Orthodox Judaism opposed same-sex marriage, while the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative traditions allowed for it. Subsequently, several other states and Washington, D. In addition, such societies often allow close kin a variety of automatic privileges such as sponsoring immigration visas or making medical decisions for one another; for those with whom one shares no close kin relationship, these privileges typically require legal interventions. That the same act was evaluated so differently by various groups indicates its importance as a social issue in the early 21st century; it also demonstrates the extent to which cultural diversity persisted both within and among countries. Among the more common forms so documented were common-law marriage ; morganatic marriage , in which titles and property do not pass to children; exchange marriage , in which a sister and a brother from one family marry a brother and a sister from another; and group marriages based on polygyny co-wives or polyandry co-husbands. Although most religions subscribe to just one of these beliefs, it is not uncommon for two or more viewpoints to coexist within a given society.
A third perspective holds that marriage is an instrument of societal domination and so is not desirable. In Denmark became the first country to establish registered partnerships—an attenuated version of marriage—for same-sex couples. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting. Opposition arguments broadly reflected the procreative position and frequently invoked biblical exegeses or other religious doctrine to support claims that marriage, strictly defined, should be available only to heterosexual couples. See also footnote 2. As an indirect consequence, same-sex marriage was soon legalized by U. The Unitarian Universalist churches and the gay-oriented Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches fully accepted same-sex marriage. Gay marriage was later made legal, under the same terms, elsewhere in the country. In Canada became the first country outside Europe to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. Elsewhere, Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage in , but the following year it passed a bill that replaced such marriages with domestic partnerships. In their view, because male and female are both necessary for procreation, the privileges of marriage should be available only to opposite-sex couples. I believe that Thomas Jefferson said: In a majority of Australians voted for same-sex marriage in a nonbinding referendum. United States In the United States the question of whether couples of the same sex should be allowed to marry has roiled politics since at least Similarly, shortly after Brazil legalized same-sex civil unions in , the Supreme Federal Court ruled that sexual orientation could not be a pretext for denying a couple the legal protections of marriage, although it stopped short of specifically authorizing same-sex marriage at the federal level. Broadly reflecting the community-benefit rhetoric noted above, many American legal scholars and same-sex marriage advocates developed arguments that the equal protection clause of the U. Perhaps because systems of religion and systems of civil authority often reflect and support each other, the countries that had reached consensus on the issue by the early s tended to have a single dominant religious affiliation across the population; many such places had a single, state-sponsored religion. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that those marriages would be recognized by the federal government, and in February he introduced a Department of Justice policy to grant equal protection and treatment to all lawful marriages in the United States. Most same-sex marriage advocates further held that international human rights legislation provided a universal franchise to equal treatment under the law. In the European Union mandated that all of its members pass laws recognizing the same-sex marriages of fellow EU countries. In January the Supreme Court agreed to review a November decision of the Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit that had upheld state laws and constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage or the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Early in the Supreme Courts of two states— California and Connecticut —struck down state laws limiting marriage to the union between a man and a woman. The "red equal sign" project started by the Human Rights Campaign was an electronic campaign primarily based on Facebook that encouraged users to change their profile images to a red equal sign to express support for same-sex marriage. In all but two of those states, the rulings were stayed, although some of the states briefly performed same-sex marriages prior to their suspension. He still said the legal question belonged to the states. By the end of , the number of states where such marriages were legal had reached 35—more than twice as many as at the beginning of the year. Bermuda thus became the first country to repeal same-sex marriage.
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