Jennifer Roback Morse has written, "Advocates of same-sex 'marriage' insist that theirs is a modest reform: a mere expansion of marriage to include people currently excluded. But the price of same-sex 'marriage' is a reduction in tolerance for everyone else, and an expansion of the power of the state."
Gay activists would have us note the "scare quotes" aound the word marriage. They want us to believe that marriage and civil partnerships are equivalent, but the world does not agree. Consider the following list of countries that recognize civil partnerships but never use the term "marriage."
Norway has had "registered partnerships" since 1993.
Sweden has called them "registered partnerships" since 1994.
Hungary and Iceland have had "registered partnerships" since 1996.
France has called them “civil solidarity pacts” since 1999.
In Denmark “registered partnerships” were first recognized in 1998 as an alternative to marriage and an option for heterosexual couples. Adoption by homosexual couples was approved in 2000.
The Netherlands, Finland and Germany have had "registered partnerships" since 2001.
Argentina has had "partnership registration" since 2003 in Buenos Aires city and Rio Negro province.
Switzerland has permitted homosexuals to form "civil partnerships" since 2005.
Australia implemented "cohabitation rights" in 1994 in the Capitol Territory, and in 1999 in New South Wales, and in 2001 in Victoria.
Liechtenstein has had "registered partnerships" since 2002.
New Zealand passed a "civil union" bill in 2005.
In Spain, despite Zapatero's Socialist Party push to equalize all unions through the "Law of amendment of the Civil Code in the matter of Marriage," partnerships of homosexuals are not recognized by the Church and are limited to some states. The law is intentionally ambiguous. Zapatero remembers how the Spanish Republic, a coalition of Leftist groups, attempted to impose a new morality on Catholic Spain in 1936 and cast that nation into a bloody civil war.
The world consensus is that marriage is a unique institution between a man and a woman. Further, many of the countries that permit homosexual civil partnerships do not permit homosexual couples to adopt children.
Gay activists will not be content with this assessment however. They are determined that civil partnerships and marriage must be regarded as equal in every sense. In May 2006, an Irish activist, boasting of successes in Spain, wrote:
"We have turned gay pride into a tool for political action. So we have ceased to argue over whether our gay pride parade in Madrid should have business people or not, carriages or not, fancy dress or not, whereas in Barcelona they continue to argue about this, and they have never gotten more than 10,000 people to attend gay pride. We at FELGT got rid of our prejudices, we all reconciled our different positions by yielding a bit, and we managed to get half a million people out in the streets in Madrid. By focusing on citizen and human rights, we also managed to have the most important political, social, and trade union leaders in the country fronting the march. This turned gay and lesbian rights into everybody’s rights. There are countries where it is illegal for politicians to attend demonstrations. In Spain the opposite is the case, if you are not at the front of a demonstration, you don’t count. This has resulted on a commitment from politicians. We knew that as soon as the Left got to power, marriage had been achieved. What we didn’t know was that the Left was going to win the elections so soon. Nowadays we are working towards exporting this model to Latin America."
The activist Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, presently attending the Lambeth Conference, has blogged about his reunion with the Spanish delegation. He wrote, "There is also a family reunion aspect to this Lambeth Conference. While most of the Episcopal Church bishops have not attended the Lambeth Conference before, we are connecting with others, including many bishops from around the world who we know in other contexts. In my case, I am connecting with people I met in Spain last summer, including those who are not facing the issues as I am, and I am delighted. There is joy in the reunion."
Despite lawyer-bishop Sauls' disclaimer that some Spaniards are not facing the issues as he is, you can be sure that he is chatting with the Spanish about the legal status of same-sex partners in Spain. Gay activists believe that the Spanish speaking countries of the Americas will follow Spain's lead, but I wouldn't place my money on this assumption.