"I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman,"
Our time-travel is almost completed. Remember that iconic horrifying scene from Stanley Kubrick’s “Clockwork orange”?
Ludovico technique presented in both film and the book is a form of Aversion therapy - that’s how they tried to cure homosexuality in 50ies and 60ies. So Average Joe and Bryan could easily find themselves tied to the chair, watching gay porn and being electrocuted, in order to change their sexual behavior.
About LGBT rights movements
It took torture and suffering of hundreds of people for mankind to understand - homosexuality is not a disease. In 1973 World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the ICD and other disease classification systems. On May 17, 1992, The World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. Since then, May 17 is celebrated all over the world as International Day Against Homophobia.
The world's first official gay pride was held in 1970 in the US, a year after the famous "Stonewall Riots." Shortly before, in 1969, there was a major police raid in the New York gay bar "Stonewall-Inn."This was the raid that provoked first major gay protest action: The mass movement for the protection of human rights of LGBT people in the US and all around the world. As the years went by there has been a gradual shift in public opinion In many Western countries.
Increasingly, the public debates arose - whether same-sex couples should gain equal marriage rights? And as a result, In 1989 Denmark became the first-ever country to recognize the civil partnerships for the same-sex couples.
The Matter of Values
As we noted in Part I, the issue of same-sex marriages in the 21st century has become an acute social problem.
To begin with, many disputes already exist around the terminology itself. Some proponents of legalization tend not to use the terms “Same-sex marriage”, and “Gay marriage”, as they can create the false impression of creating a special marriage for homosexual people. Activists explain that their demand is for the same-sex couples to get an equal access to an already existing marriage institution. They tend to use the terms: “Marriage for all”, “Marriage equality”, “Equal marriage”, “Gender neutral marriage” etc. These representations are also reflected in laws that legalize same-sex marriages. For example, in Germany and France, they are called: "The opening of marriage for same-sex couples", in a number of American states - “The Marriage Equality Act”.
For supporters, this is primarily a question of civil equality. They believe that legalizing the marital status of same-sex couples is nothing but an extension of the notion of marriage and the restoration of justice. They point out that marriage is a legal institution that gives the people who concluded it a number of rights: Not to testify against their spouse in court, to visit him/her in the hospital, to oversee their partners health issues, in case of necessity, etc.
For opponents, this is the issue of the destruction of traditional values and moral principles. After all, for them "traditional marriage" is a cornerstone of society and the state, and the recognition of same-sex unions can undermine these institutions. They also claim that with the recognition of same-sex marriages a new social institution is being created, parallel to the "Traditional Marriage". After all, they perceive family as an institution aimed primarily towards the birth and upbringing of the children, and same-sex couples are not capable of conceiving themselves.
Many oppose same-sex marriages on the basis that same-sex relationships are morally unacceptable for them. Often such people appeal to their religious beliefs because, from the point of view of the majority of world religions, marriage is a sacred union between the man and a woman. However, supporters of same-sex marriage talk about the secular nature of most states and the equality of different beliefs in them. In addition, in countries such as Great Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, etc. There are already precedents for the wedding of same-sex couples.
But what about religious states?
It’s one of the main topics to which opponents of same-sex marriages also appeal.
In 2015, when the US Supreme Court was preparing to discuss the issue of same-sex marriages, the lawyer named Gene Shafer, on behalf of "100 scientists involved in marriage" said that the legalization of same-sex marriages will cause 900 thousand abortions.
According to him, the legalization of same-sex marriage reduces the value of marriage, and as a result, there are less heterosexual marriages, which in turn leads to the fact that more unmarried women will appear, among whom the number of abortions is much higher than among married women. As a result, according to Sherr, "about 900 thousand children of the next generation will become victims of abortions because their mothers will not get married. This number is comparable to the population of cities such as Sacramento and Atlanta combined. "
In response, many accused him of distorting the cause-effect relationship and the fact that these fears are not scientifically justified. In addition, his opponents also noted the conclusion of a same-sex union helps to strengthen the couple's relationship, and it’s immoral and humiliating to refuse the marriages of same-sex couples.
What will happen to heterosexual marriages?
In societies with a significantly high level of homophobia, representatives of the LGBT community are often forced to engage in heterosexual marriages in order to hide their orientation. Supporters of same-sex marriage often ask if the society needs such false unions? Do families based on lies and fear make society any better?
Some assume that the legalization of same-sex marriages could ease the stigma and the number of homosexuals resorting to such radical measures could decrease.
What About Parenting?
Supporters appeal to the numerous scientific studies on the development of children of same-sex couples, held in different countries throughout the world, which show that they are no different from their peers raised by parents of different sex.
Back in 2006, according to a study conducted by the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany, children from same-sex families show positive personal and professional development, as well as a positive development of emotional and social competencies. No prerequisites for depression were found. Moreover, children and adolescents from same-sex families show in some cases a higher level of self-esteem, they are more autonomous and independent than children and adolescents raised in “traditional families”
Children from "rainbow families" are not inferior to children from other types of families in their sex and age development, in matters of interpersonal relationships with friends, intimate relations, social growth and independence from parents. Children from same-sex families have higher grades in school and better certificate after graduation compared to national average, which, of course, is not due to the homosexuality of their parents, it’s due to better parenting.
Various experts talk about the need to change the legal conditions for children living in same-sex families. According to them, legal equalization of same-sex partnerships with heterosexual marriages is necessary to improve the legal and economic security of children raised in "rainbow families." In addition, they note, that non-recognition of the marriage and parenting of the same-sex couples leads to an increase of child’s legal and social vulnerability.
But there are still conservative movements, who claim that every child has a right to have both a father and a mother and don’t trust the results of the researches.
One way or another these debates are far from ending and the tension is still there. Joe and Bryan hope that you enjoyed the ride and that you have even more unanswered questions than you had in the beginning. Which means that will definitely meet them some other time. New discussions, new arguments are ahead. Until then, our heroes will enjoy their well-deserved rest.