Same-SexMarriages Should Not Be Legalized
Owingto globalization, the world has condensed into one tiny globalvillage. Countries have opened up their airways and are now receivingindividuals from all over the globe. Individuals are travelling fromone country to another one continent to another one, in pursuit ofeducation, homage or a job. I am a Vietnamese, but thanks toglobalization I moved to the United States where I currently livewith my wife and three children aged 18-25. With the constanttravelling of people, countries and continents alike, have been ableto exchange cultures and traditions with some societies fullyadopting the cultures and traditions from other humanities.Stipulated by societal customs, there are certain traditions thatelicit heated arguments regarding whether they are “fit” or “notfit” for adoption. One of them is the delicate issue of same sexmarriage (Gane, Miller and Swanson). I have lived in the UnitedStates for quite some time, but in 2015, the Supreme Court made aruling that legalized same-sex marriages in the U.S. If such a rulingwere to be made in Vietnam, where I come from, it would cause suchuproar that it would cause societal chaos.
Iam saying this because our Asian traditions classify same-sexrelations as a taboo! Anal penetration and lesbianism are consideredcriminal activities often likened to soliciting for sex orprostitution. So when the Supreme Court announced this ruling, itelicited mixed reactions. As for me, I was stunned because accordingto the societal traditions in Vietnam, legalizing same-sex marriagewould be absolutely objectionable. However, there are those who wererallying for the legalization of same-sex marriage who the court’sruling came as a triumph to them. President Obama, for instance, isquoted mentioning that the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sexmarriage was a huge “victory for America” (Reinbold). I ampositive that the same view resonated across all the persons thatwere supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage not only inAmerica, but the world over. It becomes apparent, therefore, thatthere are two distinct factions split along the sensitive line of thelegality of same-sex unions. Placing my opinion on my religion andculture, I do not support the legalization of same-sex marriages. Inthis paper, I will shed light on the legality of same-sex unions fromtwo points of perspective legal and religious. To accomplish this, Iwill discuss both the pro and anti-same-sex marriages considerations.
Accordingto some historians, homosexuality and lesbianism have had a longpresence in Vietnam’s history. There are numerous verbal stories ofsexual behaviors that deviate from “heterosexual” norms, but havenot been systematically documented because they are consideredperverse and abnormal by religious, educational, and governmentalinstitutions (Yoang Ha). One common Vietnamese example of ahomosexual story is that of Hmom Kraisorn, who was allegedly accusedof having an intimate relationship with another male. After thisincident came to light, King Tailok issued a stern royal decreeforbidding Len-Peuenor same-sex mannerisms in Vietnam. The penalty for those that wentagainst this decree was 80 lashes from a whip while being paradedaround the villages as “homosexuals.” In Vietnam, concepts aboutgender characters play a major part in the moral growth of a good orbad individual. Therefore, laws were enacted to protect the“sacredness” of both Vietnamese men and women by making illegal,any form of sexual contact between similar sexes even if it wasconsensual (Yoang Ha). However, some historians argue that there areno Vietnamese criminal codes directly addressing the criminality ofengaging in sexual intercourse with the same-sex although it isculturally considered a forbidden engagement.
Iam certain that many Americans would sternly argue against theVietnamese red-tape regulations on the legality of same-sex unions.On the 27thof June, 2015, The United States Supreme Court, in Obergefellv. Hodges,made a landmark 5-4 ruling that the fundamental right to marry isassured to same-sex couples as specified in the Due Process Clauseand the Equal Protection Clause of the 14thAmendment to the constitution (Reinbold). On the day this ruling wasmade, many Americans crowded outside The Supreme Court in jubilation.President Obama, the “main” campaigner, did not hesitate to showhis delight by praising the ruling drawn by the Supreme Court. The14thAmendment to the constitution of the United States was adopted on the9thof July, 1868, to address equal protection and citizenship rights.The Equal protection clause is a chunk of the 14thAmendment, which provides that no state shall adopt laws that refutethe privileges of citizens of the United States liberty, property, orlife, without due process of the law nor deny any citizen within itsauthority, the “equal protection of the law”. For that reason,same-sex marriage was endorsed in the United States because, this“negligible” portion of the society (LGBT) deserved equalprotection of the laws by expressing their sexuality and sexualorientation just like every other “normal” person (heterosexual)(Sterngrass).
Theproponents of same-sex marriage in the United States claim thatdenying an individual the right to marry the person he/she wants isan infringement of the 14thAmendment of the United States constitution (Sterngrass). Therefore,according to them, the cultures that constitutionally deny themembers of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) from legallyforming a union (like Vietnam) are gravely infringing the rights “toequal protection of the law” of the members within this group. Ipartially concur with this fact because, denying an individual thefundamental right to marry whoever he/she wants is an infringement ofhis/her personal privacy. However, I refute the legalization of samesex-marriages because according to the Asian culture that nurturedme, it is a taboo for same sexes to engage in intimate relationshipslet alone have a legal union! The Vietnamese societal structure hasclearly defined roles for both genders. Therefore, generating new anddifferent gender roles by permitting men to become “wives” andwomen to become “husbands” will definitely breed societal discord(Yoang Ha).
Asia’smost predominant religion is Buddhism which means that I am aBuddhist. Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the globe. Byand large, Buddhism is fundamentally centered on concepts thatnurture personal responsibility and foster individual illuminationwhich explains why it sometimes is considered to be more of a“philosophy” than a religion. The founder of Buddhism, and theoriginal Buddah, Siddharta Gautama, set the classical teachings ofTheravada Buddhism (classical Buddhism) in the “Eight Fold Path”and the “Four Noble Truths”. According to the Vinaya,the second step on the Eight Fold Path is, “you might not harborany ill resolve towards any person or living creature.” It isuniversally accepted that homosexuality causes serious bodily harm topeople a direct infringement of Buddhism (Yoang Ha). There is anenormous list of health infections linked to homosexual acts. A fewof them include HIV/AIDS, anal cancer, throat gonorrhea, gay bowelsyndrome (GBS), and human papilloma virus and many more. All thesediseases cause human suffering, which evidently goes against theelementary principle of the second step of the Eight Fold Path thatmolds Buddhism.
Additionally,the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism postulates that, “the main causeof human suffering is the desire for the gratification of thepleasures of the senses” (Yoang Ha). To me, homosexuality is allbut a desire for the fulfillment of the pleasures of “same-sexattraction senses.” The overwhelming desire to satisfy bodilysenses is so great that people chose to disregard the serious harmfuleffects that come as a result of engaging in homosexuality. Lifethreatening diseases are contracted in the event of engagement in thenasty homosexual activities. In as much as this sounds like a merephilosophy, it does carry truth in every bit of it according to me.Therefore, consistent with my religion, legalizing same-sex marriageequals legally commissioning suffering across the members of the LGBTcommunity which is inhumane!
Crossingover to the United States, religious concerns regarding same-sexmarriage are quite not the same. First and foremost, I have to statethe fact that the United States is dominated by all religions.However, Christianity is the most predominant owed to the fact 83% ofAmericans identify themselves as either Catholics, or Protestants(Moskowitz,Rieger and Roloff, 326).The “most influential person” in the Christian community, as Ipresume, must be Pope Francis. In July 2013, Pope Francis was quotedsaying, “it is not right to interfere sacredly in the personal lifeof an individual. If a homosexual being is in search of God and is ofgood will, I am no one to judge.” In the same speech, Pope Franciswas quoted saying, “when God looks at a homosexual, does he notendorse the existence of that individual with love, rather thancondemnation and rejection? God views us all equal because we aresplitting images of him” (Gane, Miller and Swanson). I am of theopinion that this speech must have influenced the 2015 Supreme Courtruling on same-sex unions. Therefore, the notion that Pope Francishad no concern regarding Christian’s same-sex marriage reverberatedonto other Christian denominations like the Anglican Church,Jehovah’s witnesses and Latter Day Saints (LDS) churches. As amatter of fact, pro-same-sex marriages supporters argue that theAnglican Church employs legally married homosexuals to high rankingposts in their churches. Some of them are church leaders, churchelders, clergymen and sometimes treasurers. Nevertheless, someChristian denominations like the Seventh Day Adventists considersame-sex relationships and marriages a taboo as guided by thebiblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how their city wasdemolished after God was irritated by the sodomy that was happeningthere (Reinbold).
Besides,i consider the infiltration of modern day Christian churches by the21stcentury societal forces a contravention of the doctrines ofChristianity. Despite the fact that Buddhism is often thought of as aphilosophy, and not a religion it is immune to the forces of the21stcentury forces of modernity. Some advocates of same-sex marriagesargue that the recent judicial developments in Vietnam will probablylead to the adoption of same-sex marriages just like the UnitedStates. In July 2012, Vietnam’s minister of Justice made a publicannouncement that the government has officially started consultationson whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Vietnam. In October 2013,the Ministry of Justice launched a bill that was proposing thelifting of the ban against same-sex marriages, providing some rightsfor cohabiting same-sex couples. On 25thOctober, 2013, the government of Vietnam issued a decree obliteratingthe heavy fines that were initially imposed on same-sex marriages, todiscourage people from indulging in same-sex relationships.Eventually, on the 1stof January, 2015, the law on same-sex marriage in Vietnam was passedstating that it was official that the state recognized same-sexunions although the government did mention that it would not provideany protection to the unions between members of the same-sex(Moskowitz,Rieger and Roloff, 331).
Icannot deny the fact that we live in a tiny world where cultures andtraditions are constantly being borrowed from other humanities. TheVietnamese government’s action of legalizing same-sex marriages wasoccasioned by the 21stcentury Western culture influences, dictating on how the 21stcenturysocietal fabric should be woven (Yoang Ha). The supporters of same-sex marriages argue that Buddhism, often considered a philosophyrather than a religion, has followed suit and legalized same-sexmarriages in Vietnam. However, facts and figures on the ground speaka different language. In Asia, only three states have officiallyadopted the same-sex marriage legislation which means that thepenetration of the policy into the society is still at an all-timelow. Were it that same-sex unions were not considered acts of sexualimpurity, the penetration of the legislation legalizing same-sexmarriage would have experienced a rather swift absorption by amajority of the Asian countries including Vietnam, my motherland.Therefore, i can positively say that even with the recentlegalization of same-sex marriage in Vietnam, it has not yet hit themasses as a concept that can be widely accepted as “customary.”
Same-sexmarriages have elicited a variety of mixed reactions from differentglobal communities. In as much as it might be a 21stcentury concept, I believe that it is morally wrong for individualsof the same-sex to indulge in intimacy. My major worry regarding thelegalization of same-sex marriages is that it will cause adisintegration of the already existing social order. Men are nowbecoming “wives,” and women, “husbands.” As such, thenaturally adopted social order will be expelled introducing a moremystifying order that will lead to the disintegration of the societyrather than its integration. It might seem like an infringement of anindividual’s personal privacy by legally limiting and stipulatingwho an individual might, or might not marry.
Iabsolutely concur that this is an infringement of personal privacybut justified for the preservation of the social order that hasexisted in the world for centuries. I would not want my kid to growup knowing that he or she is free to get married to a person from thesame sex because, that would be the greatest catastrophe of mygeneration’s existence. The far the human species has come we havemanaged to pull through without same-sex unions in our midst.Therefore, I do not comprehend why we should allow people of thesame-sex couples to be legally recognized as a couple because that isnot the natural order God meant for us. I therefore, am profoundlyagainst the legalization of same-sex marriages in the whole world.
Gane,Roy, Nicholas Patrick Miller, and H. Peter Swanson. Homosexuality,Marriage, And The Church.Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews University Press, 2012. Print.
Moskowitz,David A., Gerulf Rieger, and Michael E. Roloff. "HeterosexualAttitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage". Journalof Homosexuality57.2 (2010): 325-336. Web.
Reinbold,Jenna. "Traditional Marriage On Trial: The Supreme Court,Same-Sex Marriage, And The Fate Of Secular Argumentation".Journalof Church and State(2015): csv100. Web.
Sterngass,Jon. SameSex Marriage.New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2012. Print.
YoangHa, Yeng. "Public Perceptions On LGB T Issues In ModernVietnam". Commons.emich.edu.N.p., 2013. Web. 10 May 2016.