What is Gay Marriage?
• Gay marriage or same-sex marriage is the legal and social recognition that a joining (marriage) between two persons of the same social gender or biological sex takes place.
• Same-sex marriage or gay marriage is a fundamental civil rights, social, moral, political and religious issue in most nations throughout the world.
• Gay marriage, in the United States, is not a federally-recognized institution. The United States’ government places the regulatory or administrative issues (in terms of permitting those of the same sex to marry) in the local government’s hands. Although same-sex or gay marriage are not federally recognized, same-sex couples are permitted to marry in five states and one district—gay marriage is regarded as legal and is recognized in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.) In these specific areas, gay marriages are viewed as regular unions between heterosexual couples; gay marriages, when affirmed in the aforementioned states, receive the same rights and state-level benefits as heterosexual couples.
• Thirty-one states possess constitutional restrictions which limit marriage to one woman and one man. In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage solely as a union between couples of the opposite sex. This definition applies to all federal purposes and allowing for the non-recognition amongst the states.
• Since this time, there have been numerous appeals and Supreme Court rulings to further elucidate the federal sentiment in regards to gay marriage. As of now, each local court system has the ability to legally recognize gay marriage or rule that the union is not permitted.