Same-sex marriage or gay marriage has continually raised a raging debate between the proponents and opponents of this type of union. It is marriage between two people having same gender identity or biological sex. A large amount of controversy surrounds gay marriage with proponents arguing that love is the basis of marriage irrespective of the sexual orientation. Opponents often take a religious point of view with emphasis on rearing of children as grounds for their opposition. This controversy is also promoted by the diverse political, cultural and legislative views. This discussion will therefore begin by analyzing gay marriage using the theological voluntarism approach, the non-objectivist approach and then conclude with recommending a solution to the problem based on ethical theories.
Proponents of the theological voluntarism approach believe that entities of some kind have at least some of their moral statuses in virtue of certain acts of divine will (Murphy, 2003). According to theologians, marriage is principally viewed as giving oneself to another person for the sake of God and not just as a way of procreation and controlling lust. The spouses use marriage to discover, over time, God’s perception of human beings by the method of practice of living together. Consequently, same-sex couples are justified to their marriages since their sort of otherness is represented by someone with same sex. If they marry the opposite sex, then this marriage is primarily based on procreation and fulfilling lust and not seeking to learn the rules of conduct of demonstrating God’s love for human beings. In addition, it is a common belief that all human beings are to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit such as hope, faith and charity. The exhibition of faith, hope and charity is only possible in a community. Thus, it is illogical to contend that gay marriages lack these virtues yet it is in such social arrangements that these virtues are trained.
According to ethical non-objectivists, there are no objective moral facts, and no objectively true moral principles (Waller, 2011). Emotivism is one version of ethical non-objectivism. A good illustration of emotivism is where a sentence such as “same-sex marriage is wrong” which appears to be a statement of an ethical fact is, instead, a mere expression of emotion (Waller, 2011). However, Waller (2011) adds that most contemporary non objectivists are not emotivists since they believe that such sentences are statements with no supporting objective facts. Ethical non-objectivism arguments are based on arguments from moral diversity. Beliefs about same-sex marriage form part of the diverse moral beliefs found within and across cultures. Ethical non-objectivists believe that no genuine argument is possible on ethical issues such as gay marriages thus there is nothing objective to argue about. This view by the non-objectivists justifies the existence of same-sex marriages in the society today.
According to the moral realists, existence of moral facts cannot be established by simply observing or comprehending since morality exists independently of human opinion. Proponents of the moral realist approach believe that moral facts must demonstrate to be the most fruitful and effective model for understanding an emerging unanimity on key moral puzzles (Waller, 2011). On the social issue of same sex marriage, moral realists contend that it exists whether we choose to believe it or not. This therefore implies that we have to be open-minded to gay marriages in our society since they actually exist.
Having analyzed same-sex marriage in light of various perspectives, the best solution to this social problem is for each individual to develop a correct motive to the issue. This will lead them making a choice regarding same sex marriage. Kantianism theory proposes that by making a good moral choice, an individual is doing not only what is right, but doing it with the correct motive (Waller, 2011). As a result, the individual shall be in a position to choose duty over his desire and he or she makes the choice with the right motive (Wall, 2003). Through this way, the individual can overcome the unending religious, political or cultural debates on gay marriages.
Murphy, Mark, “Theological Voluntarism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2003 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Web.
Wall, T. F. (2003). Thinking critically about moral problems. Belmont: Wadsworth.
Waller, B. N. (2011). Consider ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues. (3rd ed.) Pearson Higher Ed.