All sides must be allowed to speak for the truth to come to light. Lecture 23 — Discussion Guide Advanced Modern liberalism maintains that law should try to be neutral on controversial moral and religious questions. These couples including four of the plaintiff couples have children for the reasons others do — to love them, to care for them, to nurture them. Other people believe that there is moral truth, but that we have access to it only by allowing free speech. Many hold equally strong religious, moral, and ethical convictions that same-sex couples are entitled to be married, and that homosexual persons should be treated no differently than their heterosexual neighbors. Several Liberals retained their original stance, however, and thus the vote was not defined purely along party lines. If not, in what particular or particulars and to what extent? Many of these jurisdictions, as well as those that actively criminalize same-sex unions, contended that homosexuality and lesbianism are mental disorders and built their public policies on this premise.
The September vote was extremely divisive, however. On September 16, , a motion was brought to Parliament by the Canadian Alliance now the Conservative Party to once again reaffirm the heterosexual definition of marriage. Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect. Both the provincial and federal governments had made it known that they would not oppose the court bid. It has failed to do so. On December 9, , Prime Minister Paul Martin indicated that the Federal Government would introduce legislation expanding marriage to same-sex couples. The liberty interest in choosing whether and whom to marry would be hollow if the Commonwealth could, without sufficient justification, foreclose an individual from freely choosing the person with whom to share an exclusive commitment in the unique institution of civil marriage. Controversially, over 30 members of the House did not attend the vote, the majority of whom were Liberals who had voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in One of the couples, Chris Vogel and Richard North, had legally sought the right to marry, in a high-profile case in , but had been denied. Do you agree with this position? Neither view answers the question before us. 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. Is it possible to answer this question without making a judgment about the value of homosexual relationships? Other people argue that same-sex marriage should be permitted because everyone has the right to be treated like an equal. What is your view? The court stated that such a ruling is not necessary because the Federal Government had accepted the rulings of provincial courts to the effect that the change was required. However, the definition of marriage is a federal law. In Denmark became the first country to establish registered partnerships—an attenuated version of marriage—for same-sex couples. For these reasons, they maintained that consensual intimacy between adults should not be regulated and that marriage should be disestablished as a cultural institution. Although most religions subscribe to just one of these beliefs, it is not uncommon for two or more viewpoints to coexist within a given society. Interestingly—and perhaps as a reflection of tensions between the marriage-for-procreation and marriage-for-community-good positions discussed above—many European countries initially prevented same-sex couples from adoption and artificial insemination ; by , however, most of these restrictions had been removed. The Unitarian Universalist churches and the gay-oriented Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches fully accepted same-sex marriage. Fertility is not a condition of marriage, nor is it grounds for divorce. 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. Sexual partnerships are one of a number of factors that bond adults together into stable household units. In a majority of Australians voted for same-sex marriage in a nonbinding referendum.
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