Posted on | July 16, 2010 | No Comments
Argentina became today the tenth country, and the first in South America, to legalize gay marriage. Except for Canada and South Africa, all the other countries are located in Europe.
One noteworthy consideration is that this victory occurred despite marked opposition from the catholic church, which has a strong presence in Latin America. This indicates a movement which aims to free the institution of marriage from the unhealthy grip of various religions. Originally a gesture which purpose was to consolidate economic well-being and insure the continuation of family lines, and therefore with obvious social repercussions, marriage owes its newfound freedom to two major social and economic upheavals
First, it is now possible for everyone, at least in the richer part of the planet, to individually insure one’s own economic well-being. This, on one hand, makes the necessity of reproduction less obvious; on the other hand, the advances of medicine and elaborate social safety nets make reproduction safe and even possible for single women.
Marriage therefore evolves and closely maps the evolution of society itself, rather than the orders of religious organizations. The rise of individualism and the quest for a custom made soul made have turned wedding ceremonies into highly personal rituals, sometimes private, often open to one’s friends and family, and occasionally widely broadcast. Wedding contracts also counteract stiff legislation springing forth from olden times, determining how assets are shared, what are spouses’ rights and responsibilities, and so on.
Opening marriage to same-sex partners does not aim to imprison them into the antiquated mold of past obligations; much to the contrary, it aims to adapt the institution of marriage to contemporary realities and values.