Forbidden Love: Germany Rejects Same Sex Marriage
The German parliament has rejected a proposal for same-sex marriage. Despite a lack of good arguments against marriage equality, homosexuals remain second-class citizens as homophobic moralists triumph once again.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people who purport to know what is right and wrong beyond those things that actually harm someone. The whole stinking essence of moralist arguments collapses onto itself.
Should Heather be allowed to marry Maria, or should John and Tom be allowed to tie the knot? Of course, because same-sex marriage doesn’t harm anyone but brings joy to two people. Unfortunately, Germany - a supposedly progressive country - hasn’t evolved beyond the level of seedy beer hall discussions. We have not yet freed ourselves from old prejudices. The parliament’s decision last week illustrated how deep homophobia still runs in our society and in our political system. Two parties - the Greens and the Social Democrats - had introduced a separate bill that would have immediately legalized same-sex marriage or tasked the government with drafting a law that would do so in the near future. The two government parties - the liberals and the conservatives - voted against the bill.
What madness! Germany currently has a gay foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, who represents his country to the world and whose vote might mean the difference between war and peace, yet he is not allowed to marry his long-time partner. His own party voted against the bill! One might rush to their defense and say that the liberals had no other choice and had to vote in lockstep with their conservative coalition partner. Liberals, we hear, didn’t really vote their conscience. What cowards.
In Germany, marriage enjoys special constitutional protection. Those who marry are endowed with special duties, rights, and privileges: Spouses vouch for each other, pay lower taxes, and enjoy other benefits as well.
Same-sex couples are forced to remain satisfied with a civil union, don’t enjoy comparable (tax) benefits, and cannot get married at the civil registry. Instead, their bond is sanctioned in the sad atmosphere of a notary’s office. They are not officially recognized as marriage partners by the state. But why not?