From this perspective, the devaluation of same-sex intimacy is immoral because it constitutes arbitrary and irrational discrimination, thereby damaging the community. Most same-sex marriage advocates further held that international human rights legislation provided a universal franchise to equal treatment under the law. Thus, prohibiting a specific group from the full rights of marriage was illegally discriminatory. For advocates of the community-benefit perspective, all the legal perquisites associated with heterosexual marriage should be available to any committed couple.
On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled by a 6-3 vote in the case of Pavan v. Smith that under their decision in Obergefell, same-sex couples must be treated equally to opposite-sex couples in the issuance of birth certificates. In December 2016, the Supreme Court of Arkansas upheld a state law only allowing opposite-sex couples to be automatically listed as parents on their children's birth certificates, while prohibiting same-sex couples from being allowed the same on an equal basis. The Supreme Court summarily reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court, finding that the disparity in treatment violated their decision in Obergefell.[53]
Massachusetts, which became the first US state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. Alaska, which altered its constitution to prohibit gay marriage in 1998, saw a 17.2% increase in its divorce rate over the same period. The seven states with the highest divorce rates between 2003 and 2008 all had constitutional prohibitions to gay marriage. [2]
A person's internal, deeply held sense of their gender. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Most people have a gender identity of man or woman (or boy or girl). For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices (see non-binary and/or genderqueer below.) Unlike gender expression (see below) gender identity is not visible to others.
Early on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 43 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. This riot and further protests and rioting over the following nights were the watershed moment in modern LGBT rights movement and the impetus for organizing LGBT pride marches on a much larger public scale.

"Brief of the American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as amici curiae in support of plaintiff-appellees – Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of California Civil Case No. 09-CV-2292 VRW (Honorable Vaughn R. Walker)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 November 2010.
In the current debate around influences on sexual orientation, biological explanations have been questioned by social scientists, particularly by feminists who encourage women to make conscious decisions about their life and sexuality. A difference in attitude between homosexual men and women has also been reported, with men more likely to regard their sexuality as biological, "reflecting the universal male experience in this culture, not the complexities of the lesbian world." There is also evidence that women's sexuality may be more strongly affected by cultural and contextual factors.[53]
The concept of "traditional marriage" has changed over time, and the definition of marriage as always being between one man and one woman is historically inaccurate. Harvard University historian Nancy F. Cott stated that until two centuries ago, "monogamous households were a tiny, tiny portion" of the world's population, and were found only in "Western Europe and little settlements in North America." Polygamy has been widespread throughout history, according to Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott, PhD. [110] [106] Interracial marriage was once illegal in a majority of US states, and was still banned in half of US states until the 1950s. [108] Official unions between same-sex couples, indistinguishable from marriages except for gender, are believed by some scholars to have been common until the 13th Century in many countries, with the ceremonies performed in churches and the union sealed with a kiss between the two parties. [106]
The 2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage in countries that have ratified the American Convention on Human Rights applies to Ecuador. In May 2018, the Ecuador Supreme Court ruled, in a lesbian parenting case, that the IACHR ruling is fully binding on Ecuador and that the country must also implement the ruling in due course.[391] In June 2018, two family judges ruled the country's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.[159]. However, the Civil Registry has appealed the rulings, preventing their coming into force.[392]
At the federal level, in 2008 and 2009, there was a wide-ranging suite of reforms to provide equal entitlements and responsibilities for same-sex couples in areas such as social security, employment, taxation and superannuation. However, there remains one significant area of difference between the treatment of same-sex and heterosexual relationships, and that is in relation to the institution of marriage. While there are fewer and fewer rights and obligations attached to married couples which do not attach to de facto couples—a status currently encompassing same-sex couples in most legal contexts—supporters of gay rights argue this is not enough, and that the remaining differences are unacceptable.
By the late 1970s and early 1980s, as many of the actual participants had grown older, moved on to other issues or died, this led to misunderstandings as to who had actually participated in the Stonewall riots, who had actually organized the subsequent demonstrations, marches and memorials, and who had been members of early activist organizations such as Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance. The language has become more accurate and inclusive, though these changes met with initial resistance from some in their own communities who were unaware of the historical events.[33] Changing first to Lesbian and Gay, today most are called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) or simply "Pride".

In the Dutch Caribbean special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, marriage is open to same-sex couples. A law enabling same-sex couples to marry in these municipalities passed and came into effect on 10 October 2012.[304] The Caribbean countries Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, forming the remainder of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, do not perform same-sex marriages, but must recognize those performed in the Netherlands proper.

Others view bisexuality as more ambiguous. Some people who might be classified by others as bisexual on the basis of their sexual behavior self-identify primarily as homosexual. Equally, otherwise heterosexual people who engage in occasional homosexual behavior could be considered bisexual, but may not identify as such. For some who believe that sexuality is a distinctly defined aspect of the character, this ambiguity is problematic. On the other hand, some believe that the majority of people contain aspects of homosexuality and heterosexuality, but that the intensities of these can vary from person to person. Some people who engage in bisexual behavior may be supportive of homosexual people, but still self-identify as heterosexual; others may consider any labels irrelevant to their positions and situations. In 1995, Harvard Shakespeare professor Marjorie Garber made the academic case for bisexuality with her 600-page Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life in which she argued that most people would be bisexual if not for "repression, religion, repugnance, denial...premature specialization."[7]
On July 22, 2005, the first Latvian gay pride march took place in Riga, surrounded by protesters. It had previously been banned by the Riga City Council, and the then-Prime Minister of Latvia, Aigars Kalvītis, opposed the event, stating Riga should "not promote things like that", however a court decision allowed the march to go ahead.[78] In 2006, LGBT people in Latvia attempted a Parade but were assaulted by "No Pride" protesters, an incident sparking a storm of international media pressure and protests from the European Parliament at the failure of the Latvian authorities to adequately protect the Parade so that it could proceed.
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Historically, bisexuality has largely been free of the social stigma associated with homosexuality, prevalent even where bisexuality was the norm. In Ancient Greece pederasty was not problematic as long as the men involved eventually married and had children. In many world cultures, homosexual affairs have been quietly accepted among upper-class men of good social standing (particularly if married), and heterosexual marriage has often been used successfully as a defense against accusations of homosexuality. On the other hand, there are bisexuals who marry or live with a heterosexual partner because they prefer the complementarity of different sexes in cohabiting and co-parenting but have felt greatly enriched by homosexual relationships alongside the marriage in both monogamous and "open" relationships.
The Parliament approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage on 18 June 2014.[267] The law was published in the official gazette on 17 July and took effect on 1 January 2015.[268][269][270] On 15 May 2015, Luxembourg became the first country in the European Union to have a prime minister who is in a same-sex marriage, and the second one in Europe. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel married Gauthier Destenay, with whom he had been in a civil partnership since 2010.
Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography (1928) is an early example of bisexuality in literature. The story, of a man who changes into a woman without a second thought, was based on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West. Woolf used the gender switch to avoid the book being banned for homosexual content. The pronouns switch from male to female as Orlando's gender changes. Woolf's lack of definite pronouns allows for ambiguity and lack of emphasis on gender labels.[106] Her 1925 book Mrs Dalloway focused on a bisexual man and a bisexual woman in sexually unfulfilled heterosexual marriages in later life. Following Sackille-West's death, her son Nigel Nicolson published Portrait of a Marriage, one of her diaries recounting her affair with a woman during her marriage to Harold Nicolson. Other early examples include works of D.H. Lawrence, such as Women in Love (1920), and Colette's Claudine (1900–1903) series.
The problems of defining gender by the existence/non-existence of gonads or certain sexual features is complicated by the existence of surgical methods to alter these features.[citation needed] Estimates run as high as one percent of live births exhibiting some degree of sexual ambiguity,[501][519] and between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births being ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including sometimes involuntary surgery to address their sexual ambiguity.[520]
The institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as being between a man and a woman. In upholding gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee on Nov. 6, 2014, 6th US District Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote that "marriage has long been a social institution defined by relationships between men and women. So long defined, the tradition is measured in millennia, not centuries or decades. So widely shared, the tradition until recently had been adopted by all governments and major religions of the world." [117] In the Oct. 15, 1971 decision Baker v. Nelson, the Supreme Court of Minnesota found that "the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis." [49] John F. Harvey, MA, STL, late Catholic priest, wrote in July 2009 that "Throughout the history of the human race the institution of marriage has been understood as the complete spiritual and bodily communion of one man and one woman." [18] [109]
Common-law relationships in Manitoba (2004)[125] Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003, nationwide since 2005[126] Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2011[127] Since 1992[128] Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015, and Vancouver and Nova Scotia since 2018 Transgender people can change their gender and name without completion of medical intervention and human rights protections explicitly include gender identity or expression within all of Canada since 2017[129][130][131][132]
Additionally, Armenia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries, though as of early 2019 there is no record of anyone taking advantage of the ruling in Armenia.[165] Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.[g][2]
The main right-wing opposition party UMP challenged the law in the Constitutional Council, which had one month to rule on whether the law conformed to the Constitution. The Constitutional Council had previously ruled that the issue of same-sex marriage was one for the Parliament to decide and there was only little hope for UMP to overturn the Parliament's vote.[255] On 17 May 2013, the Constitutional Council declared the bill legal in its entire redaction. President François Hollande signed it into law on 18 May 2013.[256]
Male bisexuality is particularly presumed to be non-existent,[70] with sexual fluidity studies adding to the debate. In 2005, researchers Gerulf Rieger, Meredith L. Chivers, and J. Michael Bailey used penile plethysmography to measure the arousal of self-identified bisexual men to pornography involving only men and pornography involving only women. Participants were recruited via advertisements in gay-oriented magazines and an alternative paper. They found that the self-identified bisexual men in their sample had genital arousal patterns similar to either homosexual or heterosexual men. The authors concluded that "in terms of behavior and identity, bisexual men clearly exist", but that male bisexuality had not been shown to exist with respect to arousal or attraction.[74] The assertion of Bailey that "for men arousal is orientation" was criticized by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) as a simplification which neglects to account for behavior and self-identification.[75] Further, some researchers hold that the technique used in the study to measure genital arousal is too crude to capture the richness (erotic sensations, affection, admiration) that constitutes sexual attraction.[30] The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force called the study and The New York Times coverage of it flawed and biphobic.[76]
Also, in a 2008 study, its authors stated that "There is considerable evidence that human sexual orientation is genetically influenced, so it is not known how homosexuality, which tends to lower reproductive success, is maintained in the population at a relatively high frequency." They hypothesized that "while genes predisposing to homosexuality reduce homosexuals' reproductive success, they may confer some advantage in heterosexuals who carry them" and their results suggested that "genes predisposing to homosexuality may confer a mating advantage in heterosexuals, which could help explain the evolution and maintenance of homosexuality in the population."[58]
^ Jump up to: a b Craig J. Forsyth, Heith Copes (2014). Encyclopedia of Social Deviance. Sage Publications. p. 740. ISBN 978-1483364698. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016. Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identities, gender expressions, and/or behaviors are different from those culturally associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.
Additionally, Armenia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries, though as of early 2019 there is no record of anyone taking advantage of the ruling in Armenia.[165] Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.[g][2]

On 17 November 2015, in the Faroe Islands (the realm's other constituent country), a same-sex marriage bill entered Parliament (Løgting). The bill passed its second reading on 26 April and was approved at its third reading on 29 April 2016 by 19 votes to 14.[237] The law required ratification in the Danish Parliament, which provided it on 25 April 2017.[238] The Faroese law allows civil marriages for same-sex couples and exempts the Church of the Faroe Islands from being required to officiate same-sex weddings. The law took effect on 1 July 2017.[239]


The Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland (CVP/PDC) started in 2011 with gathering signatures for a popular initiative entitled "For the couple and the family - No to the penalty of marriage". This initiative would change article 14 of the Swiss Federal Constitution and aimed to put equal fiscal rights and equal social security benefits between married couples and unmarried cohabiting couples. However, the text aimed to introduce as well in the Constitution for the first time ever the definition of marriage, which would be the sole "union between a man and a woman".[464] On 19 June 2015, the Parliament recommended that voters reject the initiative.[465] The Federal Council also recommended rejecting the initiative.[466][467] The Swiss people voted on the Christian Democrats' proposal in a referendum on 28 February 2016[468] and rejected it by 50.8% of the votes.[469]
Similarly, in ancient Rome, gender did not determine whether a sexual partner was acceptable, as long as a man's enjoyment did not encroach on another's man integrity. It was expected and socially acceptable for a freeborn Roman man to want sex with both female and male partners, as long as he took the penetrative role.[100] The morality of the behavior depended on the social standing of the partner, not gender per se. Both women and young men were considered normal objects of desire, but outside marriage a man was supposed to act on his desires only with slaves, prostitutes (who were often slaves), and the infames. It was immoral to have sex with another freeborn man's wife, his marriageable daughter, his underage son, or with the man himself; sexual use of another man's slave was subject to the owner's permission. Lack of self-control, including in managing one's sex life, indicated that a man was incapable of governing others; too much indulgence in "low sensual pleasure" threatened to erode the elite male's identity as a cultured person.[101]
In 2019, Three transgender people who identify as male lost their legal bid on Friday to be recognised as such on their Hong Kong identity cards, in a setback for the LGBT movement to achieve equal rights. While expressing sympathy, High Court judge Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung ruled against the three applicants, Henry Tse, Q and R, They have all been legally recognised as men by the British government but are unable to get their gender changed on Hong Kong ID cards. The judge said that a complete sex change would be the only “workable way” for the local government to determine a person’s gender. Although the trio, all born female, identify as men, and have had their breasts removed and undergone hormone therapy, they all still have their uterus and ovaries – which was the point of contention in their legal challenges against the city’s commissioner of registration.[17][18]
Strictly speaking, there's no such thing as a "sex change operation." A woman can elect to have cosmetic surgeries done to alter her physical appearance to match conventional norms associated with the gender with which she identifies, but anyone can have these procedures done, regardless of their gender identity. These surgeries are not limited to transsexual people.
Pawelski, J. G.; Perrin, E. C.; Foy, J. M.; Allen, C. E.; Crawford, J. E.; Del Monte, M.; Kaufman, M.; Klein, J. D.; Smith, K.; Springer, S.; Tanner, J. L.; Vickers, D. L. (2006). "The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children". Pediatrics. 118 (1): 349–364. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-1279. PMID 16818585. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
Bisexuality is often misunderstood as a form of adultery or polyamory, and a popular misconception is that bisexuals must always be in relationships with men and women simultaneously. Rather, individuals attracted to both males and females, like people of any other orientation, may live a variety of sexual lifestyles. These include lifelong monogamy, serial monogamy, polyamory, polyfidelity, casual sexual activity with individual partners, casual group sex, and celibacy. For those with more than one sexual partner, these may, or may not, all be of the same gender.
Ranging from solemn to carnivalesque, pride events are typically held during LGBT Pride Month or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country's LGBT history, for example Moscow Pride in May for the anniversary of Russia's 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality. Some pride events include LGBT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and large festivals.

With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognize same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.[23][24] The Oxford English Dictionary has recognized same-sex marriage since 2000.[25]
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