A Short History of the Gay Marriage Debate

Minor attempts by gay couples to obtain marriage licenses started in the 1970’s but the debate on same-sex marriages begun in the early 1990’s. The argument on gay marriage bears with it a lot of controversies. First and foremost, the debate on gay marriage is a complex point in question since it involves cultural, legislative, religious, as well as family issues.

More often, debates on gay marriages revolve around religious factors. Those who support gay marriages contend that love is enough ground for marriage no matter what the person’s sexual orientation is. Christian organizations who also approve of gay marriages dispute that lesbians and gay people were created by God the way they are and therefore should be accorded the same rights and privileges as the others.

Those who are against gay marriages, on the other hand, point out that rearing of children should be the predominant reason for marriage. Others also assert that same-sex marriages are against the will of God and therefore immoral and, at the same time, destroy the main purpose of our existence as male and female who are sent forth to multiply.

The Islamic religion openly renounces homosexuality, citing in particular the Biblical story of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah which they believe is an admonition against homosexuality. The more conservative religious groups even go to the extent of denying services to same-sex couples, more so, employing them.

From a legal viewpoint, those who support gay marriages defend marriage as a civil right and therefore should not have restraints against those individuals with particular sexual orientations. On the contrary, those who oppose gay marriages uphold that marriage should only be restricted to couples of the opposite sex.

Over the years, a growing concern over this issue has steadily increased as more and more individuals are getting involved and finding their voice to take a stand for and against gay marriages. More elaborate arguments have come up since then. For those who support gay marriages, three statements stand out. First, denying same-sex couples the right to marry discredits them as inferior beings and therefore making it agreeable for just anyone to discriminate them.

Second, gay couples must be given the privilege to openly celebrate their life-long commitment to one another. And third, legalizing gay marriages will automatically give same-sex couples the right to adopt and provide a home for a child who would otherwise be living without a family for the rest of his/her life.

On the other hand, those who oppose gay marriages are out to defend and promote the sanctity of marriage. From their viewpoint, three statements stand out. First, the institution of marriage has been defined, since time immemorial, as solely between a man and a woman. Second, a same-sex marriage greatly opposes and contradicts sacred texts, traditions and beliefs of various religious groups.

Third, adopting children in gay marriages will result to more children growing up in same-sex households which are not the most favorable environment for young children. This is because, ideally, for children to be nurtured properly there has to be a father and a mother inside the home.

Notwithstanding all that has been said and disputed, the numbers of countries that are legalizing gay marriages are also steadily increasing. From the year 2000 up to the present, these countries are openly allowing same-sex marriages. First off in 2000 is Netherlands, Belgium came next in 2003, Canada and Spain in 2005, South Africa in 2006, Norway and Sweden in 2009. A year after, Argentina, Iceland and Portugal took their stand, Denmark in 2012, and Brazil, France, New Zealand and Uruguay followed suit in 2013.

Although they have not fully accepted gay marriages, some jurisdictions of the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom have adopted the legalization of same-sex marriage. For some countries, accepting and legalizing gay marriages still remains a point for debate as civil rights concerns, as well as social and political issues, still have to be considered.