For yet another group of polities, such as Switzerland and many U. In one view, the purpose of marriage is to ensure successful procreation and child rearing. Many countries have yet to reach a consensus on these issues. In treating same-sex desire as a psychiatric illness, these cultures moved same-sex intimacy and marriage from the realm of civil regulations the domain of contract law to that of public safety the domain of criminal law. Many Americans felt that the Hawaii court decision represented a serious threat to social stability, and in the U.
Most same-sex marriage advocates further held that international human rights legislation provided a universal franchise to equal treatment under the law. In other cases, the cultural homogeneity supported by the dominant religion did not result in the application of doctrine to the civic realm but may nonetheless have fostered a smoother series of discussions among the citizenry: In response, several Brazilian states separately opted to allow for same-sex marriages, which were considered valid throughout Brazil, before the National Council of Justice approved a resolution in ensuring that such unions could be registered anywhere in the country. For example, by the middle of the first decade of the s, a Eurobarometer poll carried out by the European Commission found that four-fifths of the citizens of the Netherlands felt that same-sex marriage should be legal throughout Europe; in a further seven countries Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg , Spain, Germany , and the Czech Republic , a majority held a similar view. Sexuality is but one of many areas where religious and civic authority interact; definitions of the purpose of marriage is another. They often proscribed behaviours that other countries viewed as subject to moral, rather than legal, regulation. Thus, prohibiting a specific group from the full rights of marriage was illegally discriminatory. Elsewhere, Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage in , but the following year it passed a bill that replaced such marriages with domestic partnerships. Most of the world religions have at some points in their histories opposed same-sex marriage for one or more of the following stated reasons: Soon after this finding, Hawaiian legislators added such a definition to the state constitution and thus made moot the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex partners. That the same act was evaluated so differently by various groups indicates its importance as a social issue in the early 21st century; it also demonstrates the extent to which cultural diversity persisted both within and among countries. Hinduism , without a sole leader or hierarchy , allowed some Hindus to accept the practice while others were virulently opposed. A third perspective holds that marriage is an instrument of societal domination and so is not desirable. In Canada became the first country outside Europe to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. Belgium and Spain had legalized same-sex marriage, for instance, despite official opposition from their predominant religious institution, the Roman Catholic Church. Constitution guaranteed the fundamental right to marry. A fourth is that relationships between consenting adults should not be regulated by the government. The state, in turn, argued that it had a compelling interest in preventing same-sex marriage, as that practice would inherently damage the public good. As the electorate in Maine simultaneously reversed its previous decision, the three states became the first in the country to approve same-sex marriage at the ballot box. In the early 21st century, however, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism all spoke with more than one voice on this issue. Notably, they found that most cultures expressed an ideal form of marriage and an ideal set of marriage partners, while also practicing flexibility in the application of those ideals. In such societies, the possibility of arrest or institutionalization further reinforced taboos on same-sex intimacy and discussions thereof, typically driving such activities underground. Interestingly—and perhaps as a reflection of tensions between the marriage-for-procreation and marriage-for-community-good positions discussed above—many European countries initially prevented same-sex couples from adoption and artificial insemination ; by , however, most of these restrictions had been removed. The state soon began to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, but these were quickly challenged and their legal status over the long term remained uncertain. In other words, partnerships involving sexual intimacy should have at least a notional potential for procreation. Similarly, shortly after Brazil legalized same-sex civil unions in , the Supreme Federal Court ruled that sexual orientation could not be a pretext for denying a couple the legal protections of marriage, although it stopped short of specifically authorizing same-sex marriage at the federal level.
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