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Virtual Biopolitical

Same Sex Marriage
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Let's check today's mail.

Greetings from Anne... Ads and more ads... All this spamming, I can't stand it anymore! I must have one of those mail filtering programmes installed... Ah, John writing from Holland. Since he moved there for work he writes more often...Good for him! He and Andrew have registered their union at last. I am happy for him.

Now they really are man and wife. We've been friends for so long now but it still seems weird.

Well, in Holland John and Andrew could get registered as a couple but I believe it is the only country in the world where two homosexuals can do such a thing. John really gave me a hard time when he was here over the right of homosexuals to get married. Now they've done it, and obviously I am pleased since John is my friend, but still I can't shake off my doubts.

Anyhow, it is an issue that gives rise to many debates, and very passionate ones too.

Really, it is a moral dilemma; there are religious convictions at stake. In effect, those who claim that marriage is an essentially religious institution and claim governments shouldn't meddle with it, are usually contrary to a gay marriage just because of their concept of a sacred union.

One could argue, though, that marriage also has civil and social implications independent of religious beliefs; and governments introduce laws to regulate these aspects, but surely not to interfere with the religious part. Otherwise one could also say that governments should not make laws to punish murder because it is forbidden by one of the Ten Commandments, so it's already taken care of.

We'd better leave the religious aspects out of discussion though maybe some homosexuals would be happy to have their condition recognized and legitimized by the Church.

Really, the religious aspects can't be subject to debate. Besides, homosexuals are only demanding that two people of the same sex have the same civil right to be joined in marriage.

Among the reasons are those of very practical nature connected with legal consequences: taxes, pensions, health services...
If a union of two people is recognized as a marriage, things can sometimes evolve quite differently than in case of two people of the same sex living together without being officially married.

When I had these discussions with John I found web pages with different stories of homosexuals that have had problems because they were not married.

Here, take this case of one David Wilson. His partner's name is Robert Compton, and due to health problems, Robert sometimes needs urgent treatment. Now, Wilson fears that the same thing may happen as happened with his previous partner with whom he had been together for thirteen years.

Stricken by heart attack he was taken to hospital and died there without Wilson being allowed to stay with him in hospital because he was considered a stranger, since he was neither a relative nor a legally recognized partner.

Or this other case of two lesbians, Gloria Bailey and Linda Davies, who have been together for over thirty years and are close to their retirement now: in the event of death of one of them, the other would have to pay more house taxes and a higher fee to their analyser because their union is not recognized as marriage.

Not to mention the trouble and pain that all gay and lesbian couples have in adopting a baby or in being recognized as parents once they have adopted a baby.

John often tried to convince me that homosexuals who demand the right to make a proper family show a high sense of social responsibility and that society should be thankful to those who want to marry because by releasing their sexual energy inside the institution of marriage they contribute to social stability and growth and to the protection of the weakest and, furthermore, help lower the degree of selfishness and social disorder.

Ergo: marriage among homosexuals isn't just a right they should be entitled to but it would also be a practice that entire society would benefit from.

However, it is just this point that the objectors dispute strongly: they believe that marriage among homosexuals is a factor of social rift because their idea of marriage is totally different.

Marriage is not just a way to regulate a relationship between a man and a woman, they claim, marriage is a social institution with the primary aim of encouraging and safeguarding the reproduction of our species.

That's why a union of two people of different sexes is a marriage, whereas a union of two people of the same sex is not: the first has a potential for reproduction which the second lacks.
People who think this way believe that the separation of sex and procreation, which is making its way into contemporary society, is a disaster.

Reproduction is the only human act in which the presence of both sexes is essential.

So sexuality between men and women should be encouraged because reproductive sex has a unique and irreplaceable function.

If, instead, the idea that marriage is just the registration of a union of two people based on the satisfaction of the senses gained ground, there would be no means for society to distinguish between sexual activities which are useful or dangerous to society.
That's just what supporters of homosexual marriages reject: society cannot decide that some sexual activities are bad and dangerous in themselves.

Well, John and Andrew are now more at peace but I am left with a doubt: is it right, is it socially beneficial to consent to marriages between gay and lesbian couples?

Antonio Caronia.
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