Lesbian Relationships – Is Same-Sex Marriage Illegal?

Is it true that same-gender marriage is not legal in (fill in the blank)? My girlfriend and I want to get married in Texas, where we live. Is it legal? They were married in Vermont because same-sex marriage is not legal in the state where they live …

I know it may shock some, but same-gender marriage is not illegal anywhere in the United States. Simply because the State does not recognize the union of a same-gender couple, it does not automatically become illegal. In fact, same-gender marriage is not illegal in most countries around the world. At worst a couple may need to get creative in order to find someone to officiate the ceremony, but most of us are up to the challenge.

Unfortunately, news agencies, government workers, clergy and a host of others perpetuate the misinformation that same-gender marriage is illegal, to the detriment of the continuing health of the couple’s relationship. So why does this misinformation continue to be spread and be accepted so readily? After all, male-female couples often live together without the State recognizing or acknowledging anything special or legal between them, but no one assumes it is illegal for men and women to live together. So what’s the difference?

Perhaps the answer can be found in sodomy laws.

Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia have sodomy laws that apply to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.

The four states with sodomy laws that apply only to homosexuals include Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Across the world there are countries that have sodomy laws that apply to men, but not to women. Countries with sodomy laws that apply to women include:

Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameron, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, and Tunisia.

Americas: Barbados, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Asia-Pacific: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, and Western Samoa.

Europe: None

Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Countries with unknown sodomy laws that apply to women include Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Zaire, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Laos, Nauru, and North Korea.

You may wonder why more LGBT groups and individuals do not challenge these countries on their sodomy laws, but it does not take a great deal of imagination to understand it. Penalties imposed against individuals who are convicted in these sodomy cases can run anywhere from a simple fine to a horribly painful death. So how do we turn these conditions around?

I believe our first goal should be to remove the illegal brand from our relationships. As long as people believe that our ceremonies are breaking the law, they are going to hesitate to be supportive or encourage our relationships. We need to emphasize to our family and friends that our union is as legal as any heterosexual union. It is up to us to educate the world that our relationships are as valid and worth promoting as any other.

Until next time… 

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