This morning Orlando held its first official gay marriage ceremonies. Although last week there was confusion when the US Supreme Court refused to extend a federal judge’s Florida gay marriage ban, Circuit Judge Timothy Shea ruled last week that the Orange County clerk could issue marriage licenses to gay couples starting today. Therefore, today, Florida became the 36th state of the nation to allow legal gay marriages.
Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer married about 50 gay couples in front of city hall at 9:00 am. By 9:30, the couples had fulfilled their marriage wishes. As controversial as the issue of gay marriage has been, today’s events demonstrate a significant change about the issue. As expected there were protestors protesting against gay marriage, however only three protestors were present during Orlando’s first gay marriage.
This family from Denmark were present to watch their daughter get married. They told me that since 1933, Denmark has legalized same-sex sexual activity and has allowed same-sex marriages since 1989 in the form of “marriage registrations.”
Since 2010, same-sex marriages have been recognized in all Mexican states. The Mexican Constitution provides for specific spousal rights and same-sex couples are recognized within those same rights. Unlike the United States, Mexico has traditionally maintained a strict adherence to the separation of Church and state making the controversy of religious opposition to gay marriages more difficult. Marriage in Mexico is strictly handled as a civil matter and governed by the state legislations.
Today’s gay marriage ceremonies in Orlando show that the issue of gay marriages is about to be outdated as protestors to gay marriages were clearly outnumbered by those in support of same-sex unions.