With only six states across the U.S. currently legally recognizing gay marriages, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont and countless others instating laws prohibiting gay marriages through constitutional amendments, the gay marriage debate proves to be an uphill battle for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of America.
While the arguments against gay marriages are considerably stronger than those for same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships, since the title of a “marriage” is not accorded to homosexual couples, there are lawmakers and politicians, mainly in states where religion in a governing factor, which similarly view the state-recognition of any same-sex partnership as a negative thing.
Those in support of the gay marriage debate, however, are strong in their belief that denying at least some form of a government-sanctioned domestic partnership to same-sex couples is pure discrimination, and that according to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, no state has the right to deny the protection of the laws to any person, gay or straight, and it’s as simple as that. Or so is the ideal situation.
Of course, things have proven to be quite far from simple when it comes to the gay marriage debate and the question of whether gay marriages can simply be replaced with civil unions. Even though a marriage is technically considered a civil union, civil unions are somehow not considered “real” marriages in today’s society, and so, civil unions have become the less extreme comprise of the gay marriage debate between supporters and opponents of gay marriages.
On one hand, they provide nearly- or exactly, depending on the state- equal protections, rights, and benefits as legal marriages between a man and a woman, and on the other hand, they appease those which claim that the sanctity of marriage is somehow destroyed by offering two men or two women the right to legally proclaim their devotion for each.
And so, for the states which seem to have an overwhelming disapproval of the gay marriage debate on all fronts, civil unions prove to be a more feasible alternative to marriage, and one which, essentially, is better than no alternative at all.