Gay marriage has always been an uneasy topic to touch on for several reasons, mostly to do with religion and what marriage has been defined as. However in this day and age, there is more support than ever before, hitting a new high in the UK and USA. Are people behind the times by thinking homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed the same rights as heterosexuals or are they just set in their ways following old traditions?
A watershed moment has arrived as the House of Commons have recently put forward a bill to the House of Lords, which if accepted, will finally give gay people the equal rights that they have long desired. It is fairly certain the bill will be passed as polls show that the majority of the population don’t have an issue with same-sex marriage. If the bill is rejected, it will show the Lords are out of touch with what the people want. However the Lords would be more in favor of rejecting the bill as they are deemed more conservative, like the Republicans in the U.S.
The vote in London follows debates on backing same-sex marriage from France’s National Assembly just days before. Campaigners had the right to celebrate the landmark event, but legislators were far behind eight other European countries, including Spain and Denmark, where same sex marriage is already legal.
In the meantime in the USA, support for gay marriage has hit a new high as Americans are beginning acknowledge that homosexuality is not a choice. Recent polls showed that 58 percent of Americans think that it should be legal for gay couples to get married. However, due to the federal system in the U.S, each individual state makes its own laws on political issues. With this in mind, according to the Post-ABC poll, 64 percent say that same-sex marriage should be decided for all states on the basis of the U.S constitution, rather than each state making its own law.
Only nine states in America have legalised gay marriage, the first being Massachusetts in 2004. However, with those conservative minded people in the population, achieving legal same-sex marriage will be a long battle. Large percentages of those 65 years and above still remain opposed compared to the 81 percent of 18 to 29 year olds giving support. The Post-ABC poll revealed that half the elderly population say that it should be illegal and 44 percent say legal, almost half the support of the younger generation. So is this down to past times and traditions? Along with the older folk in the U.S, the Republican party are not willing to show a little empathy either.
TFP Action, a pressure group that defends moral values, propose the traditionalist’s view, that marriage has always been a bond strictly between man and woman, ‘ordered toward the procreation of children’, and that gay marriage proposes something entirely different. It is said that it always denies the child a mother or father role model, which ‘ignores a child’s best interests’. Not only this but ‘it imposes it’s acceptance on all society’ so the state will have to take ‘precautions in public schools to teach its acceptability to children’, and ‘the state will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning an attack on Christian morality’.
A group identifying themselves as part of the “pro-marriage movement” remains undaunted by challenging gay marriage: “The primary challenge that our side faces right now is the intense social pressure,” said 34 year old Joseph Backholme, the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, “to the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy.”
In spite of this, Republican senator Rob Portman pointed the way as he recently announced he has a gay son and backs gay marriage: “I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think we should allow gay people to get married and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years,” he told CNN. “That