Gay marriage refers to marriage between two people of the same sex. This is currently a controversial political issue in the United States and elsewhere. Gay marriage is currently legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and the US states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Iowa. The District of Columbia, better known as Washington D.C., the capital of the US, will begin allowing same sex marriages in February 2010.
Arguments for gay marriage
In July 2007, Austin Cline ran a poll on his weblog asking whether atheists should be allowed to marry. Respondents overwhelmingly said that marriage is a civil institution, not a religious one (it should be kept in mind that this poll was posted on an atheist weblog, and therefore the distribution of respondents was certainly skewed).
Cline then draws the obvious conclusion:
- "If religion isn't a good reason to prevent atheists from getting married, how can it be a good reason to prevent gays from getting married?"
Arguments against gay marriage
Both religious and secular arguments have been presented against gay marriage. It is notable, however, that most of the opponents of gay marriage—certainly the most vocal ones—present religious arguments, either alone or in addition to secular arguments. Rarely, if ever, does anyone present secular arguments alone. This leads to the conclusion that opposition to gay marriage is primarily rooted in religious beliefs. Arguments from religious beliefs fail as arguments since there is no evidence to suggest any holy book is true, and places like the United States have separation of church and state.
Another argument used against gay marriage is the view that homosexuals, through faith in God and reparative therapy can change their sexual orientation. For instance, Christians believe that homosexuals can change based on passages in 1 Corinthians 6, 9-11 . This view is false, because the scientific literature suggests that changing sexual orientation is either incredibly unlikely or impossible.
See Wikipedia:Same-sex marriage for information about secular arguments against gay marriage, which are largely outside of the scope of this wiki.