Same-sex marriage is the marriage of a same-sex couple, entered into a civil or religious ceremony. Within our society, the idea of same-sex marriage has divided society completely, there are those who are in favour of total equality of rights for homosexuals, and there are those who are completely against the presence of homosexuality in our society. Very rarely do you find someone stuck in middle ground.
Structural Functionalism’s theory states that society is a complex system whose parts work together to promote harmony and balance. Considering structural functionalists identify the family as the most essential component in society, homosexuality occuring predominatly would ‘threaten’ the creation of offspring and distrupt their views of a balanced and ‘perfect family’. Therefore in the eyes of functionalists, homosexuality is dysfunctional to society. From a conflict theory perspective, sexuality is another area in which power differentials are present, and as of recently we have seen the debate over the legalization of same-sex marriage intensify nationwide. An example of conflict would be that legal marriage brings certain entitlements like social security benefits and health insurance benefits. Denial of these benefits to same-sex couples are wrong and conflict theory suggests that as long as heterosexuals and homosexuals struggle over these resources, there will be some degree of conflict. Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, fictional, or philosophical discussion. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. Regarding same-sex marriage, Feminist Theorists would be most interested in this topic, as not only do they observe gender in its relation to power, but it also focus on race, economic status, nationality, and sexual orientation. Feminist Theorists would view the legalization of same sex marriage as a positive step in the quest for equality of homosexuals and in the quest for equal rights for all.