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Marriage is defined to be “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as
partners in a personal relationship” (Oxford, 2016). When one thinks of marriage, image
commonly brought to mind would be of a man and a woman. On the opposite end of the
spectrum, same-sex marriage has been around since the early 18th century and has only
sparked major debates worldwide recently and has garnered various types of attention. Same-
sex marriage is also considered to be a major ethical issue with how it can be either morally
right or wrong. Many ethics can be applied to same-sex marriage and either help support it;
such as utilitarian, or to fight against it, such as someone who subscribes to a deontological
theory. Because of these ethics, people consider and debate the topic, specifically the morals,
family values and religion, equality, constitutionality, and right to privacy involved with Gay
Marriage.

Same-sex marriage dates back to the 1st century, when a Roman emperor, Nero, was
involved in two same-sex unions; effectively making him the first Roman emperor to marry a
person of the same gender. Additionally, numerous examples of same-sex unions can be
found in Ancient Greek writings. Famous Greek couples include Harmodius and Aristogiton,
Pelopidas and Epaminondas and Alexander The Great and Bogoas. These couples were not
however officially wed - the Romans were the first to conduct same-sex marriages. It was not
until December 16th, 342AD that same-sex marriage was officially outlawed by Christian
emperors Constantius II and Constans. Now, in the early 21st-century, various types of same-
sex unions have been legalised worldwide. It has been considered as a quintessentially 21st-
century phenomenon, suddenly receiving popularity with recent news of the Australian
plebiscite and all fifty states in America legalising same-sex marriage in June, 2015.
Opponents argue that it is political correctness gone mad; but supporters see it as a sign of
progress. It was not until the 1970s and 80s when activists sued for the right to marry - a few
others obtained valid licences to wed. It was not until the 1990s when the movement towards
same-sex marriage began, and in 2000 where the first country in the world, The Netherlands,
legalised same-sex marriage.

Utilitarian ethics can be applied to same-sex marriage. Utilitarian Ethics reason that
same-sex marriage should be legalised due to the fact that everyone would benefit. The
greater good would be served – causing the least amount of harm and promoting the best
possible society in which everyone is equally protected under the law. It is believed that if
same-sex couples were to marry in a Utilitarian based society, the “indirect harms” that

Student ID: 8200680

both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. By applying John Stuart Mills’ views towards Utilitarianism. love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Divided responses Student ID: 8200680 .in this case. One of the foremost arguments against same-sex marriage can be tracked back to strong Christian beliefs. One such Bible message states that marriages should be defined as exclusively between a man and a woman .someone’s religious beliefs or just their moral values. Utilitarianism that: The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals… holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness. (Mill and Sher. reinforcing homosexuality as a morally corrupted concept. his idolised moral principles. in which same sex marriage is disdained upon as egregious and is punishable by death. “Love thy neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39) and “But I tell you. the Deontological approach often advises that it is wrong and immoral. One of the most common deontological approaches is one’s duty to live by what is right . their blood shall be upon them. John Stuart Mill supports this by stating in his book. Most of these arguments are reinforced using the Bible and its teachings. many Christians stand by one of the most renowned passages supporting equality from the Bible. “perverted”. “immoral”.” (Leviticus 20:13). and “inhuman” to list a few. the law . Millions of Christians use this passage to support their views. For example. Biblical passages are also used as arguments against same-sex marriage: One passage in particular states that if “a man also lie with mankind. However. along with others views on homosexuality and how the legislation should acquiesce. It is also widely accepted that marriage is an international human right for all people. further supporting equality amongst everyone. This ideal perceives same-sex marriage as “disgusting”.” (Matthew 5:44). 2 people take issue with such as children “require a mother and a father” would become relatively miniscule when compared to the “direct benefits”.that marriage is for procreation only and should not be extended to same-sex couples. 2001) While the Utilitarian argues in support for same-sex marriage. They cite this passage in support for the same-sex marriage reform and thus condem the hateful views belonging to other Christians. would then appropriately evaluate same-sex marriage as something that brings more happiness to people and cause no damage. such as achieving equality amongst people by allowing homosexual citizens to be wedded to the ones they love. pre-1970 laws. as he lieth with a woman. wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.

Same-sex marriage should be legalised. If one will listen to reason. and one should have the freedom to marry who one chooses. Some stand totally against the ideals of same sex marriage. left-wing Christians creates a hypocrisy in the ethical approach. politicised. and others provide support. Student ID: 8200680 . Due to the various interpretations of the Bible. many differing views and opinions regarding same-sex marriage have caused naught but controversy in the reform debate. and logical arguments for same- sex marriage. similarly to the freedom of religion. same-sex marriage is one of the most publicized. 3 and opinions from strong. and strongly-debated moral problems in our society which will indubitably be discussed for decades to come. one will support and condone any changes made which ensure that any person has the ability to marry whomever they like regardless of gender. Many of the ethical views and theories explained show both sides of same sex marriage. conservative. acceptance. Even today.

[online] Available at: http://www. Available at: http://theconversation.10. Gay Marriage . [online] Available at: http://essayturf.net.au/news/2015-08-24/timeline:-australian-states- decriminalise-male-homosexuality/6719702 [Accessed 19 Oct. Timeline: Australian states decriminalise male homosexuality.au/religion/articles/2015/04/28/4225326.org. [online] the Guardian. (2013). (2016).gov. 2016]. (2016). Hadfield. [online] The Conversation.ProCon.net.humanrights.com/an-ethical-case-for-marriage-equality- in-australia-39698 [Accessed 20 Oct.abc. Mill. 2016].org/ [Accessed 17 Oct. Student ID: 8200680 . [online] Available at: https://www. Essayturf.php [Accessed 22 Oct. Gaymarriage. (2014). (n. 2016]. The Ethics of Same-Sex Marriage. 2016].).net/free-law-essays/family-law/gay-marriage-a-moral- issue-family-law-essay.org. An ethical case for marriage equality in Australia. [online] Abc. F. [online] Academia.academia. Available at: https://www.htm [Accessed 19 Oct.ABC Religion & Ethics. 2016].com/books/2015/jan/23/-sp-secret-history- same-sex-marriage [Accessed 21 Oct. P. Available at: https://www. A quick guide to Australian discrimination laws | Australian Human Rights Commission.net. Gay Marriage A Moral Issue | Law Teacher.com.com/blog/gay-marriage/ [Accessed 21 Oct. Humanrights. Lawteacher.au/employers/good-practice-good-business-factsheets/quick- guide-australian-discrimination-laws [Accessed 20 Oct. Welcome To #1 Premium Essay Service. Langrell.edu. [online] Available at: http://gaymarriage. D.. p. Dabhoiwala. (2015).theguardian.d. (2015). Miller.procon.net. 4 Bibliography ABC News. [online] Available at: http://www. 2016]. 2016]. Utilitarianism. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. (2012). J.au.procon.edu/8668231/The_Ethics_of_Same-Sex_Marriage [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016]. 2nd ed. G. 2016]. (2001). The secret history of same-sex marriage.abc. L. and Sher. Available at: http://www.au. Is Ethics Wedded to Same-Sex Marriage? . (2015).gov.lawteacher.