Nations Increase Same-Sex Couples’ Rights


Last year was big for homosexual couples worldwide. Just six months after Spain and Canada legalized same-sex marriage, South Africa’s highest court ruled in favor of legalizing the union, while Britain took a huge step toward recognizing homosexual partnerships.

On Dec. 1, 2005, South Africa’s highest court ruled that homosexual couples may marry, though it has given Parliament a year to pass the legislation that would make it official. When and if this happens, South Africa will join Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain—the only countries that currently recognize “marriage” between same-sex couples. (One U.S. state also recognizes “marriages”; two others permit “civil unions.”)

A few days later, Britain joined the ranks of those countries—Germany, France and Switzerland—that have nationwide laws giving homosexual couples many of the same legal rights as married heterosexuals, though stopping short of recognizing a same-sex union as a marriage. On Dec. 5, 2005, the Britain’s Civil Partnerships Act went into effect—causing hundreds upon hundreds of couples nationwide to register their partnerships.

One lesbian minister, who was registering that day, said, “I believe it’s God that has opened up this door for the civil partnerships to happen” (, December 5).

Is that true? Is God behind Britain’s move out of “the dark ages,” as another man said?

If there is no God, then certainly we can rely on lawmakers and courts to define marriage and family for us.

But if there is a God, why did He—as the Bible records—create mankind, in His own image, as “male and female”? (Genesis 1:27). Why male and female? What is the purpose of marriage? What defines it? Is there even such a thing as “homosexual marriage”? Can man, even religion, alter God’s definition?

The answers to these questions are clear to those who understand the truth revealed in the Bible but not generally understood—that of the incredible human potential.

The way God designed male, female, marriage and children, the family unit naturally creates a government structure patterned after the God Family pattern. God designed all of these things the way He did to prepare us for eternal life in His Family. (Request our book The Incredible Human Potential for a thorough biblical explanation of this truth.)

This is why the human family is so critical in God’s mind. We need family, as God designed it, in order to prepare for positions in God’s Family! Done right, marriage is intended to teach spiritual lessons about the God Family (e.g. Ephesians 5:31-33). A child growing up in a godly family learns spiritual lessons. In other words, if a family is run the way God intended it to be run, then there are God-plane dynamics at work—living lessons in God’s government and family love.

To tamper with this magnificent creation of God, or to contaminate it with human reasoning as influenced by degenerating social norms, is a colossal travesty. Family breakdown is, in fact, one of the major sins that is bringing the Western world to its knees.

For more on the cultural ramifications of homosexuality and a godly view of the same-sex marriage debate, please read our September-October 2003 article “War Over Marriage” at, and request Herbert W. Armstrong’s masterful work on the subject, Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete?