Monday, July 25, 2011

The Skinny On [Same Sex] Marriage – U.S. and Abroad

In my humble opinion, marriage is an institution created to contractually bind two individuals providing specified rights, privileges and expectations by both parties. Although marriage may take on varying forms – agreed terms, mode of celebration and announcement (religious ceremony) or even gender specifications – marriage is really a legal arrangement not a religious arrangement.

Same sex marriage is a hot button issue for many who have relegated marriage to a small segment of the population that meet their qualifications to attain it. The truth is that even opposite-sex couples that cannot or will not bear children enter into marriage every day rendering the argument of marriage-as-a-means-for-reproduction moot.

All said, preventing two consenting human beings from entering into the contract of marriage is discriminatory and small-minded and flies in the face of a country founded by individuals seeking freedom of expression.

Although the Netherlands was the first country to grant same sex marriages in 2001, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina all recognize same sex marriage at the country/national level. Mexico only performs same sex marriages in Mexico City, but recognizes those marriages at the country/national level. The U.S. – ironically – performs same sex marriages in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but those marriages are not recognized at the federal level and 31 states have gone as far as setting constitutional restrictions that mention marriage is between one man and one woman. The reality is that the U.S. vehemently opposes inequality and injustice in other regions of the world – even engaging in wars to help provide it - yet we sow the seeds of injustice and inequality on our home turf.

Marriage - whether you get married in front of a justice of the peace or you have an elaborate religious show for the masses, marriage is about a contract – parameters – ratifying the arrangement that bind two individuals that may be in love.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

No comments: