Legalization of Gay Marriage
Gay marriage can best be described as marriage between 2 people of the same gender identity or biological sex. Gay people have been fighting for legalization of gay marriages claiming that they have the right to decide who to marry. Supporters of gay marriage term legal recognition as equal marriage or marriage equality but those who oppose the concept describe legalization as a ‘redefining of marriage’.
In modern age, the first ever laws that enabled same sex marriages were enacted during the 21st decade. As of May 9th, 2014 sixteen countries has legalized gay marriage and these include:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
There are also sub-national jurisdictions (parts of the US and Mexico) which allow people of the same sex to marry. Gay marriages are a topic of great contention dividing the society into those who are pro and against legalization. While this is the case, polls carried out in varying countries suggest that support for legalization of gay marriage is on the rise.
This is noted across people from different races, age, ethnicity groups, political affiliations, socioeconomic status and religion. Introduction of laws that govern gay marriage vary in jurisdiction and is variously accomplished through making legislative changes to marriage laws, court ruling on the basis f constitutional guarantees and by popular direct vote.
The recognition and legalization of gay marriage is a social, political, civil and human rights issue. It is also a religious issue in majority of nations across the globe. There is raging debate on whether those who opt for same sex marriage should be allowed marriage or given a different status (such as civil union) or out rightly denied such rights. Some jurisdictions within the US and the federal government recognize same sex marriages in certain states.
So far, 19 states and the District of Colombia have already legalized gap marriages. There is also limited recognition of same sex marriage out of the state in Ohio, Alaska, Missouri and Colorado. In 2013-2014, United States Courts in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Idaho, Texas and state courts in Texas and Arkansas declared any statutes or state constitutional amendments that ban same sex marriages are in violation of the US constitution.
Different positions have been upheld regarding the manner in which gay marriages have been legalized or introduced in democratic jurisdictions. The ‘majority rules’ concept is used to determine whether gay marriages should be legalized depending on whether the majority support or admonish same sex marriages.
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