Home Gay Marriage Quick Facts You Should Know About Gay Marriage

Quick Facts You Should Know About Gay Marriage

Quick Facts You Should Know About Gay Marriage

Quick Facts You Should Know About Gay Marriage

The subject of gay marriage has been highly debated since the topic first surfaced. Even though homosexuality is no longer considered illegal in most western countries today, some still hold reservations about same-sex couples tying the knot. Some opponents argue that allowing gay marriage undermines traditional values while proponents argue that denying them the same rights as heterosexual couples is unjustifiable discrimination. In this article, we will provide quick facts about gay marriage and its current status.

What is Gay Marriage?

Gay marriage refers to the legal or religious union between two individuals of the same sex. It is the equivalent of marriages between opposite sexes and shares the same rights, responsibilities, and benefits.

Historical Background

The rights of same-sex partners were non-existent until Massachusetts became the first state in the US to legalize gay marriage in 2004. In 2005, Spain became the third country to permit same-sex marriage. Other countries to follow suit are Canada, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Belgium, South Africa, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, The United Kingdom, Luxembourg and the Republic of Ireland.

Support for Gay Marriage

According to a poll conducted by Pew Research Centre in 2017, 62% of Americans support gay marriage, that is, the right of same-sex couples to marry, up from 32% support in 2004. Polls by the same agency have also revealed that support is highest among millennials, Democrats, and those with no religious affiliation.

Arguments for Gay Marriage

Proponents of gay marriage advocate for the following;

Equal rights: Supporters believe that homosexuals and lesbians have the same fundamental rights as everyone else and should be allowed to marry.

Discrimination: Many believe that discrimination against same-sex partners is a form of injustice and that it should be put to an end.

Benefits: Married individuals enjoy numerous benefits such as tax breaks, hospital visitation, life insurance, and others. Supporters believe that these benefits should be extended to same-sex partners.

Normalization: Gay marriage advocates argue that it helps to normalize homosexual relationships as they would receive the same recognition and validation as heterosexual couples.

Arguments Against Gay Marriage

Opponents to gay marriage argue against the legal, moral, and religious aspects of it. Here are some of the common arguments against gay marriage.

Traditional marriage: Some believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman and legalizing gay marriage is an attack on long-standing traditional values.

Religious: Opponents argue that activity between a same-sex couple goes against religious scriptures and that religions should not accommodate these practices.

Redefining marriage: Religious opponents often fear that accommodating same-sex marriages would lead to changing the structure of traditional marriage and family, opening doors for further changes and redefinitions.

Children: The argument is that children growing up without a mother or father are at a disadvantage and would not experience a complete family structure if a same-sex couple were their parents.

Legal status of Gay Marriage in the United States

In the United States, the Supreme Court recognized in 2015 that the Constitution allows for same-sex persons to marry. With that decision, same-sex marriage became legal in all fifty states.

The Supreme Court ruling, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, overturned a decision from 2008 where a California court had struck down a portion of the state’s constitution that defined marriage as an opposite-sex union. Other states had civil unions or domestic partnerships available to same-sex couples.

Federal and state legislation

Federal law governing marriage is set in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prohibited the recognition of same-sex relationships for federal benefit purposes. This act was declared unconstitutional in 2013 following the Supreme Court decision in Windsor v. United States where a same-sex widow was denied federal benefits that would have been extended to her had she been in a heterosexual relationship.

As of 2022, same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states and four territories. Gay marriage laws vary by state, and some states allow same-sex marriages, but limit the recognition of same-sex unions performed in other states. For instance, Arkansas bans same-sex marriage in their state’s constitution, but those from counties recognizing gay marriage elsewhere retain the same legal status in Arkansas.

Countries with Legal Recognition of Gay Marriage

As at 2022, 30 countries allow gay marriage. They are;

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, United States of America (all 50 states), Uruguay.


While same-sex marriage is now becoming legal in many countries, the issue remains a highly debated topic. Supporters believe that everyone should have the right to love and marry who they choose, regardless of their gender. It is also important to keep in mind that opponents have valid points of concern such as traditional and religious values, and the family structure. At the end of the day, ongoing discussions that are based on mutual respect and understanding will ultimately decide the direction of gay marriage legalization in many countries.

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 is 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 that 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.