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LOS Angeles, July 16, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A review of worldwide laws and cultural attitudes indicates that the Western acceptance of gay marriage is still an isolated phenomenon, with attitudes on gay marriage varying radically around the world.  As is usual, when it comes to liberal social policy, Western countries are leading the pack on the acceptance of homosexual marriage, and the Netherlands is the front runner. Steven Sailer, UPI National Correspondent, explains that ,“When it comes to social policy in Europe, there is one hard-and-fast rule: where the Netherlands innovates, the rest of the continent imitates.”  In less Western countries, however, the concept of gay marriage is distinctly unpopular. In Asia, where marriage and family are deemed social responsibilities, homosexual behaviour is largely still culturally unacceptable.  In fact, it’s not even clear whether homosexuality even exists in all cultures. Boston University anthropologist Peter Wood explains that, “Homosexuality is a cultural rarity in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is little evidence for it in most of aboriginal Polynesia: the Tahitians, the Maori, the Marquesans and so forth, were licentious but straight.” Woods also noted that, unfashionable as it is to mention, in most of the traditional cultures where male homosexual relationships were socially approved, the pairings consist of a man and a boy, as it does in some tribal cultures on islands in southern Melanesia.  Netherlands and Belgium allow gay marriage, with Canada now joining the fringe, although Belgium does not allow homosexuals adoption rights. It is of note that only 10% of same-sex couples in the Netherlands have been interested enough to get married. France, Germany and most Nordic countries have given gays extensive civil union rights. Britain has given gay couples the same legal rights as heterosexual ones.  The predominantly Catholic countries of Southern Europe, however, are resisting following suit, although the European Union is working to ensure that they do.  In Latin America only Buenos Aires and Argentina have legalized same-sex civil unions, although the homosexual lobby in Brazil is pushing for similar measures.  In Singapore, India, Pakistan, and Malaysia (because of Islamic laws) homosexual activity is illegal.  India’s law calls homosexuality “an unnatural act.” China, Japan, and Korea have no laws, but homosexual activity is culturally unpopular. Dr. Zhu Qi, vice president of the Bejiing-based Sexology Association of China, told UPI, “Homosexuality is not common in China.  Not a lot of people are interested in it.” Australia and New Zealand have only anti-discrimination laws.  See United Press International:  https://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030714-073510-5671r

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