The institution of marriage has been around for many years. Times have changed and society has grown as a whole. The United States has laws that prohibit same-sex marriages or do not grant them the same privileges as “traditional” marriages. You will see how behind this great nation has remained. As many countries around the world explore less traditional ways of life, the United States has been left in the dust.
In the United States of America laws require that we be treated as equals. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the laws of same-sex marriages. How can a country that praises itself on freedom, equal rights, and the pursuits of happiness not allow someone to marry someone of his or her own choice? This country obviously does not grant equal rights to its citizens.
We were the first to land on the moon, the first to creat an atomic bomb, and are leaders in the advancement of technology. How can we be the first in so many fields, but are in the stoneage on such important issues?
In 1996 the “Defense of Marriage Act” was signed that prohibits same-sex marriages. How can a government prohibit a union that two individuals care to join? Many of these laws relate to the Catholic religion.
We affirm with Pope John Paul II that marriage the institution of the family, is constituted by the covenant whereby a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its very nature, is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. Only such a union can be recognized and ratified as a marriage in society. Other interpersonal unions which do not fulfill the above conditions cannot be recognized, despite certain growing trends which represent the serious threat to the future of the family and of society itself. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1601)
Not everyone in America follows the catholic religion. This shows that we need to make changes. We have the freedom to practice our own religion, but whey should that govern us?
In Canada the majority of Canadian adults favor gay and lesbian marriages. In British Columbia where the polygamous marriages of members of a small Mormon splinter group are known to the government and allowed to exist. Even though, this is a small step, and with the majority support of many Canadians, Canada’s future of giving equal rights to individuals wanting to participate in same-sex marriages looks bright. Even though, the federal Canadian government has no plans to either widen the definition of marriage to include homosexuals, or to create a civil union state with new legislation. Many court challenges are in progress.
The Danish government made changes to previous laws covering inheritance and tax laws to give same-sex couples equality with married couples. This law allows rights that were granted to married couples such as; inheritance, insurance, pension, social security, income tax increases or deductions, and unemployment benefits.
In France a same-sex married couple can participate in a national health insurance plan, the same tax breaks, and the same legal benefits. The government in France has even made it easier for homosexual couples to adopt children. France has really made an effort to support same-sex couples by granting them joint tax forms, simultaneous vacations, lower inheritance taxes, and are even responsible for each other’s debt.
The German government has passed a law, which would allow gay and lesbian couples to exchange vows at a local government office. They would need to apply to a court for a divorce. They would receive some of the benefits that are automatically given to heterosexual married couples — e.g. inheritance rights and health insurance coverage. However they are not granted the right to adopt and will not receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples.
In Greenland, they have adapted the similar law and open-mindedness as Denmark. The people in Greenland the law allows rights that were granted to married couples such as; inheritance, insurance, pension, social security, income tax increases or deductions, and unemployment benefits to all married couples.
Even in Hungary registered gay and lesbian partnerships now have all of the privileges of common-law marriages, except for the right to adopt. Even though, they cannot adopt children, this is great progress and shows the advancement that they have over the United States.
In Iceland same-sex couples have the right to participate in a civil ceremony which is recognized by the state. Shared custody of children is permitted if one of the spouses has a child when they are married. Again, the law does not allow them to adopt children or practice artificial insemination. This is still a positive stance and will hopefully evolve to adoption rights. They also do not have the right to a church wedding. Then again, we do not all get married in a church.
In the Netherlands gay and lesbian couples, who are either citizens of the Netherlands or who have residency permits, are able to marry and adopt children. This is another example how how the United States has not evolved in the social issue of same-sex marriages
In Norway, Spain, and Sweden the laws have been identical to those in Denmark and Greenland. The United States should follow the countries just as many others have.