Gay marriage was later made legal, under the same terms, elsewhere in the country. The new measure passed by a margin of greater than five-to-one, with support coming from both the governing African National Congress as well as the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. The law took effect in August
Hide Caption 10 of 33 Photos: Hide Caption 18 of 33 Photos: True to their campaign promises, Hollande and the Socialists have pushed through a law that not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also gives gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children—a provision that has drawn especially strong criticism from French Catholic leaders. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to wed, the measure gives churches and other religious groups the option of deciding whether or not they want to conduct such marriages. Opposition arguments broadly reflected the procreative position and frequently invoked biblical exegeses or other religious doctrine to support claims that marriage, strictly defined, should be available only to heterosexual couples. The state, in turn, argued that it had a compelling interest in preventing same-sex marriage, as that practice would inherently damage the public good. It was signed by Silva in May of that year and took effect one month later. Chad Biggs, left, and Chris Creech say their wedding vows at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 10, , after a federal judge ruled that same-sex marriage can begin in the state. The Supreme Court's invalidation of DOMA Section 3 in heightened the difference between marriage and civil unions; while marriage provides federal benefits, civil unions do not. Many countries have yet to reach a consensus on these issues. Hide Caption 23 of 33 Photos: In addition, such societies often allow close kin a variety of automatic privileges such as sponsoring immigration visas or making medical decisions for one another; for those with whom one shares no close kin relationship, these privileges typically require legal interventions. Ireland On May 22, , Catholic-majority Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum. Hide Caption 20 of 33 Photos: However, the law prohibits same-sex weddings within the Church of England, which continues to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Perhaps because systems of religion and systems of civil authority often reflect and support each other, the countries that had reached consensus on the issue by the early s tended to have a single dominant religious affiliation across the population; many such places had a single, state-sponsored religion. In their view, because male and female are both necessary for procreation, the privileges of marriage should be available only to opposite-sex couples. The benefits of domestic relationships range from very limited rights to all the rights afforded to married people by the state, except where federal law makes providing benefits impossible. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage on June 26, The issue of same-sex marriage frequently sparked emotional and political clashes between supporters and opponents. Mary Bishop, second from left, and Sharon Baldwin, right, celebrate with family and friends following their wedding ceremony on the courthouse steps in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 6, A court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Austria will take effect on 1 January , and a similar ruling in Taiwan will take effect on 24 May at the latest. While most domestic partnership schemes grant those partners limited, enumerated rights, the Oregon, Washington, and Nevada schemes provide substantially the same rights as marriage and are therefore, essentially, civil unions. The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. The measure not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. By the end of , the number of states where such marriages were legal had reached 35—more than twice as many as at the beginning of the year.
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