Same-sex marriage is a legal relationship between two people of the same sex. It is legal in 32 countries, including Switzerland, Slovenia, and Chile. In 2022, it is expected to become legal in many more countries, including the US, Canada, and the EU. In Eastern Europe, however, the practice is still illegal. This article explores some of the issues that could prevent this from happening. And it includes a brief history of same-sex marriage, which has been criticized by a number of religious organizations.
Legalization of same-sex marriage
The legalization of same-sex marriage became a reality for many couples in the late 1990s. Various federal court decisions, state legislation, and court rulings all led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. Initially, only one state allowed such a union, Maine, but it soon became legal in all fifty states. Several Native American tribal nations have also joined the movement.
But even in the United States, religious plurality does not play a huge role in same-sex marriage debates. Countries like the Netherlands and Canada, which first legalized same-sex marriage, are more liberal in this area. Despite their political differences, however, the United States has yet to find a consensus on this issue. In the meantime, Canada and the Netherlands have made significant strides toward achieving equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Although there are many different factors that lead to same-sex marriage legalization in different countries, some factors make same-sex marriage more acceptable in some places than in others. For example, many Native American tribes have laws in place that recognize same-sex marriage, independent of state law. For most other countries, same-sex marriages are legal in their home state, so they don’t matter where the couple lives.
In recent years, a variety of ballot measures were put to the American people to decide whether to allow same-sex marriage. Twenty-six of these ballot measures were legislative-referred initiatives that amend state constitutions. Twenty-two of the initiatives passed, with only one initiative being defeated. Two marriage bans failed to overturn the legalization of same-sex marriage, though; one of them, in California, was a response to a 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court.
Religious opposition to same-sex marriage
A research program aimed to explore the relationship between religious affiliation and religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Previous studies have shown an association between religious affiliation and sexual prejudice, but it remains unclear whether religiosity causes the opposition to same-sex marriage. Herek (2011) aimed to test the hypothesis that religious objection to same-sex marriage is due to the existence of sexual prejudice. The results of this study were quite interesting.
The main source of religious opposition to same-sex marriage is the theological arguments against the institution. Many religious groups have used the Bible and the European Convention of Human Rights to justify their position. However, these arguments fail to address the core theological issues associated with same-sex marriage. The debate is also framed in secular terms. For example, the proportion of adult citizens in England and Wales who identified as Christian declined from 71.7% in 2001 to 59% in 2011; on the other hand, the proportion of persons identifying as non-Christian increased from 14.8% to 25.9%.
Although the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, religious opposition to same-sex marriage remains a persistent concern in the United States and elsewhere. The psychological processes underpinning such opposition are of considerable theoretical and practical importance. It is crucial to understand the motivations for religious and ideological opposition to same-sex marriage. The findings of this study also highlight the importance of religious affiliation when determining the attitudes and beliefs of one’s constituents.
Moreover, public opinion surveys indicate that Americans are increasingly against religiously-based service refusals. While 61 percent of respondents oppose a small business owner who refuses to provide services to gays, more than half of Americans oppose such a policy. Interestingly, a survey found that the support for same-sex marriage is highest among white mainline Protestants, Buddhists, and Unitarian/Universalists. And while white Protestants and Jews have the highest level of support for same-sex marriage, their numbers are significantly lower than among black Protestants and Muslims.
Legalization in Western countries
The United States and the United Kingdom are not the only Western nations that have legalized same-sex marriage. Many African and Latin American countries also have passed laws legalizing it. Legal same-sex marriage is a trend that’s expected to continue in years to come. Although it’s not yet legal in every country, there are some that are making progress. In December of 2006, the South African Parliament voted to legalize it, becoming the first African and Southern Hemisphere country to do so. Spain’s push to legalize same-sex marriage began in 2004 under then-Prime Minister David Cameron. In late June of 2005, the parliament passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in Spain, and it went into effect in early July.
In November 2014, the European Union’s Eurobarometer poll showed that more than seventy percent of citizens surveyed supported same-sex marriage. Support for the practice was lowest in central and southern Europe, where less than one-fifth of respondents said they supported the practice. In the United Kingdom, half of the population voted in favor of same-sex marriage, with a number of other European countries following suit.
While many countries in the West still oppose same-sex marriage, progress has been made in recent years. Taiwan is the latest nation to legalize it, and Costa Rica will become the first Central American country on May 26, 2020. Legalization of same-sex marriage has gained global support in recent years, with Australia, Malta, and Germany all legalizing the practice. In addition to these countries, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize the practice in 2019.
Legalization in Eastern Europe
Despite advances in western European nations, there remains a significant divide between the west and the east when it comes to legalizing same-sex marriage. Western nations have legalized the practice in various countries, while others are strongly opposed. In Croatia, for example, the marriage ceremony is defined as between a man and a woman. And in Russia, the state has banned the presentation of homosexuality as an “ethnicity” or “sex” in order to protect children.
However, despite the growing support in Eastern European nations for same-sex marriage, laws in many of these regions are still in the process of being changed. Slovenia, for instance, has repeatedly attempted to pass a bill to legalize the union, but has yet to do so. While it has not taken effect, Slovenia’s Parliament approved the legislation in March and the country’s people rejected it in a referendum two months later.
Romania is one country where same-sex marriages have been legal for some time, but it is still controversial. Despite a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Romania has not yet fully legalized the practice. The ruling comes in the wake of a case brought by Adrian Coman, who attempted to legalize the same-sex marriage for her American husband. Adrian Coman and Claibourn Robert Hamilton married in Belgium in 2010 and now live in New York City.
The latest move to legalize same-sex marriage in Eastern Europe is an attempt to change the civil laws. Romania already bans same-sex unions and is trying to make the ban permanent through a two-day referendum. This is a politically sensitive issue, and the government is investing millions in the referendum to make it legal. In Romania, this legislation is not yet law, but it has been supported by the Church.
Legalization in Ireland
The Irish government has recently introduced the first LGBTI+ national strategy. The strategy documents Ireland’s remarkable changes in social values, laws, and community support over the past decade. Although Ireland remained one of the strictest countries in the world in this regard, it has recently begun to open up to LGBTQI+ people. The first step towards legalizing same-sex marriage in Ireland is to make it easier for people to marry other people of their own sex.
In November 2013, the Irish government announced that a referendum on marriage equality would be held in the spring of 2015. In the meantime, a national campaign was underway, and a majority of Irish citizens voted in favor of equality. It is considered to be one of the most successful social change campaigns in recent history. It is not clear how the vote will be received, but supporters of same-sex marriage in Ireland are jubilant that it passed.
The pro-reform campaign was a late-night effort to encourage young Irish people living abroad to return home and vote Yes. It was successful and the referendum passed by a majority of 53%. Several prominent campaigners proposed to each other at celebratory events. Several prominent politicians, including Katherine Zappone, were elected to the government and came out as gay. By the end of the referendum, tickets to Ireland were sold out.
The pro-gay vote in Ireland came as a shock to many people. Before, it had been considered taboo. The country was known for its religious conservatism. In 1946, Pope Paul VI declared Ireland the “world’s most Catholic country.” As recently as the 1970s, 90 percent of Irish citizens attended Mass. Religious beliefs still pervade Irish legal and political life. Homosexuality and divorce were illegal until 1993, and the referendum result was a victory for gays and lesbians. Abortion remains illegal in Ireland.