Justifying Our Love

The world is recognizing lesbian and gay relationships

So what's wrong here in the U.S.? Activists worldwide are shocked at American fundamentalists' political power, comparable only to what exists in Islamic countries— power that our religious right has used to block even the most toothless domestic-partnership laws. Meanwhile, the rest of the West has a more socialist (remember that word?) commitment to caring for all citizens. National health care and recognition of de facto relationships seem to go hand in hand.

On the other hand, the U.S. is still a contender. A number of American states— far in advance of the rest of the world— recognize lesbian and gay couples as joint parents. And any moment now, either the Hawaii or Vermont supreme courts could offer same-sex couples the M-word. Some day, we may be as advanced as Johannesburg!

Claudio Nascimento Silva and Adauto Belarmino, former seminary students, exchange wedding vows in Brazil.
photo: Frederico Mendez
Claudio Nascimento Silva and Adauto Belarmino, former seminary students, exchange wedding vows in Brazil.

E.J. Graff is the author of What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution.

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