the fact that homophobia continues to be very widespread even among those individuals who occupy the positions of authority. Even though politicians do not usually express any discriminatory opinions, they can remain biased against this group of people. This is the main problem that has to be addressed.
First of all, policy-makers should remove legal restrictions that limit the ability of gay people to marry each other. These restrictions create a great number of problems for these individuals. The main problem is that in many cases, the government does not recognize the union of homosexual people. For example, the legality of this partnership is accepted only in some parts of the United States.
It should be kept in mind that these couples are deprived of many privileges, for example, health care benefits, inheritance rights, or hospital visitation rights (Rimmerman and Wilcox 247). Therefore, one should not suppose that this issue can be easily dismissed. Modern people take these privileges for granted, and it does not occur to them that some individuals cannot enjoy them.
This problem attracts the attention of legislators in different countries. In many European countries such as France, the validity of the same-sex marriage was recognized only recently. However, in many cases, policy-makers do not grant the legal status to this form of partnership. Sometimes, they refer to the legal definition of marriage according to which it is only the union of heterosexual people (Zimmerman and Wilcox 247).
They are usually unwilling to change the definition of marriage. However, in most cases, this interpretation of the law can be regarded only as an artificial obstacle that has no ethical justification. More likely, it can be explained by the unwillingness of policy-makers to accept change.
This is one of the main issues that should be taken into consideration by political leaders and legislators. This is one of the main flaws in the existing legal norms that influence the life of the LGBT community. Admittedly, some rather conservative people can object to same-sex marriage. One of the most common arguments is that this form of union is not valid because it cannot result in the birth of children (Andryszewski 47).
In other words, the opponents of this union believe it is inherently deficient (Andryszewski 47). However, this criticism has a very important deficiency that is sometimes be overlooked by the critics of LGBT marriage. In particular, heterosexual couples are not expected or legally required to bear children. Moreover, some of them do not intend to have children. Nevertheless, their marriage is not considered to be unnatural or immoral.
Apart from that, one should not forget that gay couples are usually willing and able to raise children (Orleans and Levy 235). This is why this criticism cannot be justified. It is based on prejudice, rather than evidence. Moreover, the opponents of homosexual marriage note that the government should not legitimize this form of partnership because, in the long term, this change can erode conventional conceptions of the nuclear family.
In particular, they say that these practices can eventually lead to the legitimization of polygamy (Andryszewski 47). This objection is more related to the cultural and religious environment within a country. This issue is not connected with the civic status of homosexual people. Thus, one can argue that many of the possible objections are not backed up by specific examples. On the whole, this discussion suggests that the ability to marriage is one of the great concerns for LGBT couples.
Property and taxation
Furthermore, the state should eliminate several legal norms that create unnecessary difficulties related to taxation and inheritance of property. They arise primarily from the inability of gay couples to register their marriage. These issues can often be disregarded by political leaders. One should pay attention to several important details. First of all, legal professionals speak about survivor benefits that are usually available to heterosexual couples (Becker and Posner 18). In turn, homosexual people are deprived of this opportunity.
Therefore, these individuals can encounter different financial difficulties at a time when they lose their spouses. In contrast, these challenges do not profoundly affect heterosexual people. Furthermore, a gay person cannot inherit the property of a spouse without having to pay taxes. In turn, this privilege is guaranteed to heterosexual people (Greenberg 226). Therefore, one can say that discriminatory policies can manifest themselves in different ways.
Furthermore, these examples show that legal and economic difficulties can be artificially created. It is difficult to justify them from logical or ethical standpoints. The government should make sure that these obstacles do not complicate the lives of gay people since these restrictions can also be regarded as a form of discrimination. These limitations are superficial and even unethical because they are aimed against people who have not committed any crime.
Certainly, it is also possible to object by arguing that the government can certainly eradicate these legal barriers without recognizing same-sex marriage. In other words, the opponents of the gay rights movement can make some concessions to these people without recognizing their right to marriage. Nevertheless, this objection still does not show why this union cannot be recognized by the state. This is one of the main points that can be made.
These cases are important because they show that there are remnants of previous policies which could discriminate against people only based on their sexual orientation. It seems that they are both immoral and unreasonable. This is one of the main issues that modern policy-makers should address. The main task is to make sure that an individual should be empowered by the state if he/she does not cause any harm to society. It seems that this premise should guide the work of legislators and policy-makers.
Adoption of children
Finally, the members of the gay community should not be denied the right to adopt children. This is another question that attracts the attention of many policy-makers and lawyers in the United States as well as other countries. One should bear in mind that gay people have traditionally been denied the opportunity to adopt children. Before the nineties, this issue was not even considered by legislators. There has long been a dominant view that homosexual couples cannot provide genuine care to children (Orleans and Levy 235).
Moreover, the opponents of gay rights often mention that people, who are raised in such families, are more likely to become homosexual. However, the studies carried out by psychologists indicate that the sexual orientation of a parent does not affect the sexuality of a child (Newton 57). In other words, such a person is not likely to feel affection for people of the same sex (Newton 57). Apart from that, contrary to the common stereotypes, these individuals do not suffer from depression and drug abuse.
Moreover, their academic performance is not inferior in comparison with the results of students who are raised in conventional nuclear families (Orleans and Levy 235). It should be kept in mind that researchers closely examine the behavior of boys and girls, who grew up in homosexual couples. Their findings suggest that they have the same levels of self-esteem and cognitive development (Orleans and Levy 235). They are not impaired in comparison with their peers.
This example is relevant to the thesis expressed in the paper. At the given moment, there is no evidence suggesting that homosexual couples can impair the psychological or physical development of the child. Therefore, there is no reason to prevent them from adopting children. This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward. By adopting this principle, policy-makers can significantly raise the civic status of the LGBT community.
Certainly, this issue is still debated by educators and political activists. One of the main objections is that a child cannot become a mature person provided that he/she does not have heterosexual parents. Moreover, this child should interact with the mother and farther. Furthermore, the critics of LGBT adoption say that it is too early to speak about the long-term effects of same-sex parenting on a person. This is one of the criticisms that should not be disregarded.
However, the findings of researchers show that the psychological and social development of a child depends on the skills of parents, rather than their sexual orientation (Newton 57). The results of their studies indicate that these children can successfully interact with their peers and eventually establish families (Newton 57; Orleans and Levy 235). This is one of the key issues that should not be overlooked. Additionally, they are not exposed to domestic violence or abuse as it is sometimes alleged.
Apart from that, the children adopted by gay couples develop properly, if they live in a tolerant community which does not marginalize gay people. This is probably the most crucial factor that affects their development. Therefore, it is not possible to assume that homosexual couples cannot act as effective parents.
The concerns about the effects of same-sex parenting are based on allegations, rather than verified data. If policy-makers postulate that the welfare of children is their topmost priority, they should legitimize same-sex parenting (Orleans and Levy 235). This is one of the issues that are not mentioned by critics of LGBT adoption.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that in many cases, gay people do not have the same rights as heterosexual people. They are underprivileged when one speaks about such issues as marriage, inheritance, property rights, and adoption of children. This is the main problem that legislators should resolve.
The examples that have been discussed in this paper suggest that by granting full civil rights to gay people, the government will not pose any threat to the community or individuals. In particular, their right to adopt children or marry one another will not produce any adverse effects on the community.
For example, the legal status of their marriage will not undermine or transform the modern family. Moreover, these people can act as parents. Therefore, it is unreasonable and unethical to impose any restrictions on these people. These restrictions have no ethical or legal rationale. This is the main argument that can be advanced. These issues should be taken into account by politicians and legislators since they are partly responsible for bringing improvements in the life of a society.
Andryszewski, Tricia. Same-Sex Marriage: Moral Wrong Or Civil Right?, New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 2007. Print.
Becker, Gary, and Richard Posner. Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Print.
Greenberg, Brian. Social History of the United States, New York: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.
Newton, David. Gay and Lesbian Rights: A Reference Handbook, New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009. Print.
Orlans, Michael, and Terry Levy. Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love. New York: CWLA, 2006. Print.
Rimmerman, Craig, and Clyde Wilcox. The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Print.