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Not that many years ago it would have been an unheard of thing to write or read: ‘Gay Marriages’ but I do have friends who have been married for over twenty five years so it has been possible (the maybe not legal) in certain countries for over a quarter of a century, which may surprise you.

These days you’ll find marriage between two people of the same sex called many things: Same Sex Partnerships, Civil Unions, and Equal Marriages. Whatever terms are used it is the same thing. Two people in a loving relationship formalise that relationship legally and publicly. And of course in recent years, as equality has become more of a mainstream issue, so has gay marriage and it has not been without controversy. You will probably have read the battles in the papers between the Church and activists, politicians on one side against ones on the other and so on but the fact remains that gay marriages are now legal in at least seven countries including: Demark (the first to allow them in 1989), The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, South Africa and a couple of US states. But other countries also recognise Civil Unions now, opting to allow a union rather than a marriage for whatever reason. There are some surprising countries on this list including Colombia, Israel and the United Kingdom. Some of the more Roman Catholic countries like Brazil and Argentina allow it in certain places only.

There are arguments for and against the allowing of Civil Unions or gay marriages or call them what you will. Activists for argue that it is a civil right for a couple of people to be equal in the eyes of the government of their country and to be able to have the same tax and other benefits as opposite sex couples. The arguments go on and go deeper of course but gay folk contribute just as much to their country in terms of taxes and so on so why should they be treated any differently?

Opponents of gay marriages counter this by arguing that the allowing of gay marriages reduces the status of ‘marriage’ generally to little more than a test of social or welfare benefits. There are some as well who simply think that same sex relationships are wrong because they do not produce children and that’s enough for them.

I couldn’t even start to examine the religious opposition here but needless to say many religions oppose same sex marriages for many reasons. The main one (as far as I can make out from the Christian church at least) is that it is against Biblical teaching and various chapters of the Bible are quoted, including Genesis and Leviticus. But these are also countered by activists as being out of date references to things which are not relevant to today’s society. And so the row rumbles on and drags into it children, tradition, divorce and equality.

I was trying to find a lighter side to this subject but without success, even looking for the count of how many gay marriages had taken place since 1989 was nigh on impossible. The subject is a serious one and one that will not be going away anytime soon. And if you were wondering, my two friends were married in San Francisco in 1979!

And as an after thought, here is a fun thing I found when searching the web: Café Press have a variety of logos and labels you have put on T Shirts and caps etc. Including, for girls, ‘I love my wife’ and ‘Adam and Steve not Adam and Eve’.