“BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN”
A growing movement today favors making those relationships commonly called same-sex unions the legal equivalent of marriage. This situation challenges Catholics—and all who seek the truth—to think deeply about the meaning of marriage, its purposes, and its value to individuals, families, and society. This kind of reflection, using reason and faith, is an appropriate starting point and framework for the current debate. Marriage, as both a natural institution and a sacred union, is rooted in God’s plan for creation. The truth that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman is woven deeply into the human spirit. The Church’s teaching on marriage expresses a truth, therefore, that can be perceived first and foremost by human reason. This truth has been confirmed by divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture.
I. Same Sex Marriage
* Countries where Same Sex Marriage is legal
The first country in the world to legalize gay marriage was the Netherlands on April 1st2001. In the first six months after the legislation was approved, 3.6% of all marriages were same-sex. The total amount of gay marriages performed in 2001 was 2,500. More or less, about 1,000 same-sex couples get married in the Netherlands every year. Its legality in the Netherlands, though does not guarantee that it will be recognized by another country unless that country accepts gay marriages as well. On January 30th 2003, Belgium became the second country in the world to grant same-sex marriage as legal, with certain restrictions. One of the spouses has had to have lived at least three months in Belgium for the marriage to be permissible. In a span of two years between 2003 and 2005, 2,442 same-sex marriages had taken place. Also, new legislature in 2006 now allows the spouse of a biological parent to legally adopt its spouses' child. Spain became the third country in the world to...