What Do Canada and Mexico Have that the United States Doesn’t? Equality08.13.10
For being the self-proclaimed “land of the free,” the United States sure has gone out of its way to deny freedoms to a minority group of Americans with so many states pushing legislation to ban same sex marriages.
I understand that a lot of that comes from traditional values associated with religious beliefs; but, being founded on religious freedom and purposefully not having any state-endorsed faith, it seems that of the countries legalizing gay marriage, the U.S. would be one of those few.
Quite the contrary. And much of the reason that we’re not comes from those religious beliefs being favored over civil freedoms — see the Mormon Church spending millions to help pass Prop 8.
The reality is that religious belief and civil marriage equality can co-exist. One doesn’t negate the other. Case in point:
Our neighbor to the south: Mexico legalized gay marriage.
Mexico? Really? A country whose population is over three quarters Roman Catholic — a faith whose leader has assailed against gay marriage as even being a threat to creation. A country that has more Catholics than any other country in the world, except for Brazil? That’s fascinating.
So how did this happen? Opponents can’t argue that it was purely judicial activism — it was legalized in Mexico City by the legislature. Only this week did the Supreme Court uphold the law and also required all states to recognize the marriages that are only currently performed in the capital city. And the vote wasn’t even close, either : 9 – 2, in favor.
So, what’s our excuse?
Sure we’re not so liberal as Canada, who also has legalized marriage equality. But we’re also not so homogeneous in our beliefs as Mexico, either. (Although if all you do is listen to the current vitriol from the conservative groups, one might forget that America has no official religion.) Why have we instead gone the completely opposite direction in creating laws that ban same sex marriage?
If Mexico, with it’s overwhelming number of Roman Catholics can elect a legislature that rules in favor of equality, then why in the world can’t we?
Photo courtesy of Sydney Lea Steele