Nonetheless, it seems to most people that the state, by giving a marriage license, expresses approval, and, by withholding it, disapproval. It is not about whether same-sex relationships can involve the content of marriage: few would deny that gays and lesbians are capable of friendship, intimacy, “meet and happy conversation,” and mutual responsibility, nor that they can have and raise children (whether their own from a previous marriage, children created within their relationship by surrogacy or artificial insemination, or adopted children).
Certainly none would deny that gays and lesbians are capable of sexual intimacy.
But marriage, it soon becomes evident, is no single thing. The institution of marriage houses and supports several distinct aspects of human life: sexual relations, friendship and companionship, love, conversation, procreation and child-rearing, mutual responsibility. (We have always granted marriage licenses to sterile people, people too old to have children, irresponsible people, and people incapable of love and friendship.
Impotence, lack of interest in sex, and refusal to allow intercourse may count as grounds for divorce, but they don’t preclude marriage.) Marriages can exist even in cases where none of these is present, though such marriages are probably unhappy.
The keys to the kingdom of the married might have been held only by private citizens—religious bodies and their leaders, families, other parts of civil society.
Does A Research Paper Need A Thesis - Same Sex Marriage Essays Argumentative
So it has been in many societies throughout history.
In the United States, however, as in most modern nations, government holds those keys.
Even if people have been married by their church or religious group, they are not married in the sense that really counts for social and political purposes unless they have been granted a marriage license by the state.
Analyzing this issue will help us understand what is happening in our country, and where we might go from here.
Before we approach the issue of same-sex marriage, we must define marriage.