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A few years ago, same-sex marriage was a very sensitive subject for discussion, particularly on public forums. Marriage was described and restricted by law to a man and a woman. There were fewer depictions of lesbian and homosexual characters in the media since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed. However, in an unexpected turn of events, people's long-held aversion to gay marriages shifted, as did their enthusiasm for same-sex marriage. It is worth noting that popular culture, as represented by mass media, played a significant role in the transition. Acceptance of homosexuality in the mainstream aided the public's satisfaction with the concept of same-sex marriage, causing the population to move in the opposite direction. It is despite not being necessarily a bandwagon movement.
From a recent survey, it unveiled that two in every ten adults in America had changed their views on same-sex marriage to a more favorable stance. In the last five years, the public had seen shows such as Glee and Modern Family. The shows have played a significant role in shaping people's opinion on same-sex marriages. In support of the impact of popular culture on the society, Joe Bidden acknowledged in an interview how the show Will and Grace were instrumental in educating the America public (Battles and Wendy). There is a general fear of change, and now the public is becoming more aware. Bringing of favorite characters such as Mitchell Pritchett and Jay, the gay couple, to Americans home in the form of entertainment makes the society grow more comfortable with homosexuality. By seeing same-sex marriage as an issue not significantly different from their lives, they become more accustomed and embrace the subject. In another survey conducted, twenty-seven percent of the respondents agreed that certain shows made them more pro-gay marriage (Yep and Karen and John). It is in contrast to a mere two percent who said that the shows made them more anti-same-sex marriage. The screenings are bringing and enhancing more understanding on sensitive subjects to the American culture.
The other influence on the American society is hip-hop culture. The music genre has changed in lengths and reputation to mainly advocating for gay rights. An example is in the hip-hop society when artists such as Lil Wayne used to discourage homosexuality to Macklemore who now support gay marriage openly. Proponents of the argument have based their stance on equality issues facing the American society articulating that similar hate caused wars such as that of religion and race. Songs not only champion for same-sex marriage but also calls for progression of the community. Identical sex marriage gets viewed as the next step in the long struggle for advancement and collaboration and cooperation within the society. The transformation of hip-hop from being homophobic to support gay rights visibly has considerably brought about unprecedented strides for the gay movements. Prominent public figures such as Ellen DeGeneres campaign for gay marriages and immensely recognize individuals who support such courses (Dow).
Recently when the Supreme Court declared gay marriages legal, some issues surfaced. Many saw that as a move influenced by popular attitudes and emotions rather than the idea of equal protection of marriage under the law. The popularization of same-sex unions as a norm is however dangerous as it can validate oppressive and old ideas about who's abnormal. Same-sex marriage couples according to statistics often show a difference from straight ones. It is in areas such as division of labor, problem-solving, monogamy as many gay people prefer not getting married after the decision. The norms are usually less-fixed for same-sex marriages which can be a beautiful and frightening aspect for them. On top of that, despite the celebration of same-sex nuptials, caution is inevitable. However, there are opponents to the issue who base their argument on specific universal standards. Among them is marriage is for procreation hence same-sex marriage would be against standard societal structuring. The other is same-sex marriages violates the sacred institution of marriage, marriage is an institution between a male and a female, same-sex marriage is an untried social experiment and promotion of the situation would undermine Western civilization (Yep and Karen and John).
The general globalization about cultural patterns and traditions on same-sex are a difficult undertaking. On top of that, treatment of same-sex marriages highlights an ironic truth. Respect for such relationships not only threatens civilizations but brings to light how their intolerance is a marker of areas where uncivilized behavior is still institutionalized. An example is in regions such as the Middle East where engagement in such endeavors could lead to a risk of execution. In areas where arts, science, and innovation are most productive and where civilization thrives, are the very places where same-sex relationships get tolerated. The contrary is evident in insecure areas and where culture is at its least.
In conclusion, based on the discussion it is evident that popular culture through the media plays an enormous role in shaping citizens stance on certain aspects. Favorite shows and screenings have positively shifted long held retrogressive perceptions on same-sex nuptials and broadened people's understanding. The current swing is a positive step in ensuring the society moves in a collaborative direction.
Battles, Kathleen, and Wendy Hilton-Morrow. "Gay characters in conventional spaces: Will and Grace and the situation comedy genre." Critical Studies in Media Communication 19.1 (2002): 87-105.
Dow, Bonnie. "Ellen, television, and the politics of gay and lesbian visibility." Critical Studies in Media Communication 18.2 (2001): 123-140.
Yep, Gust A., Karen E. Lovaas, and John P. Elia. "A critical appraisal of assimilationist and radical ideologies underlying same-sex marriage in LGBT communities in the United States." Journal of Homosexuality 45.1 (2003): 45-64.
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