What is same-sex marriage?

Same-sex marriage is the union of two people who have the same sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a legally recognized form of marriage in 34 countries, including the United States.

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It is also a legal way for same-sex couples to have children. It can be performed by either person, and it can involve the use of artificial insemination or adoption. 

The Catholic Church supports civil marriages between same-sex partners, but it is important to remember that the institution of marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman. It is therefore a valid reason for a Catholic to decline an invitation to a same-sex “wedding” that takes place outside of a parish. 

Many state governments have long disputed the right of gays and lesbians to marry, citing religious or social concerns. However, as the United States moved toward more equality in the 1990s, laws began to change. 

As a result, same-sex marriages became increasingly common in the United States. By 2003, Massachusetts was the first state to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriages. It was followed by many other states. 

While it was always a difficult battle, it became easier to win with each new state that passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. 

This ruling was the culmination of decades of work by individuals, organizations, and lawmakers who fought for equal rights for LGBTQI+ people. Opinion polls have shown that most Americans now support the right to same-sex marriage. 

Same-sex marriage is also becoming more popular in some parts of the world. In Europe, Belgium and several other European Union countries now offer same-sex marriage. 

Norway, a member of the European Union, passed a same-sex marriage law in 2008. It allows gay and lesbian couples to marry and have children, and it also grants them the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. 

Colombia, a Catholic-majority country, legalized same-sex marriage in 2016. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that all people are free to choose independently to start a family in keeping with their sexual orientation and receive equal treatment under the law. 

In the United States, same-sex marriage has been a battleground since 2004. In February, New Paltz Mayor Jason West performed same-sex marriages for about a dozen couples in his community. He was later issued a permanent injunction by the Ulster County Supreme Court. 

On July 14, 2004, the US Senate blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the United States. While this was a positive step, it did not eliminate the debate in Congress over whether to allow same-sex marriage. 

It’s a complicated issue for Catholics to consider, but the Church believes that all human beings have equal dignity and worth. All should be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love. 

The Church’s pastoral care is especially important to persons with same-sex attraction who wish to enter into a marriage relationship. The Catholic Church encourages them to seek help and support from their priest or other prelates. If they do not have a priest, they should seek the assistance of a spiritual director or the advice of a counselor.