Same-Sex Marriage - 1

Topics: Same-sex marriage, Marriage, Civil union Pages: 23 (7781 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or gender identity. Legal recognition for same-sex marriage is also referred to as marriage equality.[1] Since 2000, eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden) and several sub-national jurisdictions of Brazil, Mexico and the United States have begun to allow same-sex couples to marry. Introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through a legislative change to marriage laws, a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, a ballot initiative, or a referendum. The recognition of same-sex marriage is a political, social, civil-rights and religious issue in many nations, and debates continue to arise over whether same-sex couples should be allowed marriage, be required to hold a different status (a civil union), or not have any such rights. Same-sex marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Various religious groups around the world practice same-sex marriages; for example: Quakers, Episcopalians, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, Reform andConservative Jews, Wiccans, Druids, Unitarian Universalists and Native American religions with a two-spirit tradition. Studies conducted in several countries indicate that support for the legalization of same-sex marriage increases with higher levels of education and that support is strong among younger people. Additionally, polls show that there is rising support for same-sex marriage across all races, ethnicities, ages, religions, socioeconomic statuses, etc.[2][3] The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, resulting from legislative changes to marriage laws, court challenges based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or legalization by voters through referendums and ballot initiatives. The recognition of same-sex marriages is a civil rights, equality, human rights, political, social, moral, and religious issue in many nations. Debates arise over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into marriage, be required to use a different status (such as a civil union, which either grant equal rights as marriage or limited rights in comparison to marriage), or not have any such rights.[4][5][6]Same-sex marriage can give gay and lesbian taxpayers equal government services for their contributions to government revenue. Same-sex marriage also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.[7] Eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain,South Africa, Sweden) allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide. Same-sex marriages are also performed and recognized in Mexico City, Quintana Roo, and parts of the United States; in Brazil, civil unions may be converted into marriage. Some jurisdictions that do not perform same-sex marriages but recognize it being performed elsewhere include: Israel, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, Rhode Island in the United States,Mexico, Brazil, and, in at least one case, Uruguay.[8] Australia recognizes same-sex marriages only if one partner has had gender reassignment therapy.[9] Some analysts state that financial, psychological and physical well-being are enhanced by marriage, and that children of same-sex couples benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally recognized union supported by society's institutions.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Court documents filed by American scientific associations also state that singling out gay men and women as ineligible for marriage both stigmatizes and invites public discrimination against them.[17] The American Anthropological Association avers that social science research does not support the view that either civilization or viable social orders...
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