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Yes/No...? Same-sex marriage

Posted by JacoD on May 21, 2015 at 18:17:01:

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two people of the same sex. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage or the possibility to perform a same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage equality or equal marriage, particularly by supporters.[1][2][3][4][5] The legalization of same-sex marriage is characterized as "redefining marriage" by many opponents.[6][7][8]

Same-sex unions have been recorded in the history of a number of cultures, but marriages or socially-accepted unions between same-sex partners were rare or nonexistent in other cultures. The first laws enabling same-sex marriage in modern times were enacted during the first decade of the 21st century. As of 1 January 2015, seventeen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark,[nb 1] France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,[nb 2] New Zealand,[nb 3] Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom[nb 4] and Uruguay) and certain sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and most states of the United States) allow same-sex couples to marry. The laws in Slovenia and Finland are expected to take effect in 2015 and on 1 March 2017, respectively. Polls show rising support for legally recognizing same-sex marriage in the Americas, most of Europe and East Asia.[9][not in citation given]

Marriage open to same-sex couples

Recognized when performed in certain other jurisdictions

Government/court legalized or announced intention to legalize marriage

Federal recognition of marriages at the state level

Civil unions*

Unregistered cohabitation

Government/court legalized or announced intention to legalize civil unions

Same-sex unions not legally recognized

Colors higher in the list override those lower down.
rings = individual cases
Introduction of same-sex marriage laws has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through a legislative change to marriage laws, a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or by direct popular vote (via a ballot initiative or a referendum). The recognition of same-sex marriage is a political, social, human rights and civil rights issue, as well as a religious issue in many nations and around the world, and debates continue to arise over whether same-sex couples should be allowed marriage, or instead be allowed to hold a different status (a civil union), or be denied such rights.[10][11][12] Same-sex marriage can provide same-sex couples who pay their taxes with government services and make financial demands on them comparable to those afforded to and required of opposite-sex married couples. Same-sex marriage also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.[13]

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.[14][15][16][17][18] 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.[19] The American Anthropological Association avers that social science research does not support the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon not recognizing same-sex marriage.[20]

Same-sex marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Various faith communities around the world support allowing same-sex couples to marry or conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies; for example: Buddhism in Australia,[21] Church of Sweden,[22] U.S. Episcopalians, Native American religions with a two-spirit tradition, Druids, the Metropolitan Community Church, Quakers, some branches of Judaism,[nb 5] Unitarian Universalists, the United Church of Canada,[23] the United Church of Christ, and Wiccans.


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