Do Gays and Lesbians Threaten the System of Male Dominance?

Powerful Essays
Do Gays and Lesbians Threaten the System of Male Dominance?

"In short, by not complying with their assigned gender roles, gays and lesbians threaten the system of male dominance (Calhoun 157)"

A debate is raging in America about who people have a right to marry. In response to lesbians and gays asking for the right to marry, many legislators are writing laws to ban same-sex marriage in their respective states. Even President Bush supports a Constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage (prez.bush.marriage/). Opponents of such legislation do not want discrimination passed into law and are protesting at every opportunity. One must understand the reasons that people want to ban same-sex marriage before he or she can effectively argue about the subject. Many advocates of same-sex marriage bans say that allowing gays and lesbians to marry would degrade the institution of marriage because marriage is only supposed to exist between a man and woman. In addition, allowing same-sex marriage would cause problems for society (Issues and Controversies on File). One theory why opponents may fight against same-sex marriages is that heterosexual marriages have long reinforced traditional gender roles within marriage and that allowing same-sex marriages would cause males to lose their authority to subordinate females as heterosexual couples begin to model same-sex marriage gender equality (Calhoun 157).

The traditional argument against same-sex marriage states that marriage is defined as the emotional and spiritual union of a man and a woman. According to that definition, a pair of men or women cannot marry. Opponents of same-sex marriage bans, however, argue that marriage is a basic personal and social right and a social contract that is devoid of gender consideration. Cheshire Calhoun states, "the dominant goal of marriage is and should be unitive, the spiritual and personal union of the committed couple" (151). The sexual orientation or gender of the partners does not lessen the importance placed upon entering such a union and need not be used to restrict who can enter into such a union.

Heterosexuals have enjoyed the right to marry throughout recorded history, though there have been restrictions placed over who could marry that have been overc...

... middle of paper ... sodomy is immoral or that same-sex unions are immoral, but nevertheless think the state should adopt a neutral position, refraining from criminalizing sodomy and offering legal protection for same-sex unions under domestic partnership laws" (Calhoun 168).


LOVING ET UX. v. VIRGINIA. _m=5fc1bb0239c8912aa97d779528e9d62b& _docnum=2&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkVb&_md5=60c85af0cd3ade6c85561f31ba41bdc7 Calhoun, Cheshire. Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian and Gay Displacement. Oxford University Press: New York, 2000.
Corvino, John. Why Shouldn't Tommy and Jim Have Sex? A Defense of Homosexuality. Rowman & Littlefield: New York, 1997.
Issues and Controversies on File. Same-Sex Marriage. Facts on File News Services: New York, 1996.
Levin, Michael E. Sexual Orientation and Human rights. Rowman & Littlefield: New York, 1999.
Sullivan, Andrew. Virtually Normal. Alfred A. Knopf Inc: New York, 1995.
Get Access