Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Legalized?

  Tags: politics   law   religion   society   relationships   gay marriage   gay rights   same-sex marriage

The institution of marriage sits squarely at the intersection of religion, law and society. Over the last decade the subject of Same-Sex Marriage (SSM) has trended up in a hotly contested and complex debate. Among it being a civil rights, political, social and/or religious issue, it is usually and closely related to the larger debate over societal acceptance of homosexual relationships.[1]

Many states including New Jersey and Massachusetts are each considering cases that could legalize same-sex unions. And in California, Proposition 8 passed in the November 2008 general election. The measure added a new section to article 1 of the California Constitution. The new section reads:" Only Marriage between a Man and a Woman Is Valid or Recognized in California".[2]

In order to help you understand the arguments more succinctly the difference between same-sex marriage, civil union, and domestic partnerships is defined here.

Same Sex Marriage means of legal marriage between people of the same sex
Civil union is a category of law that was created to extend rights to same-sex couples. These rights are recognized only in the state where the couple resides.
Domestic partnership is a new category of law that was created to extend rights to unmarried couples, including (but not necessarily limited to) same-sex couples. Laws vary among states cities and counties. Terminology also varies; for example,Hawaii has reciprocal beneficiaries law. Any rights are recognized only on the state or local level.

So what's the difference?

The most significant difference between marriage and civil unions (or domestic partnerships) is that only marriage offers federal benefits and protections. Benefits available at the state or local level are subject to federal taxation. For example, a woman whose health insurance covers her female partner must pay federal taxes on the total employer cost for that insurance.[5]

Arguments For

Yes, same-sex marriage should be legal.

Equal rights

Denying marriage to same-sex couples removes from one group a fundamental, important human right the right to marry the person that one loves and to whom one has made a commitment. That is unfair and unjust in a democracy.

Dignity & Respect

The Institution of Marriage Conveys Dignity and Respect Towards a Couple That Make a Lifetime Commitment to Support Each Other." Same-Sex Couples Deserve This Dignity and Respect."

There are many laws across the U.S. that forbid companies to restrict employment based on sexual preferences.

Financial & Security

Denying One Group The Right to Marry As Many Adverse Emotional and Financial Consequences. Examples Are Social Security, Medicare, Medical Leave And Other Benefits; Property Inherent Tense; The Right to Visit Their Spouse in Hospital, and Make Medical Decisions If They Are Incapacitated; Security of the Couple And of Their Children.

Arguments Against

No, same-sex marriage should not be legal.

Religious Freedom

For most Americans, marriage is a religious sacrament or ceremony. If the definition of marriage is changed to allow same-sex marriage, some religious individuals and groups feel that they will become at risk of having to violate their beliefs by being forced to marry same-sex couples.

Parenting by Same-Sex Couples Is Inadequate

Many Religiously Conservative Researchers Have Found That Children Thrive Best When Reared in a Home with a Married Mother and Father. Boys and Girls Have Needs That Are Uniquely Met by Parents Of the Opposite Gender.


The role of marriage in society is a major topic taught in public schools. If same-sex marriage is legalized, schools will become required to teach that same-sex marriage is equivalent to opposite sex marriage, starting as early as kindergarten. That would violate the beliefs of many parents. [3]

Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders.

Same-sex marriage would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose. [4]


 1  Same-sex marriage Sep 1, 2009 Wikipedia
 2  California Proposition 8 Sep 1, 2009 Wikipedia
 3  Living Vote Sep 1, 2009 Religious Tolerance.org
 4  In Focus: 10 arguments from social science against same-sex marriage Sep 1, 2009 Family Research Council
 5  Infoplease, A Primer on Same-Sex Marriage Sep 2, 2009 Pearson Education, Inc.

Related Debates

Should a Gay Clergy be Allowed?
Prop 8 Ban Against Gay Marriage in California

User Comments & Opinion


7 Voted Yes

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Yes legalize it - mikeROD2020 (twitter) 0
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definitely yes, look at vermont - jennyhooah (twitter) 0
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yeah~ for sure. Look at yourself. - superanana (twitter) 0

5 Voted No

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I SAY NO - stonecoldvt (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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Are we the one to change history? What is going to happen to our children? Human being will be exterminated within few generations.
- bestbuy2 (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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