Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition Essay

Pages: 4 (1300 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Same Sex Marriage

The primary definition of Marriage in Merriam-Webster is "1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons: wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage" (Merriam-Webster Definition).

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The concept of marriage is a social and legal contract sanctioned by society. Traditionally it is between a man and a woman, creating kinship ties that extend families and holdings. The interesting focus of marriage is that it combines an institution of interpersonal relationships, typically intimate and sexual, being acknowledged in numerous ways, depending on the particular society and culture. This is typically combined with a religious rite that has blurred into societal acceptance.). As a way of looking at marriage as a social indicator of cultural trends within the United States, each year the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University publishes a yearly examination of trends and assesses the health of marriage and marital issues in a publication they entitle "The State of Our Unions." Researchers at Rutgers based this on interviews, statistical data, surveys, and current scholarship on marriage and family issues. Since today's definition of marriage varies so widely based on demographics and geography, it is interesting to analyze some of the polarization that occurs in the Christian front regarding same-sex marriage.

TOPIC: Essay on Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition of Assignment

For decades, marriage was both the primary social and economic institution of American family life. It seemed to be the expectation, and set a solid groundwork for cultural dominance. However, as of 2007, author David Popenoe argues that trends over the past few decades point to the weakening of marriage as a prime social institution of family life. There are several trends that contribute to this finding: Americans are delaying marriage longer, living together prior to marriage or continually, marrying at older ages or not at all, and raising children in different environments (multi-parents, solo, etc.) What is interesting as that these new American trends are not really new trends at all; they are trends that have been happening in Northern Europe for decades.

The reasons for these trends are complex, but may be, according to scholarship, caused by a broader cultural shift away from religion, social traditions, and faith-based paradigms and a move towards secular humanism, personal independence, greater tolerance for diversity and secular individualism. It is interesting to note that the idea of Civil Rights and a respect for diversity also tends to move attitudes away from the more traditional frames of organizing one's life.

One of the polarizing issues surrounding same-sex marriage comes from the institution of religion. Support for, and affirmation of marriage for same-sex couples usually comes from those who practice a more liberal, progressive Christianity. The Metropolitan Community Church, United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Unitarian Universalists, and the Anglican Church of Canada all support the rights of gays and lesbians, not just to marry, but to have equal Civil Rights within the constructs of modern society. Like many other issues that are interpreted, homosexuality as an act is quite different than same-sex marriage. The argument from the scriptures holds that since the authors of the Bible never mention committed Christian homosexual couples, there cannot be a prohibition of rights for same-sex couples. This view believes that the Bible is a spiritual guide and that marriage as an institution and the structure of commitment and family is a Biblical right that morally holds that all couples (regardless of gender) should have access to. Supporting this is the New Testament idea that Christ believed in the dignity and quality of all persons, and that human sexuality is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition.  (2012, November 12).  Retrieved December 4, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition."  12 November 2012.  Web.  4 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition."  November 12, 2012.  Accessed December 4, 2021.