Close your eyes and imagine that you are seeing a beautiful couple who are obviously in love. You also notice a baby stroller and an adorable baby boy in it. You see their hands and notice that they both are wearing a wedding ring; which means that they are married. You are probably thinking of the perfect American family; a happily married couple, two parents, and a beautiful baby boy. How did you picture these people? Automatically you thought of a man and a woman right? Well you are wrong these are two homosexuals people and the boy is their child. Is this image still as beautiful as you imagined it before?
A study from Pew Research Center showed that forty-seven percent of the voters said that they either against or for gay marriage. Leaving ten percent unsure of gay marriage and forty-one percent who want gay couples to get married (“Gay Marriage Facts and Statistics”). Homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals are the ones who are affected by the opinion of same-sex marriage. In the United States, fifteen percent identify themselves as homosexuals. “Homo” is a Greek word meaning the same and “sexual” means an act in which one is committed. This does not include the rest of the population of who have not yet “come out of the closet”, a largely phrase used to explain others who have not told family members and friends about their sexuality.
It is important to discuss the issues of same-sex marriage because of the fact that marriage has been around for a very long time. With the longevity of the existence of marriage, there will be changes in the meaning of marriage.This will include the history of marriage, the history of homosexuality, the rights that homosexuals have now, and the many other sides that are there to this issue. Why do humans see gay marriage as a wrong or right thing? When did this start and how? The question is should homosexuals be allowed to marry the one they love or should they not be allowed?
The history of Marriage
As you all may know the Greeks started the tradition of marriage being the procreate or even settle business deals. The beginning of marriage women was treated like slaves when they were brought to America. Back then marriage was not a needed tradition, but a lawmaker named Solon said that marriage was an essential social need, single men were to be frowned upon, and childless. A wedding started when a father finds a suitable wife for his son. He would then draw up a contract that was signed in front of a witness. Then a ceremony would be held and the newlywed couple, who never met before are shown to their beds (“History of Marriage in Western Civilization”).
Most Greek men were known as monogamous and allowed to seek pleasure in other places than his wife. Most of the time men sought sexual pleasure from prostitutes and concubines for health. Demosthesnes an orator of ancient Athens and a prominent Greek statesman was the one who said, “We have prostitutes for our pleasure, concubines for our health and wives to bear us lawful offsprings” (History of Marriage in Western Civilization”).
The Romans adopted this tradition. It was considered that at the age of fourteen, a girl was ready to be wed. Her father chooses a groom and did all the arrangements for the wedding. Still, to this day, love did not matter in the institution of marriage. Marriage is for inter-family and the economic ties. The possessions of the female would go into the marriage, leaving the wife with no possessions of her own, she would lose to the oldest living male related to her husband. Women were only thought to be good for bearing children, managing the household, and raising the children (“Women and Marriage in Ancient Rome”). From these ancient civilizations, the tradition of marriage, countries grew and spread. When the Europeans came to America, they brought their values in marriage too.
In American marriage was seen as the same as it was in Europe when the Europeans first came to America: women were still as the property of men and love did not matter. Women started to earn a little respect when slaves came to America from Africa. Women were soon given freedom and no longer the property of their husbands. They were happy and free. But a new challenge came to the marriage forefront: whites and African Americans were falling in love with one another. This was seen as an abominable and an outlaw. Whites and African Americans were not allowed to be together or marry one another. Although they were not allowed to be together most people did not care. The first half white American and half African American baby was born in 1620 (Nittle) also known as mulatto.
“On June 12, 1967, the nation’s highest court voted unanimously to overturn the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, a young interracial couple from rural Caroline County, Virginia”,” an announcer stated on the National Public Radio (“Loving Decision: 40 Years Of Legal Interracial Unions”). The young interracial couple was the first allowed interracial marriage in the United States and the paved the way for many more interracial marriages to come. Marriage progressed from women being a mans property to them being free to interracial not being able to get married.
Homosexuality and the Bible
The earliest act of homoerotic behavior occurred in Genesis 9:2-24. It was said that Noah youngest son Ham acted homosexually to Noah his father when he passed out from drinking too much wine. It was also mentioned in Leviticus 18:22 that “ a male may not lie with another as they would with a woman”. There have been a lot of blasphemous depictions of Jesus Christ taking part in the homoerotic affairs, best known for being apostle Paul in Romans 1 (“History of Homosexuality”).
Another term for homosexual women is Lesbian. The root of the term lesbian comes from the Greek islands Lesbos which held its female poet Sappho, who wrote about love between women. Because of Sappho homosexual love between women is also known as sapphism. Lesbianism has been around before that although it is best known in Greek history. In the New Testament in Roman 1 reference of lesbianism, “even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature” (“History of Homosexuality”).
Homosexuality and the Greeks
There are well known Romans and Greeks myths that talk about homosexual affairs: Apollo and Hyacinthus, Hercules and Hylas, Zeus and Ganymede, Achilles and Patroclus, and Ameinias (Schmik) and Narcissus. For example, it was that Zeus spotted Ganymede in the field tending to his sleep and Zeus fell in love with Ganymede. He sent an eagle or he was turned into an eagle, and abducted him and made Ganymede the cupbearer to the gods (Gibson).
The story of Apollo and Hyacinthus, Apollo was a male god who was in love with Hyacinthus, a male human who did everything with him that including human sport such as throwing discus. One day they were throwing discus, a jealous god named Zephyros messed up the destination of the discus and made it bounce back up hitting Hyacinthus in the head killing him. A flower grew in his place that is now named after him (“Apollo and Hyacinthus”).
Homosexuals in the United States
When someone mentions homosexuals in the United States you think of the cities New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco: these cities have the largest concentration of homosexuals in the country. In the mid-1900s, people were looking for a new meaning of living and farming was difficult. Most of them were forced to live a non-traditional family values. Many people moved in large groups to the largest cities looking for jobs and man entered the armed force. In the armed force in the mid-1900’s, only men were allowed to fight and most women became nurses. Many homosexual men found other homosexual men in the military and did not care about the traditional family expectancies. Homosexual men in the war and some homosexual men died honorably with the secret; the others did not keep their sexuality a secret. Thousands of homosexual women and men were dishonorably discharged after World War Two because of their sexuality (“Allies and Advocates”).
In 1969 homosexuals stood up and fought for their rights. The Stonewall Riot showed the homosexuals outrage. The NYPD is also known the New York Police Department raided Stonewall Inn a gay bar in Greenwich Village. Many employees and performers were arrested by the police, but the LGBT known as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender supporters fought back and The Stonewall riot lasted for three days (Head).
In 1973 people saw that being a homosexual meant that you have mental condition according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A study conducted by Evelyn Hooked called Hooker’s Study dismissed the allegations about homosexuals having a mental condition. She questioned if heterosexuals and homosexual differ in psychological adjustments. Using a Rorschach Tests, also known as ink blot tests; (TAT) Thematic Apperception Tests it’s kind of similar to Rorschach she conducted her experiment, but it tells a story from an ambiguous picture and Makes A Picture Story Tests (MAPS). Evelyn Hooker asked two experts to study the Rorschach Tests. Neither one of the experts could recognize the difference of heterosexuals from homosexuals. She then asked the third expert to scrutinize the TAT and MAPS tests. The third expert also could not tell the difference between homosexual from heterosexual which proves that homosexuality is not a psychological disorder (Herek).
People in 1980 were not friendly to homosexual people. Doctors started to find infections that were found in homosexual and deadly. Doctors also found odd cancers. The immune system of homosexual started to deteriorate and it was called the “gay plague”. This “gay plague” is known as an AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and the final stage of HIV disease that causes severe damage to the immune system (Board). There are many ways to contract the AIDS one that is not common is being born with it. The possibility of a child being born with the virus known as HIV/AIDS is if the mother was pregnant with the child and tested positive for HIV. There are many ways to contract HIV/AIDS is having unprotective sex, oral, or anal sex and/or sharing needles with an HIV positive person (“How’s Does HIV/AIDS Spread”). In the ‘80’s homosexuals were thought to be the main contractors of this virus although HIV/AIDS can be spread to any person exhibiting promiscuity or needle sharing.