International Couples And Gay Marriage

International Couples And Gay Marriage
The United States has been trying for some time to ban Gay marriage. Everyone is aware of it but I dont think everyone is aware of what that means for the average person. The Federal Marriage Amendment wasnt passed but there is still the Defense Marriage Act of 1996 that prevents gay Americans from marrying fellow Americans as well as partners from other countries. I am in an international relationship and if I wanted to be happy in that relationship I had to move outside my own country to do so. As it stands right now federal law dictates who can and cannot come into the country and how they are brought in.
I now reside in the Netherlands where this isnt an issue as it was the first country to allow gay marriage in 2001. It is also allowed now in a handful of countries and there are countries that dont offer marriage of gay and lesbians but do recognize it. World wide it is a hot button and can constantly be found in the news in one form or another. In the presidential election of 08 it is once again finding a face and potential candidates are either for or against it and using that stance on it as a platform to gain votes. In a speech Hillary Clinton gave to the Human Rights Campaign she mentioned this very subject as well as the Dont ask Dont tell policy put into act under her husband Bill Clinton. What is it about people and this issue of marriage?
It seems it is too much to ask to have the same rights as your fellow American even though what anyone does in their bedroom should remain there. Some say it will damage the credibility and sanctity of the heterosexual marriage and that it is against nature and God to have such a law put into place. Marriage has always been a part of politics and religion of any form because what religious and political leaders do is supposed to be an example of proper behavior in American society.
So what is the definition of American society and what role does marriage play in it? If every American could marry would that make the divorce rate go up or down? Now that Canada the Netherlands Spain Belgium and South Africa allow marriage would Americans find a way to emigrate there to find happiness? Would it benefit the economy in any way and what would it do for the reputation of America as a whole? These are just a handful of questions being asked by gays straights religious leaders politicians and the average man. If America is the land of the free and the opportunity isnt it contradicting itself by denying an entire group of people its fundamental rights such as marriage tax benefits insurance and medical practices already allowed to heterosexual families?
I as an American am denied basic concepts such as having my partner allowed to stay in my hospital room as my spouse if anything were to happen to me. Not many insurance companies give the option of adding my partner to the policy because we are not married and we cannot file our taxes jointly as a family for the same reason. I am not allowed to serve my country because my partner isnt of the opposite sex and therefore it is thought that I would be checking out the rest of my company making them uncomfortable and violated instead of defending my country. If you ask the average heterosexual person what would they do if they were not allowed these very same rights what would they tell you? Some have only said they arent and left it at that feeling that this issue doesnt affect them so why think about it. While others state they would demand these rights as stated that every American should be protected and granted the rights and liberties under the law.
As an expat in a country who sees no difference between a gay and straight person the feeling is drastic as I walk down the street go to apply for permits and marriage licenses. I never thought I would feel the simple joy of planning a wedding wearing the white dress and solidifying my life with the person I love. I have to admit that the fact that America would rather move backward and deny people simple things that others take for granted leaves me feeling unsettled and disheartened about the progress of my country. Just the simple question of why so much drama on giving simple rights and the answers leaves me hopeless that I might never be able to be truly happy in the country I should call home.


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