Two little words can divide a nation: gay marriage. Yet New York followed five other states this week in allowing gay marriages to take place anyway, and some wonder if Atlanta, Georgia — also home to a gay community — will follow suit any time soon. According to Reuters, gay marriage is such a hot bed topic that two states: Arizona and California have went back and forth on the issue, with both choosing to go against it in the end.
CBS reported that President Obama is still not advocating for gay marriage and that the battle to extend this benefit to all Americans will be a long and hard one.
Atlanta is home to a thriving Christian community, predominatley Southern Baptists, so faith and biblical texts exclude same-sex marriage approval for this large and active community of believers.
Other Christian denominations — the Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and so on — are also biblically mandated against sanctioning this type of union as well. Therefore, many believe that the faith-based community in Georgia will forever prevent gay marriage, legally, in the state, since Christian entities and citizens in Georgia are the majority, not the minority.
In New York, where a strong gay community thrives, and the greater faith denomination is Catholicism — if faith is embraced at all, due to an active atheist community — the gay community is only just now getting same-sex marriages sanctioned after years of attempting this endeavor. And even then it was influenced by a clause prohibiting gay couples from trying to force religious institutions to marry them.
That shows the strong opposition across the country faced by the homosexual community in this regard. And that opposition isn’t all by those of faith, with nonbelievers joining them to vote “No” on state ballot boxes calling for legalization.
The state of Arizona is one example. In 2006 the state seemed to favor gay marriage, or at least to refuse to ban it outright. But in 2008 that position shifted exponentially, resulting in Arizona voters going to the polls to ban it altogether. The aboutface marked a growing trend in the fight against legalizing same-sex marriage: states and their citizens appear to be fighting it instead of supporting it.
In California, where the majority of citizens voted no to same-sex marriage attempts at the polls, a high court in the state banned the legislation in 2005, calling it unconstitutional for the state. But the citizenry went so far as to amend their constitution in order to prevent same-sex marriage legalization. They did this to prevent what they perceived to be an “activist jurist” atempting to legislate from the bench on a matter state citizens had already spoken out against, loudly and affirmatively, according to the Christian Post.
The judge in the California same-sex case was San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer. And the state of California, like New York, had a strong gay community at the time of Kramer’s ruling, but the group was still not a large enough majority to force legislative approval of same-sex marriages in the state, despite his effort to that end.
Currently, Georgia is one of the 39 states that does not legally recognize same-sex marriages. Other states in addition to Georgia that do not allow same-sex marriages include California and Arizona, with only five states — all in the North — legalizing homosexual marriages besides New York.
Resources: CBS News, The Christian Post, Reuters