The laws surrounding same sex marriages all over the world differ from country to country and even today remains to be a debatable issue in regards to these laws being unjust when it comes to equality. One cannot acknowledge same sex marriages without linking it with the issues of religion and morality which causes such controversy because everyone has their own views. Although Canada has legalized same sex marriages across the country in July 2005 in relation to Canada’s Civil Marriage Act, there are still many other places in the world such as; Australia, India and even states in the USA that currently prohibit same sex marriages (Coorey, 2012). The matter of the fact is that same sex marriages is a phenomenon that affects people’s lives, social norms, and beliefs and as such should be universal across the world in regards to it being legalized. The fact that there are still places in the world that prohibit people to get together in matrimony regardless of their gender is unjust in itself. If we have come so far as a society in regards to eliminating the issue of race when it comes to matrimony than I question why is it an issue for two individuals to unite regardless of their sex? Over the years, more attention has been given towards the position that religion and morality plays in shaping the legal definition of marriage. Some proponents of same sex marriages have proposed that religion is the primary obstacle to redefining marriage to include homosexual unions. With that being said, when these laws were enacted in places such as the United States and Canada—laws in these countries were influenced largely by religious values and norms. For example; for evangelical Protestants, if the bible scriptures suggest that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination, they consider it to be so without further explanations (Warner, 2010). Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church bases its views on homosexuality also of biblical scriptures and takes into account of what Fuller and Finnis touch base on of “natural law”—which is contended to be a part of the eternal or divine law of the universe (Warner, 2010). In regards to the concept of homosexuality, for the Roman Catholics, the purpose of sex is procreation and is restricted to two people of the opposite gender who are married. “Good and moral sex occurs only within marriage… homosexuality, which cannot result in procreation, is unnatural and immoral” (Warner, 2010, p. 103). There issue of what is moral is one that boils down to religion when looking at it from a Roman Catholic view. With that being said these laws that were created to prohibit same-sex marriages were done at a point in which religion was placed on a higher level of importance rather than what may be, as Finnis suggest, important for the “common good”—including the seven principles Finnis describes that lead us to human flourishing and basic aspects of well-being (Pavlich, 2011). Finnis touches base in his seven basic forms of human flourishing that moral and legal rules must be enacted that meet the standards of practical reasonableness. The important aspect to this is now that our society has come a long ways in having more choices, stating opinions and having options—there in fact should be more reasonableness placed as societies are developing and embracing equality rights. Statistics show that between 2006 and 2011, the number of same-sex marriages doubled across Canada (Smith & Harris, 2012). If that is the case here in Canada, could one not apply that to bigger population in countries such as USA in where majority of the states still ban same sex marriages although there may be a more demand for same-sex marriage rights due to a higher population? In my opinion, the prohibition of same sex marriages in places around the world such as certain states in the United States, is unjust because it does lacks Finnis’ rule of “common good” and suppresses forms of human flouring, just as the Mixed Marriages Act, of sociability and friendship.
Coorey, M. (2012). Australian parliament rejects same-sex marriages. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 15, 2012 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/australian-parliament-rejects-same-sex-marriage/article4552991/
Messner, J. (2010). Religion and Morality in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate. Backgrounder, 2437, 1-6. Retrieved from http://report.heritage.org/bg2431
Pavlich, G. (2011). Law & Society Redefined. New York: Oxford University Press. 1-39.
Smith, T., Harris, M. (2012). Census: Gay couples are embracing marriages. The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 15, 2012 from http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Census+couples+embracing+marriage/7267249/story.html
Warner, T. (2010). Losing Control; Canada’s Social Conservatives in the Age of Rights. Toronto: Between the Lines. 102-105.