Same-Sex Marriage (Gay Marriage) • Can be performed in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Mexico (Mexico City only) and some states in the US (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont.) • Other states and countries may recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Selma AliyeKavaf, state minister for women and family affairs, stated that homosexuality is a disorder. • “I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder, a disease. I believe it is something that needs to be treated. Therefore I do not have a positive opinion of gay marriage.” • “Ben eşcinselliğinbiyolojikbirbozukluk, birhastalıkolduğunainanıyorum. Tedaviedilmesigerekenbirşeybence. Dolayısıylaeşcinselevliliklere de olumlubakmıyorum.” • Sunday Hurriyet, March 7, 2010 • Do you agree with this statement?
Questions about attitudes to homosexuality: • What is the difference between tolerance (hoşgörü) and acceptance (kabul)? • In a recent survey, 53% of Turks said that the right to express ones sexual orientation should be restricted. (That is, gay people shouldn’t have the same rights to freely express their sexuality as heterosexuals.) Do you agree?
Should it be illegal to fire gay people because of their sexual orientation? • Is violence against transvestites and transsexuals in Turkey a problem? • Should the government enact laws to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination? • Do you believe that police violence against transgender people is a problem in Turkey?
What is in a name? • Many countries which do not allow same-sex “marriage” do allow “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” which give nearly all of the same rights as marriage.
When people discuss same-sex marriage rights, what they are usually talking about is the State’s granting or recognizing marriage. • In other words, civil, rather than religious, marriage. • The question of religious acceptance or recognition of same-sex marriage is a separate question
Some Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage: • It is about equality – the state shouldn’t discriminate against its homosexual citizens, shouldn’t providing a benefit for heterosexuals that homosexuals can’t have. • Secularism – the objections to same sex marriage are mostly religious. A secular state shouldn’t discriminate for religious reasons. • Marriage is good for everyone. Studies show that married people live longer, happier lives. • Modern science accepts that homosexuality is a natural condition, not a disease. So why should gay relationships be seen as inferior to heterosexual ones?
Some Arguments Against: • Throughout history, marriage has been defined as being between a man and a woman. • The purpose of marriage is to produce and raise children. A same-sex marriage can’t do that, so it can’t be a real marriage. • By changing the focus of marriage from child rearing to the emotional bonds between adults, marriage is weakened. • Same sex marriage is unnecessary to provide homosexuals with justice and equality: in most developed countries, gay couples have other arrangements (civil unions, etc.) that provide nearly all of the civil benefits of marriage.
More Questions: • In places like the US which have a history of racial discrimination, some people who have argued for same-sex marriage have drawn a parallel with the struggle for the right to marry someone of another race. • In many states in the US before the middle of the 20th century, it was illegal for a person of one race to marry a person of another.
In cases dealing with the right to marry someone of a different race, courts recognized marriage as a fundamental right. • “Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men.” (Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 714.)
If marriage is a fundamental right, and if we accept that there is nothing wrong homosexual relationships, then shouldn’t homosexuals have the right to marry?
This argument convinced the California Supreme Court (among others) that the State could not deny the right to marriage to same-sex couples – even though they already had the right to become domestic partners.
[I]n contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation — like a person's race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.(In re Marriage Cases 43 Cal.4th 757, 782, (Cal.,2008)
California voters, however, were not convinced, and they passed a ballot measure (referendum) overturning this decision.
What do you think: • Denying someone the right to marry a person of another race (or religion) • Denying someone the right to marry a person of the same sex • Is it the same thing?