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What are the views on the legalization of gay marriage? Show more Show less
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To be denied the opportunity to marry is to be locked out of one of life’s main identity-defining rituals. Marriage is both an expressive and legal act but for many same-sex couples around the world, it is not an option. Should our legal definition of marriage be expanded to include same-sex couples?

Same-sex couples should be allowed to enter civil unions Show more Show less

Civil unions or partnerships are catch-all terms to describe the formal legal recognition of a relationship but without necessarily granting the full marital rights or label of marriage.
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Marriage remains a religious ritual

Civil unions can grant legal rights to gay couples without infringing on the religious ritual of marriage.
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Marriage is, first and foremost, a religious ritual. Civil unions are a legal ritual. Same-sex partners will receive all the legal benefits of marriage without infringing on the religious ideology that maintains marriage is reserved for a man and a woman.

The Argument

Marriage is carried out on religious grounds by religious figures. The eligibility for marriage should, therefore, be guided by religious teachings. A civil union is one way of accommodating the legal recognition of a same-sex partnership without defying religious teachings.

Counter arguments

Marriages are not religious. They are both legal and expressive. In expressive terms, people wed to express their love and commitment to each other in front of witnesses. They show their love and expect society to acknowledge it. To deny gay people the right to marry is to deny them the right to express themselves in the same way. Additionally, many democracies demand a secular government. Therefore, religious arguments about marriage should not influence legislative practices or prohibit gay marriage.


[P1] Marriage is a religious ritual. [P2] Civil parnerships are a legal ritual. [P3] Civil partnerships grant same-sex couples legal rights, without offending religious belief. [P4] Therefore, civil partnerships or unions are the legislative outcome.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Marriage is not merely a religious ritual. It is also an expressive ritual. [Rejecting P4] In secular democracies, religion should not influence the legislature.



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This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 12:22 UTC

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