Read these 8 For Gay Marriage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Gay Marriage tips and hundreds of other topics.
Marriage is a social institution that brings many privileges, not least of which is the financial aspect. The governments of most countries offer tax breaks to married couples, as well as recognition of dependents in welfare systems. Marriage also ensures next-of-kin rights if one partner is incapacitated or dies, property rights and affects some parenting rights.
Marriage also has important social aspects. Marriage is traditionally a public recognition of a couple's commitment to each other, and their acceptance as a family unit into society. Preventing gay couples from marrying is seen as a way of separating gay people from mainstream society – the exchanging of pride rings would ensure a gay couple's place in society. The issue does not just affect homosexuals. Transgender people can be prevented from marrying the person of their choice, if that person is the same sex as the transgender person's birth sex.
Preventing gay couples from marrying is a form of social discrimination, just as the segregation of African-American people in buses was a form. Social discrimination is a difficult thing to prove legally, but the gay marriage issue is also about legal discrimination.
Marriage provides couples with tax breaks, inheritance entitlements and, perhaps most importantly, next-of-kin rights. Preventing gay people from accessing these legal rights is as tangible a discrimination as preventing women from voting. For couples that still frequently have to face rejection from families because of their sexuality, the granting of next-of-kin rights to partners is crucial in the event of illness or injury.
Registering support with a support group is a good beginning if you are interested in supporting gay marriage. There are many gay activist groups spread across the world working toward legalizing gay marriage, but a good place to start is your local civil liberties union. A way to show support every day is to wear a piece of pride jewelry or a pride pin.
There is a rapidly growing movement among heterosexuals to boycott marriage as a protest against the ban on gay marriage. In
In 2003, the Chinese Parliament proposed a law allowing gay marriage, but the proposal failed to get the support it needed. Taiwan, in the same year, proposed legislation granting same-sex marriages but the bill faced opposition in cabinet and is currently stalled in the legislative system.
Estonia is currently discussing the possibility of legalizing gay marriage. One same-sex marriage ceremony was conducted in France in 2004, but has since been declared void.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed support for the idea of gay marriage, but has yet to introduce legislation to legalize it. As
In 2004 King-Father Norodom Sihanouk of
One of the frequently noted points in the gay marriage debate is the argument that gay marriage will destroy mainstream marriage. For those involved in the debate who have a logical turn of mind, this point brings a smile to the face.
Marriage rates have been on the decline world wide since 1991, in some countries down over 20%. Gay marriage, however, takes a steep rise wherever it is legalized - in San Francisco, almost 4000 couples were married in just one month when the city issued licences to same-sex couples.
The comparison of statistics shows that gay marriage boosts marriage rates, rather than doing the idea of marriage any damage.
Although many churches allow gay members, few agree with or perform gay marriage. In Christianity, only Unitarian Universalist and the Metropolitan Community Churches will perform gay marriage ceremonies.
One Canadian Anglican diocese, New Westminster, authorized a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions, but the Anglican church as a whole, meeting on the issue, decided that gay marriage conflicted with Anglican beliefs.
Judaism traditionally bans homosexuality, but is presently reconsidering the issue. While Islam doesn't recognize homosexuality as a concept, all anal intercourse is prohibited.
Creator of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, spoke out against homosexuality, and the church's doctrine defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
In Buddhism, the Dalai Lama doesn't support homosexuality, but opinions differ in other sections of Buddhism. There is no exact mention in Buddhist texts to ban gay marriage. The same is true in Hinduism. In modern India, sex between men is illegal, but there is nothing in the religion that bans it. The Taoist tradition holds that men and women need the energies of the opposite sex to obtain balance. Homosexuality is not expressly forbidden, but discouraged.
Wiccans, and practitioners of voodoo welcome gay members and have no recorded objections to gay marriages.
Countries that perform gay marriages as of 2006 include:
Same-sex marriage is to be legalized in
Some countries have been forced to allow gay marriage due to judicial appeals. As of 2004, Aruba, as part of the Netherlands, recognizes same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands. In Austria, where it is likewise not legal, in July 2006, an Austrian male-to-female transsexual was granted the right to legally change her gender to female while remaining married to her wife, indirectly setting a precedent for same-sex marriage.
The first same-sex union in modern history with government recognition was obtained in Denmark in 1989. France allows civil unions for same-sex couples, but does not allow same-sex couples the right to adopt. In Scandinavia, registered partnerships are nearly equal to marriage, including legal adoption rights in Sweden, and since June, also in Iceland.
Other countries that allow civil unions are: Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The states of Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia and the US states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow civil unions but do not support gay marriage.