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Same Sex Marriage

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Gay Marriage: what is it about?

During the past two years, a week can hardly pass without a series of news or reports regarding the same sex marriage on the television or newspapers. From the mayor of San Francisco, to the governor of New Jersey, to the presidential debate, most of the news were either about gay couples or were somehow related to it. Opposing or supporting gay marriage or civil union was the question that every body should have an answer for it. The topic was so hot that president even asked for an amendment to constitution to legalize the position of the government. But for most of the people that were not directly involved with the issue three questions raised that were very rather difficult to find answers for. What is civil union and how does it differ from marriage? Who opposes them and why? And why is it so important?

According to the Gay and Lesbian Advocate and Defender organization "A civil union is a legal status created by the state of Vermont" to provide legal protection for same sex couples. The argument behind the necessity of such an act is that beside the religious and social sides of the marriage, there are several civil rights involved that same sex couples have been so far unable to benefit from. Rights such as: inheriting the property of the spouse, gaining custody of a child, or simply visiting their partners in hospital. As same sex households are now a reality in this country, surly the needs for recognition of this kind of households are obvious. So what are the differences between Civil Union and marriage? Beside some legal technicality, the main difference between Civil Union and marriage is its recognition by the federal government and hence by other states. Up until now, a civil union license is only recognized by the state of Vermont, and people who have this license can not claim their rights in other states or in front of the federal government. For a person involved in a civil union, the simple act of filling a federal form can be a legal hazardous considering the facts that there is no "civil unioned" option in the part that ask about the status of the questioned person, and that person is neither "married" nor "single", and that giving wrong information to the federal government is a federal crime. This and other arguments of such nature has caused homosexuals to not be satisfied with the current situation of the civil union and pressuring for being allowed to simply marry their partner.

The main opposition to both same sex marriage and civil union is from religious groups and activist. According to the article "Civil Unions: Would a Marriage by any Other Name Be the Same?"(Christianity Today, March 8, 2004 by Rob Moll) "eighty one percent of white evangelical Protestants [which is the majority of population of this country] oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally." Their opposition mainly has roots in biblical instructions and education for it is well known, although is not mentioned as often, that bible and the other holy books that exist say homosexuality is a sin and an abomination and should be avoided, but it is easy to read between the lines of quotes of person such as Richard Mouw, president of Theological Seminary, from the mentioned article who says:" Christians should not shy away from making theology the center of their thinking and argument against same-sex marriage." They do try to attack the subject from other angles, but their attempts usually end up in being far more unintelligent to be taken seriously. For example, James Skillen, president of the Center for Public Justice, says in the same article that since same sex couple can not have children in a natural way, "It is going to be increasingly



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