Gay Marriage Facts

Though same-sex marriages have become a reality to some extent nowadays, there are people who are unaware of the true picture of homosexuality.
OpinionFront Staff
Gay Pride Rainbow Flag Waving in Sun against Blue Sky
The fight for same-sex marriages has triggered mass revolution in various countries. While Netherlands legalized same-sex marriages back in 2001, it came with stipulations―like one of the partners in this union has to be a Dutch national. In many parts of the world, it is believed that the U.S. was the first country to legalize same-sex marriages in the West. That, however, is far from true, considering that in the U.S., 19 states have banned same-sex marriages! These include:
  • Alaska
  • Nevada
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Michigan
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Alabama
The concept is legal only in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, D.C, and the District of Columbia. Having said that, there can be some variations in terms and conditions that need to be discussed with lawyers before opting for such union in these states. In California, same-sex marriages were allowed for a couple of months in 2008, however, the matter is now subjudice, and thus, same-sex couples still don't have the right to marry in California, officially. In states like New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland same-sex marriages are recognized, but not permitted.

Other countries where there is a legal recognition of same-sex relationships are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. Once again, do check state laws of every state or country, before you plan to get married there. Also, check if back home, you will be accepted. Interestingly, several countries have a concept known as 'civil union', wherein couples can live together, but not get married. I only mentioned names of countries where same-sex marriages have been accepted in a more proper form. Numerous countries have pending cases when it comes to LGBT rights.

Some Facts about Gay Marriages

In the U.S., society is divided when it comes to LGBT rights or precisely, gay marriages. Much hue and cry is made on whether gay marriage should be legal? Most of the states define marriage as a union of members of opposite sex. In some states, only civil unions of LGBT members are allowed; marriages are not. This is where the issue of same-sex marriages goes beyond the threshold of religion and morality.
  • In countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritania, and Sudan same-sex marriage may attract a jail term or some other form of punishment. These countries are unclear about their stand on homosexuality.
  • Massachusetts was the first state in U.S. to allow gay marriages. It was in California in 2005 that for the first time, gay marriage legislature was introduced in America, though it was defeated.
  • Gay male sex was considered a form of crime in 9 of the U.S. states until 2003.
  • It has been found out that gay and lesbian couples have very high divorce rates in the Sweden―one of the first countries to allow same-sex marriages.
  • The Federal Defense of Marriage Act has created huge issues regarding stringent tax laws for homosexual couples.
  • In the U.S., the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy was passed during the regime of President Bill Clinton. This policy allowed homosexuals to serve in the army. Still, nearly 14,000 gay men and lesbian women were thrown out the army due to sexual orientation issues over the course of years of its existence.
Numerous aspects of gay marriage have raged hot debates in the national and international arena. Never in the history of human civilization has individuality and right to acceptance in society―irrespective of sexuality―been challenged on such a massive scale. Society is changing fast ... things will soon be different ... let us wait and watch as a new era unfolds.