Table of Contents
Same-sex marriage is widespread worldwide, with many developed countries recently making it legal. Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, refers to the practice of marriage between two women or two men. Gay marriage significantly increased in the 2000s after the Netherlands became the first to legalize it, motivating other countries to follow its path (Kużelewska, 2019). Currently, same-sex marriage is broadly accepted in the European Union, North America, and some parts of Latin America. However, it is predominantly rejected in Africa and Muslim nations, as well as in parts of Russia and Asia. The debate over same-sex marriage is contentious, and advocates against it continue to provide social, religious, and traditional reasons why it should be banned entirely.
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Religious beliefs against same-sex marriage
Opposition to same-sex marriage is highest among various religious denominations. Poulos (2020) argues that religion’s most critical argument against gay marriage is that it sabotages the marital institution. Most religions regard marriage as a vital and virtuous institution for nurturing and teaching children to become responsible individuals in their future. Views on same-sex marriage vary across different faiths. The conservative protestants contend that same-sex marriage is wrong since it involves sex that does not create life, which is considered sacred (Pellegrini, 2021). On the other hand, Judaism regards gay marriage as categorically forbidden by the Torah. A significant passage in the Torah is in the narrative of Onan, who goes to bed with his deceased brother’s wife, but to avoid giving her offspring, he considers splitting the seed on the ground (BBC, 2022). Thus, referring to the story, same-sex marriage is completely unacceptable in Judaism.
The Catholics and Muslims are also significant critics of same-sex marriage. Catholic catechism denounces gay marriage acts since they deter sexual acts from the gift of life (Trujillo & Sr Gramick, 2022). Early American antisodomy rules, significantly emphasized by the Catholic church, decried all aspects of non-procreative sex, such as incidentally heterosexual, anal, and oral sex (Trujillo & Sr Gramick, 2022). With the widespread of same-sex marriage in modern society, the Roman Catholic church remains firm with its doctrine of faith that denounces all forms of gay marriage. According to Chapell (2021), Roman Catholics cannot bless same-sex marriage regardless of the stability or positivity of the relationship. Muslims share a similar view as Catholics. One Islamic Hadith posits that Allah does not look at a person who engages in same-sex actions (Zaharin, 2022). Therefore, most religions argue against the legalization of gay marriages and homosexuality since they are inherently wrong and a violation of their beliefs.
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Social and traditional beliefs against same-sex marriage
Societal norms and traditions also provide a variety of reasons why same-sex marriage should be banned. Social norms are informal rules that define appropriate and acceptable actions within a community, thus guiding humans (Armitage et al., 2020). Since marriage is a social construct, expectations and cultural norms determine what type of marriage and who can marry. In most societies, especially in Africa and Asia, marriage is regarded as a sacred union between a man and a woman. Social beliefs in most parts of Africa contend that for a woman to achieve happiness, she should get married and have children with one man, who She must obey. Conservative societies, therefore, call for the ban of same-sex marriage since it violates marriage fidelity, denies children the right to both biological parents, and is unstable and thus associated with multiple issues.
A significant threat that gay marriage poses to matrimony is that it will overturn the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage. Sexual fidelity in marriage refers to complete trust, total commitment, and respect between husband and wife (Family Research Council, 2019). Fidelity disregards inappropriate interactions with another person, such as same-sex relationships, which can erode its doctrines. Homosexual partners use surrogate mothers to get children who will live without their mother or father for their entire lives (Family Research Council, 2019). These socially unacceptable acts deny children the love and care of their biological parents. Same-sex marriages are also associated with multiple issues, one being disagreements on who should play specific roles in the family. In society, marriage typically thrives when couples specialize in gender-related roles. For instance, women are comfortable and happier in the matrimonial when their husband earns the lion’s share, while men are happier when their wives are committed to taking care of their children and attending to house chores (Family Research Council, 2019). Thus, conservative societies champion the ban on same-sex marriage to restore marriage fidelity, give children the right to be loved by both parents, and create stability among families.
Another reason for the ban on same-sex marriage is the importance of preserving a people’s tradition. Most African leaders denied passing laws allowing same-sex marriages, regarding them as un-African. For instance, President Museveni of Uganda signed an anti-homosexuality bill in the mere glare of the media, regarding it as Western-imposed (Hummel, 2018). Museveni did not only sign the bill to limit homosexuality in Uganda but to send a message to all African countries about the need to preserve their traditions. In Asia, same-sex relationship rights are limited compared to European countries (Kużelewska, 2019). Thus, Asian and African leaders have been radical on the global stage against legalizing same-sex marriage to preserve their respective countries’ traditions.
Religion, societal norms, and traditions justify why same-sex marriage should be banned. Religious denominations advocate for its ban since it violates the sacred institution of marriage. Same-sex marriage is also incompatible with the norms and traditions of various conservative societies. As a result, conservative societies, mainly in Africa and parts of Asia, call for its ban to restore their culture and traditions.
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