The article The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage, by the editorial board of The New York Times, argues that the courts are now obliged to lift the ban on same-sex marriages, which contradicts the constitutional provisions on equality, and is discriminative and unjust. The main point of this editorial is that the Supreme Court should once and for all lift all bans on same-sex marriages; since there is no strong argument upholding the bans yet, the strength of the arguments for the lift is stronger. From the editorial, it is evident that same-sex marriages are just, fair and even acceptable, not just to the couples and their families, but also by law (The Editorial Board, 1). The constitution provides for liberty of adults to engage in private intimate sexual conduct; thus prohibiting same-sex marriages is a twist on the constitution. More so, the constitution abolished the definition of marriage as a union between man and woman, thus there is nothing that excludes same-sex relationships from being legal. The editorial also expresses relief that clarity on the legalization of same-sex marriages would bring to the couples, relatives, as well as the whole public (The Editorial Board, 2). However, the feeling that the judiciary should lift all bans relating to same-sex marriages is not unanimous, owing to the controversial nature of homosexual marriages. As much as the editorial bases its argument on the libertarian principle, liberty has limits, especially in relation to responsibility and utility. Human beings ought to conduct themselves in a manner that depicts utility and responsibility to the society. Legalizing homosexual marriages does not augur well for humanity, as well as society. The editorial board states that legalization of homosexual marriages has been a long-awaited event; however, the ethical controversy of the same makes the move inappropriate for the human race.
Arguing from a utilitarian point of view, I disagree with the editorial board that all that America needs is the lift of the bans on homosexual marriages. Homosexual marriages, as much as they satisfy libertarian principles of the individuals, go against the essence of common good for all, as well as the need for human beings to lead fulfilled happy lives, as described by Aristotle. Lifting the ban on homosexual marriage only focuses on making such couple happy, regardless of the social impact of the same. In addition, legal matters have more implications on the society than the involved parties. Therefore, supporting the libertarian right of homosexuals is right, but its implication on the society makes it wrong (Sandel, 189). The utilitarian claim of Aristotle is that human beings should engage in activities, which will bring them happiness and fulfillment in life. According to Aristotle, happiness is not a feeling, rather it is the essence of living a worth and good life. Therefore, happiness is not achievable through single activities, rather by the fullness of life. In that case, legalization of homosexual marriages will infringe the fullness of life in society.
Constitutionalizing same-sex marriages is unethical in accordance with the utilitarian principle. According to the principle, whatever human beings do should be fair, just, in line with equality, and benefit the majority in order to bring happiness. To begin with, constitutionalizing same-sex marriages only seeks to meet the happiness of the couples and their relatives, while ignoring every other issue associated with it. It is true that constitutionalizing same-sex marriages will serve to provide homosexuals with justice, fairness and equality (The Editorial Board, 2). However, it will fail the rest of the society. If this one act will lead to the dismantling of what the society has held for many years as the sanctity of marriage, as well as moral values, then those justice and equality are not worthwhile. If today’s actions harm future generations, then those actions are unethical. Every ethical activity of human beings should not only please an individual, but also bring happiness to that individual and others. Same-sex marriages offer pleasure to homosexuals, but not happiness. This is because, as much as the couples enjoy their intimacy, they lack all other aspects that make their life complete. Pleasure does not guarantee happiness (Rathus et al., 212). Pleasure that comes with homosexual relationship brings pain to the homosexuals and even the society. For example, children in marriages are part of fulfillment in life, and people in same-sex marriages are forced to look for this fulfillment elsewhere. If homosexual marriages were fulfilling to the individuals, then that could be termed as justice to them. In this case, constitutionalizing same-sex marriages is not fair or just, moreover, it provides equality neither to the individuals nor the society.
Furthermore, constitutionalizing same-sex marriages is not a libertarian move but failing to offer help to sick people who need medical attention. People, who experience same-sex attraction, suffer from some biological mutation, thus need help. Naturally, people are attracted to the opposite sex, in line with procreation. The editorial board fails to acknowledge this fact and presumes that being homosexual is a way of expressing one`s liberty. The reversal of this normalcy indicates some biological mutations or some psychological disorders. Interestingly, there are people born with normal sexual attractions but who later choose to engage in same-sex relationships in search of pleasure (Balsam et al., 113). These cases indicate psychological disorders, which can be addressed through medical assistance. On the same note, studies show that people living in same-sex relationships suffer from psychological disorders, before, during and after engaging in such relationships. Constitutionalizing these relationships will not help the psychologically sick individuals recover from their conditions; instead, it is a way of justifying their illness. If the constitution, instead of providing medical assistance to ill people, makes the illness spread in the name of liberty, justice and equality, then that constitution fails in providing some of the civil rights to its citizens (Sandel, 146). Therefore, the argument that homosexual relationships have to be legalized to avoid contradicting the constitution is misleading. Furthermore, since the abnormality of this kind has no limit, legalization of same-sex marriages will be create a loophole for people with such psychological condition (Balsam et al., 110). People with this kind of reasoning will seek to further their interest and go ahead to engage in relationships with animals. Constitutionalizing same-sex marriages will mean that people who will desire to marry animals are also entitled to the same privileges, thus, they will require legalization of such marriages. What the constitution should do is to provide a way of helping such people so they can recover from the weird condition rather than inspiring them to continue living in that mire.
In addition, constitutionalizing homosexual relationships will serve as a source of confusion to the human race. The editorial overlooks the consequences that would come with the libertarian suggestion it makes. The editorial board misuses the provisions of libertarian principles, by failing to consider other important issues surrounding the same. From time immemorial, marriage has been designed for the purposes of procreation, continuity of human race, as well as the social aspect of family. Constitutionalizing same-sex marriages, the constitution will dismantle all the purposes of marriage and redefine the institution of marriage as a communion between two people (Wilson et al., 88). Every other purpose of marriage will be lost and only the pleasure of the two in the marriage will be of importance. A new definition of marriage and family leads to several other problems. Some people will have no reason to hold marriage on a perpetual basis; currently, the status of couples in the society and the need to nurture children call for the permanence of marriages. Same-sex couples do not have the same status as heterosexual couples in society, neither do they have children to nurture, thus there will be no need for the permanence of those marriages (Wilson et al., 88). In addition, legalization of same-sex marriages will set no examples for young ones to follow. Children and young people learn from their elders, as well as from the law; thus, if the society accepts same-sex marriages and the law legalizes them, then children and young people will have wrong role models to emulate. Constitutionalizing same-sex marriages is not a solution to the confusion in society, but it will be the authorship of permanent confusion.
Some people state that utilitarian argument is misguided since it overlooks the essentials of ethics such as justice and equality. According to these arguments, the core values of ethics are equality and justice to all, overriding other considerations. Thus, homosexual couples have the right to enjoy the same constitutional rights as other married couples, as well as lead normal lives, free of any form of discrimination (Sandel, 209). They arguments further say that the bans on homosexual marriages are unethical since they subject homosexuals to feeling of non-belonging and ultimate discrimination. In addition, they argue that arguments opposing legalization of same-sex marriages are worn out, and have no grounds to support their claims (Hatzenbuehler et al., 456). Furthermore, an act cannot be said to be wrong or unethical simply because of the consequences it has. Therefore, regardless of the projected outcomes of legalization of same-sex marriages, such marriages should be constitutionalized. Moreover, the fact that homosexual marriages are unconstitutional does not eliminate their presence. As much as they are constitutionalized, they are present and spreading in the society; therefore, their legalization will not change the moral fabric (Hatzenbuehler et al., 455). Constitutionalizing homosexual marriages is not introducing anything new in the system; it is just to provide homosexuals with the same rights as compared to the others. In other words, whether legalized or not, homosexual relationships will affect the society in one way or another.
In conclusion, homosexual relationships are already present in the society, yet the act of their legalization bears a lot of weight for both today and the future of the society. This controversial issue seems unending, since there are no adequate studies which offer satisfactory findings. The society remains at the crossroads of whether to follow the strong wave of constitutionalizing same-sex marriages and overlook the possible outcomes, or to remain rigid and hold the ban on the same. Laxity of scholars to provide a guideline on this has worsened the situation. Cultural provisions, religions and traditions are doing no better in shedding light on this dark scenario. Scholars working with legal, cultural and statistical issues ought to conduct satisfactory studies and provide evidence on the true situation surrounding the legalization of same-sex marriages. Such findings will shed light on the harm that such legalization will have on society and even the individuals. In addition, this paper takes an unbiased look at both sides of the issue at hand, providing as much detail as possible as to why same-sex marriages should not be constitutionalized. This stand, even though, opposed strongly, seeks to fulfill the purpose of human life and society. Therefore, society should not be fighting for the legalization of same-sex marriages; rather it should be working on how to help homosexuals overcome their mental condition and start leading normal lives (Rathus et al., 212). That way, society will be offering a solution to the problems related to homosexual relationships, instead of seeking to constitutionalize them, which will only make the scenario worse.