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Contemporary-Issue Paper on Same-Sex Marriages

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Select a contemporary issue that that has generated polarized view points (environmental policy, taxation and income redistribution, benefits for same-sex couples, worker's rights, and etc.). After selecting the issue, describe the competition between elite groups and/or special interest groups in regard to related policy decisions and how the issue has been debated. For example, one could examine environmentalist versus big business approach to the question of whether the lumber industry should have access to old growth forests. Or, one could examine how specific institutional elites have competed over issues such as free speech or "family values."

After providing the information requested above, provide your own assessment of whether or not the factionalism you have described has contributed to a healthy debate regarding the selected issue and provided equitable outcomes in regard to related public policy. Is Madison's hope that the checks and balances in the Constitution and the existence of opposing factions working sufficiently so the general good is not being sacrificed for the good of powerful elite and special interests?

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Dividing Issue: same-sex marriages

Marriage as an Institution

Traditionally, religion had looked to the institution of marriage as a vanguard in protecting society according to the notions of faith. There are varying opinions and principles with regards to marriages according to faith but they remain very traditional and similar in a sense that marriage is that union of the sexes sanctioned by 'God' - a man and a woman married in holy matrimony to act and take on the burden of raising children, creating a family and becoming that very institution that is society's building block - the family. How do we traditionally define marriage then? As such, marriage is seen as a social, religious, spiritual and legal union of individuals. Known also as matrimony, the ceremony itself is referred to as a wedding which afterwards changes the status of the individuals into 'Married' or being in'wedlock'. Marriage as an interpersonal institution (intimate and sexual in nature) is acknowledged by State and Church and society as a whole, hence the ceremonies must be done according to what tradition dictates via Religious ceremonies and legal proceedings. Viewed as a contract between 2 people, civil marriage is the legal expression of said union as a governmental institution following the marriage laws of the nation/state/jurisdiction. Once recognized, the individuals who are 'married' are treated as a singular unit, changing their status in society.

Defining Same Sex Marriages

With the institution of marriage dating back to Antiquity, with the roles of 'husbands' and 'wives' clearly defined in cultures and nations throughout the world especially in ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a comprehensive look at the contemporary social issue of same-sex marriages. The solution explores marriage as a social institution to look at why same-sex marriages has become a divisive social phenomenon that has a deep impact in the manner by which cultures and societies are organized and percieved. This solution is 1,057 words and is also included as a Word version for printing.