Same-sex marriage

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A recent study by the Canadian government states that "violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples".[1]
  • It has been proposed that this page, Same-sex marriage, be titled, "same-sex marriage".

Same-sex marriage is the term for a marriage in which both parties involved are of the same sex. The "same-sex marriage" movement supports the legal recognition of marriages between people of the same sex.

Same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as "gay marriage" or "homosexual marriage", though these names are technically incorrect as the sexual orientations of the partners do not determine the nature of the marriage (just as a homosexual man married to a homosexual woman would not be part of a same-sex marriage). "Same-sex marriage" is the official certification in jurisdictions that allow a union between two people of the same sex. Social conservatives regard same-sex marriage as immoral, and argue that use of the word "marriage" is a misnomer, because the marriage services of Christian denominations define marriage as the union of a man and a woman,[2] a definition which was also written into United States federal law in 1996.

Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family refers to the phrase same-sex 'marriage,' with quotation marks around the word marriage, to call attention to his belief that marriage—civil as well as religious—is intrinsically a union between a man and a woman, and that he therefore believes that same-sex unions are "counterfeits."[3]

Abuse of the term was unheard of a few decades ago; however, these unions are now among a number of issues advocated by liberal activists. In the United States, marriage is primarily governed by each individual state and marriage laws differ from state to state. Several states allow civil unions between two people of the same sex, and two, Massachusetts and California, currently allow same-sex marriage. These marriages are not recognized by the Federal government.


In 1996 Congress recognized the likelihood that liberal activists would soon seek changes to the laws in some states that pertain to gay people. It considered the possibility of test cases reaching the Supreme Court, and of the court conceivably ruling that a state—even though it prohibits same-sex marriage itself—must honor same-sex marriages performed in another state. The Defense of Marriage act, which was passed and signed by President Clinton, prevents this possibility, and also prevents the Federal Government from recognizing marriage as anything other than a union between a man and a woman.

In 1999 a Vermont court ruled that under its constitution, it was not required to allow same-sex marriage but was required to make provisions to grant same-sex couples legal rights identical to those provided by marriage. Vermont responded by creating "civil unions," which are legally distinct from marriages but convey the same rights. As of 2007, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine also provide civil unions or "domestic partnerships." Beginning in 2008, the states of Washington, Oregon, and New Hampshire will also provide same-sex unions. Hawaii provides certain benefits to same sex couples. [4] In 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that under Massachusetts' constitution, same-sex couples could not be denied Massachusetts marriage licenses, making Massachusetts the sole state to issue same-sex marriage licenses.[5]

Same sex marriage is legal in five countries: South Africa, Spain, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium. Other countries, such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, recognize civil unions and domestic partnerships.[6]

The religious ceremony of marriage is governed by each denomination and is unaffected by laws passed by civil authority. Same-sex marriage is forbidden in Orthodox Judaism, Catholicism, and most mainstream Protestant denominations. In Massachusetts, however, about 6% of all marriages are same-sex marriages, so this does not appear to be a problem. [7][8]

Public attitude toward same-sex marriage parallels attitude toward homosexuality. In general, it is opposed by social conservatives and outside of this group, support is split down the middle leaning to opposition.[9]


James Dobson of Focus on the Family suggests that the motivation of those advocating same-sex marriage is not to secure the benefits of marriage for gay couples, but to destroy the institution of marriage itself:

...most gays and lesbians do not want to marry each other. That would entangle them in all sorts of legal constraints. Who needs a lifetime commitment to one person? The intention here is to destroy marriage altogether. With marriage as we know it gone, everyone would enjoy all the legal benefits of marriage (custody rights, tax-free inheritance, joint ownership of property, health care and spousal citizenship, etc.,) without limiting the number of partners or their gender. Nor would "couples" be bound to each other in the eyes of the law. This is clearly where the movement is headed.[10]

According to a March, 2007 report, there are 65,000 adopted children in the U.S. being raised by same-sex couples. The same report says 14,100 foster children were being raised by one or more gay or lesbian foster parents.[11]

In Great Britain, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has expressed its full support to the stand taken by the Catholic Church opposing regulations on gay adoption. The Catholic Church sought to be exempt from the new law. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams of the Church of England, supports the Catholic Church's efforts declaring that the rights of conscience cannot be subject to laws. Catholic leaders have already said that its teachings prevent its agencies placing children with homosexuals and they will have to close if bound by the rules. The MCB, the UK's leading Muslim umbrella group embracing over 400 affiliated organizations, said that while it supported anti-discrimination laws, homosexuality is forbidden in Islam. [12]

Studies indicate that homosexual couples have higher rates of promiscuity than heterosexual couples. In addition, studies report that homosexual couples have significantly higher incidences of violent behavior.[Citation Needed] These studies are not surprising given what pathologists have stated regarding the commonness and brutality of homosexual murders. The prevalence of violence and emotional abuse in gay domestic partnerships.A particularly worrisome factor among gay rights activists is One survey found 53% of gays felt if the high incidence of violence against partners in homosexual relationships was known and understood by the heterosexual population, it would hinder the drive for gay rights.[Citation Needed]

Domestic abuse is divided into two categories, emotional abuse and physical abuse. While gay domestic abuse has not been studied to the extent that heterosexual relationships have, preliminary studies indicate a much higher level of abuse.

One type of emotional abuse--threatening to "out" a partner to family, friends, or employers--is unique to homosexual relationships. Legalization of so-called "gay marriage" still would not end this type of abuse. Morality cannot be legislated.

See also


  1. Aforementioned Canadian Study.
  2. E.g. In some Christian marriage ceremonies,the wedding will begin with a statement along the lines of: "Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony." The Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church, The Church Hymnal Corporation and the Seabury Press, 1979: "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage," p. 423
  3. Same-Sex 'Marriage' and Civil Unions, Focus on the Family's website
  4. Newsday
  5. Because of an antiquated Massachusetts law, Massachusetts same-sex marriages are all-but-limited to Massachusetts residents. The law says that an out-of-state couple cannot be married if their marriage would not be recognized in their home state. Same-sex marriages are not recognized under federal law or in most other states.
  6. Countries worldwide address gay marriage
  7. [1]
  9. Same Sex Marriage Poll from ABC News
  10. Marriage on the Ropes, Dr. James Dobson, retrieved from Focus on the Family, 15 May 2007.
  11. Gay adoption: A new take on the American family
  12. UK Muslim group backs Christian opposition to gay adoption rules London, Islamic republic News Agency, Jan 26, 2007.