Same Sex Marriage Content Analysis Paper Essay
Same Sex Marriage Content Analysis Paper
Homosexuality is a global topic of debate. The topic of homosexuality has been discussed constantly throughout various media outlets and is a hot topic in the republican primary. A number of debates have been argued in regard to the rights of homosexuals. One of the most hotly debated subjects is the rights of homosexual couples. This controversial topic has been widely debated for a number of years. However, the trend toward globally accepting same-sex marriage is on the rise. States such as Massachusetts have passed laws to make the union of same-sex marriages legal. Other states have taken initial steps toward accepting same-sex marriage. Whereas others are considering laws and constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage within state borders. Some opponents of same-sex marriage argue that these unions should be prohibited due to the fact spouses cannot produce children in the way God intended. Additionally, those who contest same-sex marriages believe legalization of these unions would cause irreparable harm to our society as we know it. Given the significance of the issue, the value of widespread debate of the reasons for and against legalizing same sex-marriage should be apparent.
Aside from societal and religious conventions, marriage entails legally imposed responsibilities. This paper intends to look into the content involved in this hot topic to see how religious views, politically focused stances, political and legal pressures, as well as our current presidents flipped flopped stance on such a controversial subject and how they appear in the media. Historically, as a nation the concept of separate but equal doesn’t work. Offering same-sex couples several of the rights married couples are afforded without allowing them to be married is unjust. If same-sex couples are to have equal rights, civil unions are not enough. Same-sex couples deserve the same right to marry that heterosexual couples currently possess. Although, same-sex couples live in relationships that are based on the same core values that heterosexual couples commit to which is a strong and loving relationship. Same-sex couples are still denied the right to go into a marriage with their partner of choice; they continue to be denied the human rights, legal and economic stability provided by the recognized institution of marriage.
Marriage is a right that currently cannot be exercised by all due to an individual’s sexual preference. Same-sex couples are repetitively discriminated based on societies resistance to amend the definition of marriage past sexual preference. Based on the material that I have covered so far I expect to find more cases where same sex marriage is still a hot topic where people will still be fighting for their rights. In the political arena, especially with the fight for republican nominee in the upcoming election, I hope to see politicians fighting for same sex marriage but I feel as if some will say its not right and bring in the hot topic of religion into the equation. Some of the media outlets that I have chosen to investigate the subject of same sex marriages come from online news sources Huffington post, CNN, and New York Times.
I chose these because I felt that it would give me a wide range of viewpoints and opinions based on different reporters. Most of the articles come from February 2012 to the present. In some of the articles it occasionally referenced to previous cases all the way back to 2008 with proposition 8 in California. To help organize my research, it helped to divide the information up into a series of categories that I later broke down even further by the content and tones expressed and by paragraph. The four categories that I was able to narrow it down to were: 1. Religious views and stand points based on different religions a. Example: Catholics, Mormons, Christians
2. Politically focused standpoints / Directed towards the Republican primary b. Example: What different politicians are saying such as how Rick Santorum said “It would ‘Invalidate’ marriages” 3. Obama’s views and things he has done to defend / support his stance c. Example: Laws and proposals put into act or being worked on and previous laws like Proposal 8 in California 4. Political and legal pressures from citizens if favor of same sex marriages d. What citizens feel on the subject around the country and why some are opposing it rather than accepting the idea and the ideas that come with it The rules that I used to help choose what category the content and tones the articles I read fell under were fairly simple.
Something such “Surprisingly speeches were encouraging to organizers of the movement” would be marked as something positive. A paragraph with something like “Activists were under attack in Washington” would be noted as a negative. A main goal through out this process was to make sure I remained constant. This provided for the most and accurate results throughout the content analysis process.
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The first category, Religious Views, almost everything I read was written in a neutral context by the author and took up 14.192% of the content in my categories that I was looking into. When it came down to what was being covered I found that most organizations to either be positive or very negative. The only neutral stance I found was the Mormons. Catholics and Republicans seemed to be very against the idea saying that it would infringe on people rights and is against the constitution. Almost all of that articles that I read towards faith based organizations at first preached against same sex marriage left and right with negative tones. The Catholic and some Christian religions refuse to defend the rights of those who love differently than what their beliefs suggest. In an article from the Huffington Post Greene suggests, “The need to discredit or destroy a taboo object of desire is enacted in the violent attack on gay men and women and transgender persons.” The argument against same sex marriage has just as much to do about “disgust” as it does religious affiliation.
The idea that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman is a core religious belief for a significant number of Americans and could be picked up in a suttle undertone in some of the articles. Consequently, many religious leaders argue that marriage, as a social institution must remain in the intended concept of that between a man and a woman, for the means of bearing and raising children. Sider (2010) contends, “Legalizing gay marriage would weaken the connection between marriage and procreation.” Within today’s scientific arena, Sider and other religious figures views are constantly challenged. Women no longer need a male figure in their lives in order to bear children. Conversely, homosexual couples can have children without either party having to bear them.
Moreover, Sider contends that the issue of same-sex-marriage has become a legal concern for religious institutions. Citing two cases Sweden and Canada in which pastors have been charged with hate crimes; Sider (2010) anticipates legal action imminent against clergy here in the United States. Ryan (2009) argues that traditional families hardly exist today. The role of women is no longer that of a servant, but one in which has equal say or are head of household. Thus, the argument that marriage is a religious institution is a flawed concept. Mainly, due to the fact in American culture “traditional marriage’ had been based on ownership within your religion. Due to the discrepancies between the definitions of “marriage” the legal and political argument of discrimination has been proposed by same sex-couples.
My second category focused in on politically focused standpoint. This category took up 26.315% of my findings but I feel as if this percentage was so high because of the Republican primaries that are currently taking place. Normally I thought that this number would be slightly lower. Oppressive and discriminatory experiences have been a part of cultural history. In order to move beyond the mere categorization of groups as independent entities, this learner believes that we must encourage other to explore similarities, differences and controversies among and between diverse populations. As counselors, we must be expected to address these issues in several contexts; personal values, professional policy and practice. Conservative faith traditions have definitely had an impact on the social institution of marriage. This learner has observed throughout this course that as a counselor one must develop multicultural competencies.
The third category covered in my analysis focused in on President Obama and his stance on same sex marriages. This category took up 27.192% of the content based on the categories I was looking into. I found that Barack Obama, the President of the United States, has recently decided to no longer defend the DOMA. In The Christian Century (2011), the president is stated to have said that DOMA is “unconstitutional when applied to same-sex couples married legally under state law” in a letter to Congress. The Christian Century (2011) also states that Congress has also repealed the “military’s ban on openly gay members”, and the Supreme Court has “declared that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional”.
Same-sex marriages are on the way into the law. What hurt can it really do? Denying same-sex couples to marry is denying those couples religious freedom. It is stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution that a person’s religious views or lack thereof must be protected. Marriage is a religious act as well as a legal act. In the same sense that a Christian marriage, or rather an opposite-sex marriage, is respected by law after taking place in a church, a same-sex marriage should be equally accepted and respected by those same laws. Just because Christians, and other religions groups, may be against homosexuality does not mean the government needs to adopt those views as well.
The final category was based on political and legal pressures that are being felt by citizens and government officials. This wasn’t surprising to me that this category took up the highest percentage at 31.518%. When couples get married they are showing society of their romantic and legal commitment to one another. Why should this right be any different for same-sex couples? Heterosexual couples often take for granted basic rights that are denied same-sex couples such as, the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse. Basic right such as that, are not afforded to same-sex couples. Hence, the legal battle to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions has continued to gain momentum. After going through all of the articles the results and breakdown of what I found were fairly accurate to what I had expected to see percentage wise. The amount of positive, neutral, and negative statements and views wasn’t. It seemed that some writers wanted to speak out negatively about the subject but for the newspapers sake wouldn’t directly say anything negative.
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