Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.

As of 25 May 2019, same-sex marriage is legally performed and recognized (nationwide or in some jurisdictions) in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand,Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal in Costa Rica.Israel recognizes same-sex marriages entered into abroad as full marriages. Estonia recognizes foreign same-sex marriages to some degree, and a ministerial decision decreed that Armenia shall as well, though as of February 2019 there had been no actual cases. Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.

The introduction of same-sex marriage (also called marriage equality) has varied by jurisdiction, and came about through legislative change to marriage law, court rulings based on constitutional guarantees of equality, recognition that it is allowed by existing marriage law,[3] or by direct popular vote (via referendums and initiatives). The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue.[4] The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriage are human rights and civil rights organizations as well as the medical and scientific communities, while the most prominent opponents are religious fundamentalist groups. Polls consistently showcontinually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies.

Scientific studies show that the financial, psychological, and physical well-being of gay people are enhanced by marriage, and that the children of same-sex parents benefit from being raised by married same-sex couples within a marital union that is recognized by law and supported by societal institutions.[5] Social science research indicates that the exclusion of homosexuals from marriage stigmatizes and invites public discrimination against them, with research also repudiating the notion that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon restricting marriage to heterosexuals.[6] Same-sex marriage can provide those in committed same-sex relationships with relevant government services and make financial demands on them comparable to that required of those in opposite-sex marriages, and also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.[7]

Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on claims such as that homosexuality is unnatural and abnormal, that the recognition of same-sex unions will promote homosexuality in society, and that children are better off when raised by opposite-sex couples.[8] These claims are refuted by science which shows that homosexuality is a natural and normal variation in human sexuality, that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well or even better than the children of opposite-sex couples.[9]

A study of nationwide data from across the United States from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in about 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States.

The institution of marriage exists many centuries, but varies from year to year. However these changes do not occur as quickly as they used to. According to the modern tendencies, the interracial marriages are recognized by the society, and legislation; but considering the same sex marriage, is no approval of it in all countries. The discussions of the same sex marriage have been held in the majority of the counties all over the world. And consequently, in many countries, people are seeking even more profound reform of marriage laws. Same sex marriage should not be legalized because it would extremely weaken the traditional family values vital to our society.

In Denmark, Sweden and the Norwegian same-sex partners can now quite officially register their marriage, and enjoy almost all of the rights of spouses. The same law will soon be Dutch. In France and Belgium, some cities already recognize same-sex partnerships. In the U.S., in Hawaii have already appeared appropriate judicial precedents. However to date no country has yet fully equalized the rights of homosexual marriages with the usual.

The institution of marriage in the world is experiencing the quietest times. So is it appropriate to talk about gay marriage right now? To understand why the answer should be positive or negative, we, first, have to consider attractive in its simplicity point of view, denying the problem itself. “Governments are not elected to settle the marriage, and to then deal with it,” – wrote John horns in “Financial Times”. This is a purely private matter.” Such a liberal perspective assumes that the establishment of conditions of the marriage contract deals exclusively with the partners themselves, not the state. With the help of sympathetic lawyers and clergymen, homosexuals can create for themselves that from all points of view, and will practically get married without official authorization, as stated in Public Relations: Why the Rush to Same-Sex Marriage? And Who Stands to Benefit?

Desire to limit state intervention cannot fail to respect. But the participation of public authorities in this matter is imminent. Although there may be various kinds of partnerships, only officially sanctioned marriage, by definition, connects people in the eyes of the law. Once the partners are given the special rights – there is inheritance, transfer of pensions and medical insurance to the other partner in case of death of the first. Only such marriage, and it is no less important, is legally required to care for a partner. These rights and duties are by no means some sort of optional decorations of the marriage partnership – this is its very essence, but neither the priest nor a lawyer, nor any ceremony can provide them with it. If society imposes on marriage any requirements, then the state must establish certain rules, as stated in The End of Gay (and the Death of Heterosexuality).

“All right” – say advocates of traditional values. “But these rules have nothing to do with homosexuals. Same-sex marriages are useless – they bless the unions, in which the company is not interested. More than that – they are simply dangerous, because they weaken a responsible attitude to marriage, thus undermining the very foundations of this social institution.”  Such a view stresses the importance of marriage – and this is absolutely correct.

Of course, one of the most important reasons that led the society to care about the institution of marriage is children. As a fact, society is interested in stable long-term partnerships. Family remains a stronghold of the person. Single people (especially women) are more vulnerable economically and far more likely to be eventually in the arms of the state of philanthropy. If they need help, they are likely to resort to public support. Statistics shows that single people are unhappy and often ill. Another important function of marriage – is to serve as a social stabilizer of the sexual behavior of men, as stated by American Sociological Association Member Resolution on Proposed U.S. Constitutional Amendment Regarding Marriage.

Emotional and economic stability is needed to homosexuals, no less than heterosexuals – and if they get it, society will benefit. And this is usually followed by the traditional opposition – well, letting homosexuals simply abandon their inclinations and come in an ordinary marriage with someone of the opposite sex. Such a response is simply outdated. On the one hand, homosexuals did not choose their own preferences, and many of them really want to get rid of them by any means, without pausing in some cases even before the suicide. On the other hand, a growing number of people of homosexual orientation no longer wish to hide or carry only a chaste lifestyle. Therefore, in reality society can choose only between same-sex marriage and the alienation of homosexuals – and the exclusion is unlikely to serve any social interests, as described in The Religious Right and Anti-Gay Speech: Messengers of Love or Purveyors of Hate?

These principles of social policy can be added to considerations of state policy. Government, prohibiting anything to its citizens, should not be based on the principles in their discrimination. Incidentally, back in 1967 in some U.S. states there have been banned marriages between whites and blacks. Even taking into account the much greater complexity of the issues of homosexual marriage compared to mixed, the state should not discriminate its citizens, especially in such an important matter as issuing marriage certificates. Thus, the question can be put as follows: are there some really important reasons for not allowing homosexuals to create a family?

Some people think that if it will be allowed to homosexuals to marry, in matters of marriage and family can come anarchy. So it would only be if homosexual unions were to arbitrary combinations of people, simple skits to marry a “real”. In fact, countless gay couples, especially lesbian, proven – they are just as capable of fidelity, loyalty and responsibility, as heterosexuals, and this despite the unfortunate necessity until recently has been hidden from everyone.  It is very likely that this is exactly the opposite way – by allowing homosexual marriage, society can hope that this will help everyone find a lasting and stable union, as described in Position Paper On Gay Marriage.

Issues relating to children in same-sex marriages, especially when it comes to adoption, are very difficult. But, generally speaking, they may well be separated from issues of marriage as such. In addressing the court about custody and relevant authorities will take into account various factors, just as it is happening now. Homosexual couples may be considered as one such factor (not necessarily decisive).

If we put aside (as it should be a secular state), the objections put forward by any religion, there is the last argument: gay marriage – is unusual. They are unusual, they break with tradition. This is a serious argument. Indeed, we should not force things. Althought it can be wiser to legalize gay marriage through a coordinated policy (as is happening now in Denmark), rather than to make judicial decisions (as may happen in the U.S.). Anyway, it is becoming clear that changes are long overdue. If a society places on marriage some hope, and wants to determine its need through the relationship of people connecting to be together “in wealth and in poverty, in sorrow and joy, it should happen not through the list of outcasts, which it denied.

Same-sex marriage – is a marriage between persons of the same sex. Same-sex marriage should be distinguished from the same-sex civil partnerships and other forms of same-sex unions are legally distinct from marriage, and as well, there are often significant limitations in comparison with the usual marriage. The registration of a marriage establishes the couple of different specificity: the right to joint property, the right to alimony, the right to inheritance, social and health insurance, tax rebates and credits, the right to name, the right not to testify in court against a spouse, the right to act a trustee of behalf of a spouse in the event of his incapacity due to health, the right to dispose of the body in case of death of a spouse, the right to joint parenting and foster care and other rights, which denied unmarried couples, as stated in Frank: Scalia’s legal opinions reveal his homophobia.

Opponents of gay marriage argue that by tradition and religious norms in marriage may enter only a man and a woman, but because the requirements of gays and lesbians to recognize them the same right is absurd, and it is not about equal rights of homosexuals and heterosexuals and homosexuals to provide new unprecedented rights, as described in Marriage a Civil Right, not Sacred Rite. Supporters of same-sex marriage indicate that the registration of marriage is the legal effect, regardless of religious norms (in most modern states the legal and ecclesiastical registration of marriage take place separately), and that the law should follow the social changes that lead to the elimination of inequality between people – as it occurs during the last centuries, when the phase out pre-existing ban on registration of marriages (for example, between spouses who belong to different social strata, religions or races). In this case, they consider the right to marriage through the prism of natural rights, the rights to physical and mental health, equality before the law, as stated in The Trouble with Normal.

From the perspective of anthropology, it is difficult to generalize the meaning of marriage, taking into account the differences that are characteristic to different countries and peoples. Thus, in the scientific works of the experts, there are opinions that define marriage as a union of one or more men with one or more women, recognized by law and generates certain rights and responsibilities of participants. This definition did not include same-sex relationships, which are recognized by society, as marked by more than 30 African nations. In lexicography, the meaning of words may change as the situation evolves. Thus, over the past 10 years in the English-speaking world in the most authoritative dictionaries in the definition of the word marriage has disappeared due to the differentiation by sex or has been added to an article on same-sex unions. The Oxford Dictionary of English concept-sex marriage appeared in 2000. The press is configured negatively toward gay marriage; the word marriage in the use of (“marriage”) was enclosed in quotes. In the U.S., most of the media turned away from this practice. The Associated Press recommends that you use the word “marriage” for gays and lesbians, and admits the form of “gay marriage” only in the headers, without a hyphen or quotation marks, while warning against using this structure, since it creates a sense of legal inequality for gay marriage to opposite-sex ratio, as described in Dictionaries recognize same-sex marriage—who knew?

There is ample evidence showing that children raised by same-sex parents operate just as well as those raised by opposite-sex parents. More than 25 years of research documenting that there is no relationship between parental sexual orientation and any measure of emotional adjustment, psychological and behavioral condition of a child. These data show that there is no risk to children because of being raised in a family with one or more parents – gays. If parents are gay, lesbian or bisexual were inherently less capable than other comparable heterosexual parents, then their children would show problems regardless the type of sample. This pattern has not been demonstrated clearly. Given the consistent failure in the research literature in demonstrating that the null hypothesis is false, the weight of empirical evidence relates to those who argue that children raised by parents belonging to sexual minorities have more problems than children raised by parents heterosexuals. There is no research to support the widespread belief that the gender of the parents is important for the welfare of minorities, as described in Protecting marriage to protect children.

The professor Judith Stacey, University of New York, says: “On rare occasions such a broad consensus exist in any area of social sciences as in the case of families with gay parents, so the American Academy of Pediatrics and all large organizations with experience in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions supporting the rights of gays and lesbians as parents “. These organizations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). The CPA has expressed concern about the fact that some people and institutions are distorting the findings of psychological research to support their positions, based more on other belief systems or values.

Opponents of gay marriage say that children are better off with a father and mother, and that therefore the state should encourage the traditional family model giving a special status. They say that children should be entitled to be reared by a father and a mother and that the government should not support a marriage that cannot offer this. Maggie Gallagher, an opponent of gay marriage, says that marriage is legal in a way of encouraging monogamy and commitment of those who can create children through their sexual union, as stated in Evan Wolfson: Gay Marriage as a Civil Right of Our Times. Some groups believe that children raised by homosexual parents develop preferences also homosexual or bisexual, and who also are more likely to have a relationship with the same sex. Supporters of gay marriage point out that by expanding marriage to LGBT people, the state actually protects the rights of all married couples and, if they do, their children are without discrimination; without any effect on the rights of opposite-sex married couples and their children, biological or adopted.

American Psychiatric Association (APA) held a symposium on the problem of the influence ban same-sex marriage and discrimination against homosexuals in mental health, as stated in the newspaper Psychiatric Times. The reason for discussion was the intention of conservative circles in the U.S. make to the constitution amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco Robert Kertzner, summarizing over 150 studies on the impact of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation on mental health concluded that: “These studies have shown that the practice of discrimination is associated with increased rate of psychiatric morbidity, such as increased rate of depression and anxiety”, as described in More cynical than absurd.

This is confirmed by data collected by psychiatrists Mays and Cochran. They surveyed a representative sample of adults aged 25 – 74 years, includeing both homosexuals and bisexuals (the identity) (n = 73) and heterosexuals (n = 2844). It turned out that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are at greater risk of various mental disorders and the cause is just discrimination. Kertzner noted that the stigmatization of homosexuality, perpetuated by the refusal gays and lesbians, was the right to marry. This, in turn, perpetuates a vicious circle. Because of the inability to legalize their same-sex marriage, couples often have doubts about the degree of mutual obligations in relation to each other, the uncertainty in the recognition of a union family, friends and associates, and, as a result – waiting imminent collapse of such a relationship. On the other hand, such an attitude reinforces the social stereotype that gay men and lesbians are incapable of stable relationships, and therefore they lack the right to marry. Meanwhile, in countries where gay marriage was legalized five years ago (the Netherlands, Canada), the divorce rate among gay couples is not higher than among heterosexuals.

Considering the other factors, in addition to increased risk of mental illness, the ban of the same-sex marriage creates more and more negative social consequences. In most cultures, marriage is the only way to legalize sexual relations. “So, if you cannot be married, no legalization of sexuality, which, in turn, creates problems for lesbians and gay men about self-acceptance and lack of support from family and society,” – says Kertzner. In addition, only married men and women are perceived by society as fully socially mature members. Denying gays and lesbians the opportunity to marry, along with denied the right to recognition of their civic usefulness, it creates a lot of challenges.

Bans on the same-sex marriages also affect children of lesbians and gay men, said Kertzner. “Marriage provides much more stability and order for parents raising children, protects the rights of non-biological parents, and provides a sense of psychological stability for children.” Several million children are brought up by gays and lesbians in the United States. And though studies show that they are not different from children raised by heterosexual parents, the children of same-sex families, however, must struggle with the stigma of having unmarried parents.

Impact on heterosexual marriage. Opponents of legalizing gay marriage scare the dire consequences of this measure for the heterosexual majority. According to Kertznera, there are two facts which refute this prediction. Firstly, in the United States has been a gradual decrease in the percentage of Americans who strongly oppose gay marriage, and a gradual increase in the number of those who support them. Secondly, the legalization of same-sex marriages and civil partnerships in Scandinavia and the Netherlands did not change the pre-existing trends in marriage, divorce, cohabitation or the birth rate and, thus, does not undermine heterosexual marriages.

The marriage between same sex does not necessarily imply that it occurs between two gay people as both (or one) of the parties may identify themselves as bisexual. And in some cases to form couples, heterosexual people marry for economic reasons or other; however, these cases are very rare. The civil marriage between same sex people also allows, of course, transsexual people to marry freely and to maintain the existing marriages even after the legal change of sex. In contrast, transsexuals after sex change and civil recognition of this are considered for all legal purposes, bearing the new sexual identity, and can marry the person of the opposite sex (formerly of the same sex) even in states that do not permit gay marriage, as described in Marriage: Both Civil and Religious.

In recent years, the different religious denominations have been arguing about whether or not to accept the homosexuals and homosexuality, including the debate concerning the celebration of religious marriages between same sex. While in the most organized religions it is restricted, certain Christian churches in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and among other countries, including in Brazil too, bless unions between homosexual partners or partners. Among them are the Metropolitan Community Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association in the United States and United Church of Canada, the Metropolitan Community Church, in Brazil, Church For All, Contemporary Christian Church and New Hope Christian Community.

The same-sex marriage (also called “gay marriage”) is understood to be a registered partnership between same sex people. Colloquially, other forms of registered partnerships are often referred to it, although mostly legally, there is still a considerable distance to the opposite-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages are currently legal in ten countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina. Within the United States, five states legalized same-sex marriage – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire. Many other countries and regions have made same-sex couples in registered partnerships than other forms of recognition available. And as well, they must be differentiated from the unregistered partnerships, as for example in Colombia, Croatia, or regulated by law. In this case, the partners expanded rights to individuals, as given for example in the maintenance or inheritance. There is no registration takes place; it must also find a court before a similar relationship of the partners. Worldwide gay marriage has been a very widely discussed topic and some are therefore anticipating the beginning of the 1990s made constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriages. Because of the conflict, potential of the subject many prefer government registered partnerships on governance, as stated in The effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership laws on the health and well-being of children. Currently, in several countries, highly controversial, has become proposed legislation to introduce the gay marriage.

In June 1989, first registered partnerships have been successfully introduced in Denmark. Prior to that date had already made many states unregistered partnerships available, approval from a registered partnership in Denmark allowed many (particularly European) countries laws, certain forms of partnerships recognized. The country that has voted for the first time for the gay marriage, was the Netherlands in December 2000. Then, the same-sex marriage was allowed in Belgium 2003, Spain and South Africa, Canada 2005 and 2006. Two years later, also led Norway and Sweden. In 2010, it was allowed by Portugal, Iceland and Argentina. Numerous legislative proposals are currently being debated in Parliament deliberations till nowadays. The governments of Luxembourg and Slovenia have agreed to introduce in the coming months a bill to legalize same-sexual marriage in national parliaments.

Legally, the more limited “same-sex partnerships” (civil partnerships or civil unions) are legislated in many countries in Western and Northern Europe (UK, Ireland, Denmark, Greenland, France, Andorra, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia , Austria), as well as in Israel, New Zealand and Australia.  The legal difference between “marriage” and “alliance” is usually negligible. In the near future, several countries in Europe are going to legalize gay marriages. For example, in July 2009 the Government of Luxembourg and Albania unveiled the intention to give legal status to same-sex marriages. Since early 2010, before the Parliament of Slovenia creates new draft Family Code, legalizing same-sex marriages. In March 2010, the bill was approved in first reading by the lower house of parliament of this country. All in all, the facts and the currents trends considering the same sex marriage have to be taken into consideration, as same sex marriage should not be legalized because it would extremely weaken the traditional family values vital to our society.