Monday, August 27, 2007

American gay men don't want to marry?

Via Pink News, an analysis on a study which reports that "the proportion of American gay men calling for the right to marry their partners in a church is as low as 36 per cent".

Well, does it mean that gay Americans don't want to marry? I'd put an emphasis in the "marry their partners in a church" part of the headlines. With no further knowledge of what the average gay American male thinks and lives, it seems to me quite probable that they get so disappointed with the many and various Christian churches in their country supporting the sanctity of marriage as a Church institution, that they are giving up any hope of stepping into any kind of Temple to get married. It's not clear from the analysis made at the Pink News site whether they equate church marriage with civil marriage or the latter would be called "same-sex unions".

In 2005 Spain, the government introduced an Act allowing same-sex marriage, civil, different to that spiritual bond sacralized by religious entities, yet legally providing same rights to any kind of couple. We knew that the majoritary Catholic Church wouldn't recognize such civil marriages, but they in fact don't recognize civil marriage as religiously bonding, and nonetheless the whole Catholic Hierarchy from the Vatican to the last bishop in Spain campaigned against such a law, with demonstrations and all (some people accurately pointed out that those same bishops never happen to walk within any demonstration against Iraq war, in spite of the Pope speaking against it).

So what's the problem with churches and religious organizations and civil marriage? I beieve that, being civil marriage a thing of the justice of the peace, priests, pastors, imams and the like can't take control of it. Can we happily give religion the right to dictate our laws? We might want, but if we carefully think about it, we can end up within systems so restrictive of rights as northern Nigeria's shari'a. Some might argue that Christian churches don't ask for lapidation of homosexuals; but it might be just a matter of time.

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