Elsewhere, Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage in , but the following year it passed a bill that replaced such marriages with domestic partnerships. Gay marriage was later made legal, under the same terms, elsewhere in the country. Belgium and Spain had legalized same-sex marriage, for instance, despite official opposition from their predominant religious institution, the Roman Catholic Church. The issue of same-sex marriage frequently sparked emotional and political clashes between supporters and opponents. In a majority of Australians voted for same-sex marriage in a nonbinding referendum. In the Netherlands revised its same-sex partnership law and the following year became the first country to offer marriage to same-sex couples; several other European countries subsequently legalized gay marriage. Some scholars, most notably the Yale professor and historian John Boswell —94 , have argued that same-sex unions were recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in medieval Europe, although others have disputed this claim. 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. For yet another group of polities, such as Switzerland and many U.
In Canada became the first country outside Europe to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. Whether Egyptian, Vijayanagaran, Roman, Ottoman, Mongol, Chinese, European, or other, empires have long fostered or, in some cases, imposed the widespread adoption of a relatively small number of religious and legal systems. By Washington, D. Sexuality is but one of many areas where religious and civic authority interact; definitions of the purpose of marriage is another. 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. Ideal matches have included those between cross-cousins , between parallel cousins, to a group of sisters in polygyny or brothers in polyandry , or between different age sets. In Uruguay became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex civil unions nationwide; the legislation became effective the following year. Although advocates of the referendum quickly sought to contest the decision, it was upheld by a federal appeals court in February In contrast, the acceptance of same-sex partnerships was particularly apparent in northern Europe and in countries with cultural ties to that region. Nonetheless, some states moved toward the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. Bermuda thus became the first country to repeal same-sex marriage. By the following decade, polls indicated that roughly one-half of British citizens approved of legalizing same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom ; such marriages were legalized in England and Wales in , and Scotland followed suit in A variety of sexual or quasi-sexual acts, usually including same-sex intimacy, were criminalized in these countries, and the penalties for these acts could be as severe as execution. Early in the Supreme Courts of two states— California and Connecticut —struck down state laws limiting marriage to the union between a man and a woman. In the European Union mandated that all of its members pass laws recognizing the same-sex marriages of fellow EU countries. See also marriage law. In many cultures the exchange of some form of surety, such as bride service, bridewealth , or dowry , has been a traditional part of the marriage contract. A third perspective holds that marriage is an instrument of societal domination and so is not desirable. Cultures that openly accepted homosexuality, of which there were many, generally had nonmarital categories of partnership through which such bonds could be expressed and socially regulated. They often proscribed behaviours that other countries viewed as subject to moral, rather than legal, regulation. Conversely, other cultures essentially denied the existence of same-sex intimacy, or at least deemed it an unseemly topic for discussion of any sort. Religious and secular expectations of marriage and sexuality Over time the historical and traditional cultures originally recorded by the likes of Bachofen and Morgan slowly succumbed to the homogenization imposed by colonialism. By the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the perspectives of one or more of the world religions— Buddhism , Hinduism , Judaism , Islam , and Christianity —and their associated civil practices were often invoked during national discussions of same-sex marriage. In others, the broad spectrum of notions about sexuality and the purpose of marriage is compounded by national pluralism and a tendency for secularism and religiosity to intersect in complex and unexpected ways. Officials in some smaller jurisdictions, notably San Francisco, joined the controversy in early by issuing marriage licenses in defiance of local prohibitions; these licenses were later found to be invalid. Subsequent challenges to the laws made their implementation contingent on the results of ballot referenda, and in November voters in both states affirmed the laws.
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Big Fight: Should India legalize Same-sex marriages? Part 1
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