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Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is a marriage between two members of the same sex or gender (between two woman or two man). The name gay marriage is a false term for same-sex marriage, because people in a same-sex marriage aren't always homosexual (gay). They or one of them can be bisexual, transsexual or even heterosexual.
Today, 28 countries have gay marriage. The Netherlands was the first country in 2001, followed by Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, Luxembourg, the United States, Ireland, Colombia, Finland, Malta, Germany, Australia, Austria, Taiwan (not an official country) and Ecuador at last. In parts of Mexico and nearly the entire United Kingdom gay marriage is also legal. Costa Rica legalizes same-sex marriage by 2020. Israel, Armenia and Bulgaria recognize overseas same-sex marriages. The member states of the European Union without same-sex marriage recognize same-sex marriages from other EU member states.
Same-sex marriage is usually described in the same law as the opposite-sex marriage (marriage between two people of the opposite gender). The old law becomes then genderneutral and marriage is described as a marriage between two people instead of between a man and a woman.
History[edit | edit source]
Same-sex marriages aren't a new concept. In ancient times homosexuality and other sexualities were seen as normal. For example, homosexual relationships were legal and often preformed in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. However, marriage was usually a thing between a man and a woman, although it was common for a man to have sex with another man. Same-sex marriages weren't very common. The were often a form of satire. The Roman emperor Nero was one of the first to marry a man; he even married two men. Emperor Elagabalus married a man too, a blond slave.
With the arrival of Christianity Roman emperor Constantius II prohibited same-sex marriage. In the book of Leviticus, one of the Bible books, same-sex marriage is prohibited. With the ban on same-sex marriage, homosexuality became illegal too. After this ban same-sex marriages weren't preformed. However on some pirate ships same-sex marriages were legal. This was usually a way to inherit money or belongs if of the two died, which was also common in some areas during the Middle Ages. However, same-sex marriages were also something controversial, which was perfect for pirates. There are evidences for ships were homosexuality was normal.
Between the 1970s and 1990s LGBT people became more visible and the movement campaigned for same-sex marriage. Denmark became the first country to establish registered partnerships from LGBT relationships. Most of the rights were the same for heterosexuals, but only heterosexuals could adopt children by both people. Also, the term marriage wasn't used. After a decade of debates, the Netherlands became the first country to establish same-sex marriages by law in 2001. On 1 April 2001, one female couple and three male couples were married by the mayor of Amsterdam. This became world news and stirred up debates all over the world. The Catholic Church disapproved same-sex marriages, while some other religions approved it.
At first most progressive and non-religious countries approved same-sex marriage, like Spain, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. France, England and Wales followed in 2013, Scotland in 2014 and Northern Ireland will follow in 2020. Same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States between 2004 and 2015. President Barack Obama campaigned for same-sex marriage and in court the same-sex marriage was set. After the legalization of same-sex marriage in the States it became also a discussion in more conservative nations. Ireland became the first country that approved same-sex marriage via a referendum in 2015. Taiwan became the first country in Asia were LGBT people could marry.
Discussion[edit | edit source]
Many countries haven't legalized same-sex marriage jet. For example, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Chile, Slovenia, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan and the Czech Republic haven't legalized same-sex marriage jet. Switzerland and the Czech Republic are planning to open the marriage. In these countries more than 50% is in favor of legalization.