Marriage is considered an institution that is a critical part of the society and it promotes benefits for the common good of everyone therein. Traditional marriage, which is a union between a man and a woman, has been recognized more than other types of marriages especially gay marriages (Anderson, 2013). This is because there are gains obtained from it such as love procreation, bearing of children including bringing them up. However, modernity has brought a wide range of issues that question the practicability of these benefits and whether individuals do not have a right to engage in any other type of marriage they would want to. This has become a public policy issue due to the rising support from different groups for gay marriages. Although the courts have previously come up with solutions in other similar issues like racism touching on public policy, it is not the right avenue to use and marriage description as a union between husband and wife should not be affected or interfered with by such issues (Anderson, 2013).
Governments, cultures and religions all over the world have for a long time largely taken the traditionalist’s view to consider a union between husband and wife as the most ideal form of marriage. Defining and recognition of different types of marriage has recently become a public policy issue especially in America where both the state and federal government under its constitutional marriage Acts has taken time to recognize other marriages apart from the traditional marriage (Anderson, 2013). This is not to mean that there has been any law against same sex marriages but support for gay marriage is outright disregard for the traditional marriage and also implies support for other marriages such as polygamy marriages with minors or animals. The courts have therefore taken up the role of providing guidance on this issue of public policy whose responsibility is supposed to lie with the civil society, elected leaders who their duty is to legislate (Anderson, 2013).
There are reasons for traditional marriages that still make it the best form of union. They include the fact that it has remained intact in different cultures all over the world from time immemorial hence playing a role in ensuring cultures survive (Anderson, 2013). Nevertheless, there has been an argument saying that some aspects of marriage such as nuclear family have come during modernity in western cultures but recent developments state otherwise since nuclear families have been present for many centuries. Culture has therefore universally survived through traditional marriage because no strong form of evidence is available to support otherwise (Dent 2003). Traditional marriage helps to bring children up in an all round manner by enhancing their mental and physical health as well as performance in school. Parents are required by the government to be fully committed to provide proper upbringing to their children, which in turn makes sure the society’s future is safeguarded (Anderson, 2013).
The issue of children in marriages today is however faced with a myriad of issues. First, the cost of bringing up children has risen due to their various needs for the purpose of their sustainability and safeguarding of their future, which makes some husbands and wives to remain childless in marriages if they feel incapable to take care of children (Dent 2003). Second, the efforts by the government to offer help to needy children is at times in contrast with the role of families, this is in case they separated and moved to foster homes or other centers away from their parents (Bernstein, 2003). There are also those in marriages who may be in situations that prevent them from having children such as age of health conditions. Providing children with everything within a family setting does not also guarantee that they will be good members of the society. There are other influences such as media and peers that may spoil their behavior leading them to become undesirable characters in the society (Dent 2003).
Traditional marriage can be considered to be for the benefit of the common good since it has more public than private purposes whereby it assists in ensuring the well-being of future citizens is protected. This is however not the case always, marriages have been cause of pain for some people, today the high rates of divorce leave many people scarred and affect the children in these marriages in very negative ways. This implies that the society has a wide range of problems cropping up from these marriages, which are otherwise thought to provide perfect solutions.
In consideration of a right to sexual autonomy, the western culture existing today that has brought about progressiveness in people’s way of thinking, an individual should be allowed to choose any type of marriage they want to be part of. Gay marriage is one of them, which involves a union of two people who are of the same sex. As previously seen, there is no law that is against gay marriages and therefore there is no reason why all levels of government should not recognize this kind of marriage. Such marriages will also have to be recognized by the society, businesses and places of worship and serve their own purposes just like those of the traditional marriages (Jacob, 2007).
Recognition of gay marriages can be necessitated by a number of reasons such as refusal to recognize it results to discrimination on the basis of one’s sex orientation, which is no different from other forms of discrimination like race and ethnicity. The courts can play a role in ensuring this type of discrimination is eliminated. The fight against racial discrimination has been done with the help of the courts. Gay activists can also follow the same avenue to ensure they are recognized (Bernstein, 2003).
Modernity has brought about many changes in today’s cultures and many things that were performed uniformly before are changing. For instance, it was the norm that after attainment of a certain age all genders were expected to be married and bear children, and there was an age limit set for marriage. It is not the case nowadays as people are not under any pressure to have families, the expectations to bear and raise children have also reduced with even some governments advocating for family planning to reduce population growth. All these have brought changes in the universal culture of marriage, making people to be free to engage in any kind of union as long as it provides satisfaction and happiness (Jacob, 2007).
Lack of adequate resources to support the growth of families provides more stress than happiness to most families especially those living in poor economic conditions. The requirement of a traditional marriage to provide the proper environment that is for the common good of people is not served. This is because poor families end up being a burden to other members of the society because they have to contribute taxes that will take care of the welfare of such people (Jacob, 2007).
The existing conflict between recognition of traditional marriage and the other types of marriages requires the contribution of all people’s representatives at all levels of government instead of giving the responsibility to the courts. Legislatures come up with policies that define what marriage really entails and assist in coming up with a solution that would help people with this problem. Although a lot of advantages arise from entering into traditional marriage, restrictions should not be put on gay marriages since people enter into marriage for different reasons.
Anderson, R. T. (2013, March 20). “In defense of traditional marriage.” The Washington Post.
Bernstein, A. (2003). “For and Against Marriage: A Revision.” Michigan Law Review, 129-212.
Dent Jr., G. W. (2003). Traditional Marriage: Still worth Defending. BYU J. Pub. L., 18, 419.
Jacob, B. P. (2007). Griswold and the Defense of Traditional Marriage. NDL Rev., 83, 1199