...you are merely forcing your personal distaste onto the lives of others
Not at all - although that's what the proponents of change are doing by demanding that marriage be re-defined. It's a rather absurd suggestion that European gays who campaigned for civil unions were discriminating against themselves by not pressing for the terminology of marriage. km
Not sure but I think comparing the terminology between the United States and a lot of Europe is comparing apples to oranges. In Europe they may have done this correctly over the centuries. Marriage was always a very religious ceremony which had nothing to do with the state. We screwed up here in the USA. The religious ceremony and the civil laws are intertwined so the meaning of "marriage" is a bit different. If we could rewind time and not allow religious doctrine of marriage to become a civil and state issued edict we could get out of this but we're stuck. In the US, marriage is not a religious process separate from civil. So we are a tad screwed. To insure that gays are treated equally they cannot be only be given access to a civil ceremony without the marriage. It would mean something far different than a civil ceremony in Germany. The only way to make it equal in the US is to grant a marriage.
I am not religious. (A slight understatement.) I believe that gays, even atheist gays need the sanctity of marriage as described in the civil laws of the United States in order to gain equality with heterosexual married couples.
The laws concerning homosexuality and marriage are different throughout the world. Capital punishment for homosexuality in a few of the countries you listed is only the tip of the iceberg to the differences.
Although we may have screwed up a tad combining religious and civil laws in the past I am proud that the United States is leading the way for these changes. I am proud as punch that my own Commonwealth of Massachusetts is at the tip of the spear.
If anyone cared to look it up, the City on the Hill which Reagan always brought up as the shining light of civilization, is Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. (It used to be much bigger but they needed the dirt to fill in Back Bay.)
I haven't been on these forums long enough to say if KM is homophobic or not. That's not my point.
My point is that marriage is a civil union that affords certain rights and privileges, such as inheritance, sharing of job benefits, greater ability to adopt children (and some hassle, as well) to the united and thus to deny it to a section of the populace based on who it is that's getting married is to deny a civil right.
Aha, you may say, then what's wrong with civil unions? The answer is that besides whatever legal differences there are between the two states, there is a perceived illegitimacy or second-class status which in this world of perception amounts to REAL discrimination. I might be OK with civil unions if the word "marriage" was stricken from the law books and the only time you heard it used was in religious ceremonies.
So your point is it should be de-criminalised, right? I agree.
Yes, but I'm immediately concerned and giving my support to what is happening in my state in my country. You listed those countries that do not permit same sex marriage, and I pointed out that there's a pretty severe reason why they do not.
But America is a democracy, and our Declaration of Independence states :"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." We have a Constitution that determines that a citizen's rights are protected and the process of judicial review shall be the law of the land. Proposition 8 rewrites the State of California's Constitution to remove citizen's rights without judicial review.
And I agree this is a much better way to govern whether to permit same sex marriage rather than imprisonment or a death sentence ... and so, in time, we'll change the law in the correct procedure.
Aha, you may say, then what's wrong with civil unions? The answer is that besides whatever legal differences there are between the two states, there is a perceived illegitimacy or second-class status which in this world of perception amounts to REAL discrimination.
I've already dealt with that argument by pointing out that you're contradicted by the European experience where gay groups campaigned for civil unions and achieved them. Discrimination is something that is FELT not some abstract concept that can be assigned to intelligent people who know what they want and are perfectly at ease with what they have.
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