To Have & To Hold ...
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Marriage has been one of the fundamental organizing principles of human society since history began. But since the nature of marriage is changing in modern times anyway, with people marrying for love and companionship rather than social needs, should the traditionally man-and-woman “only” club admit new members?
Starting the list of my questions with a why? Marriage is important to the future of society because it provides the best social structure within, which to bear and raise children. Most people accept that marriage and family are keys of institutions in society, and something that it is appropriate for the law to regulate. And because marriage is thought by many people to be an inseparable part of the nature of the family, the proper rearing of children, the regulating of human relationships and the nature and stability of human society, there is little doubt that it is a suitable area for ethical analysis. But what may come as a shock to you, is that same-sex marriage can bear the same criteria and responsibilities that "normal" straight marriage has.
The most talked about argument Against Gay Marriage
Same-sex couples aren't the optimum environment in which to raise children. That's an interesting one, in light of who society does allow to get married and bring children into their marriage. Check it out: murderers, convicted felons of all sorts, even known child molesters are all allowed to freely marry and procreate, and do so every day, with hardly a second thought, much less a protest, by these same critics. So if children are truly the priority here, why is this allowed? The fact is that many gay couples raise children, adopted and occasionally their own from failed attempts at heterosexual marriages. Many scientific studies have shown that the outcomes of the children raised in the homes of gay and lesbian couples are just as good as those of straight couples. The differences have been shown again and again to be insignificant. Psychologists tell us that what makes the difference is the love and commitment of the parents, not their gender. The studies are very clear about that. And gay people are as capable of loving children as fully as anyone else.
Divorce Rates for Gay and Heterosexual Marriages
Gay marriage has not been legalized long enough to establish gay divorce gay marriage statistics. In opposite-sex marriages, divorce rates vary from country to country, although in the West statistics are usually taken to be interchangeable.
In a 2005 study it was found that 60 % of all opposite-sex marriages in the US ended in divorce in the first decade and 80 % in the first 20 years. The divorce rate has been on the decline sine 1980, with 40% of all marriages ending in divorce in 1980, reduced to 31 % by 2002.
The religious views of an area will have an affect on divorce rates. Divorce rates are low in Muslim communities, but are on the rise. In Singapore recently the divorce rate has risen.
The divorce rates of opposite-sex couples may not necessarily give any indication of divorce in gay marriage. Gay couples, having had to struggle to be married, exhibit a strong sense of commitment to each other and to marriage. Different religious and social pressures also apply to gay couples, which may affect divorce rates.
International Requirements for Gay Marriages
In Belgium, the Netherlands and areas in Spain, couples have to satisfy a residency requirement before a marriage license can be issued. If one of the couple is not a resident, or for the Netherlands, has not lived in the country for three months or longer, a certificate cannot be issued. The ceremony then follows normal local procedures.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, gay couples applying for same sex marriage need to file a Notice of Intent to Marry in any local government office. There is a three-day waiting period before the license gets issued. Couples should be aware that same sex marriage licenses will only be provided to couples whose home state does not have a ban on gay marriage.
Canada does not have a residency requirement for same sex marriage. Couples need to obtain a marriage license from the local authorities, which requires photo ID for both partners and a small fee (usually around $100). There is no waiting period but the laws of a couple's home state will apply if the couple wants their marriage recognized at home.
Once a gay marriage license has been granted, couples need to organize their own ceremony, which involves the hiring of a celebrant, organizing of venues, legal arrangements, scheduling, and, of course, gay wedding rings.