The idea that ethics is based on cultural or personal standards is known as ethical relativism. In other words, the moral standards of the culture or one’s perceptions in which a behavior is engaged to determine whether it is acceptable or unethical. The same behavior could be morally acceptable in one community but unethical in another. As a result, ethical relativism does not always support tolerance toward minorities, such as the LGBTQ+ community, since it depends on the either personal or societal approach.
As per subjective ethical relativism, nobody has the right to disagree with an individual about what they believe to be appropriate for them. It is entirely an individual’s decision to choose what is optimal for them, and the rules that can dictate how they should spend their lives are not made by a stranger. In this sense, ethical relativism can support a tolerant view toward minorities and the LGBTQ community. However, conventional ethical relativism holds that what is proper for a community member as an individual relies on what the culture deems to be appropriate. Here, the society or community tells everybody what is best for them. According to this perspective, a person’s choice is overruled in favor of the social majority, which indicates that some minorities will not be supported in order to follow the crowd or avoid trouble. Furthermore, the more conservative the crow, the more intolerant they might be due to the majority dictating the norms. For example, hyper-conservative individuals follow the Holy Scriptures and which dictate the standards for marriage. As a result, any aberration from the norm that includes LGBTQ+ marriages will be unacceptable since conventional ethical relativism states that in religious communities, it is wrong.
Hence, because it depends on both a personal and cultural perspective, ethical relativism does not always foster tolerance toward minorities, such as the LGBTQ+ population. Although it can help minorities since, in subjective relativism, each person is the only one who can decide what is best for them, there is also conventional relativism. This viewpoint holds that a person’s decision is superseded in favor of the societal majority. Therefore, any deviation from the norm, including marriages between LGBTQ+ people, will be considered inappropriate.