Gay marriage is a pretty hot topic, especially outside of the gay community. It is seen as still something forbidden to gays, as it has its roots in religious marriage. Is that really the case, though?
The history of marriage is something that goes far beyond recorded history. Societies all over the world have some form of marriage — even to the point where polygyny is practiced. Marriage has been traditionally about regulating access to women within a tribe or social structure. To keep infighting to a minimum, women are “married off” or given to a man as a prize for skills that are beneficial to the tribe. The need to have a woman who can bear children has also been a hot button issue.
There are other countries that do indeed grant legal rights to same-sex couples. Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden.
One argument given is that gay marriage threatens traditional marriage. Those 11 countries aren’t nations without their own religious grounds and beliefs, you know. If anyone thinks religion has no influence in Spain to this day, they’re not looking hard enough.
It’s not just about terminology — but the words we use do indeed hold power. If civil unions were made equal, that would be one thing. But why should one group enjoy numerous benefits to being “married”, while another group has to settle for a civil union that doesn’t have nearly as many benefits?
The world is changing, as it has through even religious history. For those that are leaning on their religion as grounds to be against gay marriage, is marriage still the same for your religious group as it was in ancient times? Chances are good that it’s not at all.
The number of countries that are even putting civil unions on the books is growing and growing — Andorra, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Hungary, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Uruguay. That’s a lot of countries!
Many residents of the United States claim that they are truly proud to be an American. Are gays suddenly not Americans? What happened to United We Stand?
Food for thought.