Many congratulations are ringing out all through England and Wales for gay and lesbian couples. A number of these couples celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage by getting hitched with their significant others just moments after midnight on March 29th. This marks the first time in history that full-out recognition was granted in this part of the world. This was no small feat and comes at a time when many other countries are passing laws to prosecute gays and lesbians. It is hopeful for many that the legalization of same-sex marriage in the UK will stand as an influential example to these intolerant countries that refuse to treat certain citizens with fairness and dignity.
It seems to be dawning on a greater number of the worlds inhabitants that to persecute another human being for who they love is just wrong. For longer than most can remember, it has been a taboo and a much debated and misunderstood thing to be intimate with or love another of the same-sex; and there are those who will just never accept it on any level. The reasons vary as to why, religion being the strongest argument against it. Technically, we are still a very young species and luckily for us all civilization is still evolving and changing all the time. So the progress towards equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race or social status is still slow and encumbered with many fits and starts. It is interesting and at the same time perplexing to see such progression in one area while witnessing such troubling regression in others. Regression that is so horrible in fact, that death is the ultimate punishment in some cases. Same-sex marriage is sadly a dream that may never be realized for many in other countries.
Taking into consideration the vastly different rates of economical and social development that separate certain countries, makes it a little easier to see why progress in recognizing same-sex couples is so very slow or non-existent. Nigeria and Uganda will probably not see a legalization law for quite some time. Neither will India or many other middle eastern countries be making any positive changes in that direction either as they are also struggling heavily with equal rights for women. Now that same-sex marriage has been recognized in the UK, perhaps more intolerant countries like Russia, who even now craves more global recognition, will begin to lighten their views regarding sexual orientation.
In February of this year Scotland also passed a similar law with their first same-sex marriages expected to take place in October of this year. For many of Britain’s long time couples it was a dream come true. Most of them stated when questioned that they were just happy to finally be legally recognized with their new husband or wife. Sandi Toskvig a well-known comedian renewed her vows with partner Debbie in recognition of the new law. Over 2,000 guest were in attendance to help them celebrate this amazing milestone in the UK.
Hope is yet growing across the world that people will be free to love who they will without the threat of violence or rejection. Although it will most likely continue to be a hotly debated subject for a very long time, there is nothing but joy and excitement for many LGBT communities as they see dreams coming true for them. So let those who will celebrate for same-sex marriage in the UK and continue to hope for much-needed changes in those intolerant countries that would deny a very basic happiness to their people.
By Mai Nowlin