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Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is marriage between two people of the same sex that is legally and/or socially recognized. These relationships also sometimes include include civil unions, domestic partnerships, and civil partnerships. Same sex marriage has gained some acceptance over the last couple of decades. It has been legalized in several countries. However, it still highly controversial in many countries. Marriage equality is often a hot topic during political campaigns and debates.

14,082 Questions
State Laws
Same-Sex Marriage

Which US States have legalized same-sex marriage?

Effective June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage is legal in all US states and territories, although most states started earlier as follows:

  1. Massachusetts - May 17, 2004
  2. Connecticut - October 10, 2008
  3. Iowa - April 27, 2009
  4. Vermont - September 1, 2009
  5. New Hampshire - January 1, 2010
  6. New York - July 24, 2011
  7. Washington (state) - December 6, 2012
  8. Maine - December 29, 2012
  9. Maryland - January 1, 2013
  10. California - June 28, 2013 (and May 15 - November 4, 2008)
  11. Delaware - July 1, 2013
  12. Rhode Island - August 1, 2013
  13. Minnesota - August 1, 2013
  14. New Jersey - October 21, 2013
  15. Hawaii - December 2, 2013
  16. New Mexico - December 19, 2013 (although some counties started earlier)
  17. Oregon - May 19, 2014
  18. Pennsylvania - May 20, 2014
  19. Illinois - June 1, 2014 (although some counties started earlier)
  20. Utah - October 6, 2014 and December 20, 2013 to January 6, 2013
  21. Wisconsin - October 6, 2014 (and one day on June 6, 2014)
  22. Virginia - October 6, 2014
  23. Oklahoma - October 6, 2014
  24. Indiana - October 7, 2014
  25. Colorado - October 7, 2014
  26. Nevada - October 9, 2014
  27. West Virginia - October 9, 2014
  28. North Carolina - October 10, 2014
  29. Alaska - October 12, 2014
  30. Idaho - October 15, 2014
  31. Arizona - October 17, 2014
  32. Wyoming - October 21, 2014
  33. Missouri - (performed in some counties; recognized in all counties) November 5, 2014
  34. Kansas - (contested by state) November 13, 2014
  35. South Carolina - November 19, 2014
  36. Montana - November 19, 2014
  37. Florida - January 5, 2015
  38. Alabama - February 9, 2015

These non-state US jurisdictions have also legalized same-sex marriage:


  1. Washington DC (District of Columbia) - March 3, 2010
  2. Guam - June 9, 2015
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Marriage
Thailand
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal in Thailand?

Sadly, Gay Marriage is illegal in Thailand.

349350351
Divorce and Marriage Law
New Jersey
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey?

Yes. The state of New Jersey began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on October 21, 2013.

Currently there are also domestic partnerships and civil unions available within New Jersey. A civil union provides more rights than a domestic partnership. People in civil unions have all the same state benefits as married couples, but none of the federal benefits.

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Avril Lavigne
Same-Sex Marriage

Does Avril Lavigne support same-sex marriage?

The most objective answer is that we haven't heard her take a stance on same-sex marriage at all. That's all.

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Divorce and Marriage Law
Same-Sex Marriage

What should you do if your civil partner wants to annul your civil partnership and you do not?

In Western cultures you cannot force a person to stay married to you or to stay in a civil partnership. Your only option is to convince your partner to attend counseling in order to determine the reasons for their desire to leave and determine if the relationship can be saved. Otherwise, your partner is free to go.

The procedure depends on the laws of the state where you want to dissolve the union. If your jurisdiction recognizes civil unions or domestic partnerships then it will have dissolution laws, too. If you were registered in one state and moved to another you will need to check the laws of the state where you are presently domiciled. Keep in mind that state laws regarding civil unions differ and they have different procedures for dissolution. For same sex legally recognized relationships you must check the laws in your jurisdiction.

Some states do not recognize same-sex unions, and therefore will not grant legal dissolutions to such unions.

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Insurance
Same-Sex Marriage

Can you get insurance for a 'significant other'?

Many large companies these days offer insurance for a "significant other" instead of a spouse. Speak to the insurance company directly for this information.

This is possible, but there are some issues to consider: 1) If the employer group is purchasing their health insurance from a carrier, there will likely be state laws and carrier rules to this. Each state regulates the insurance carriers within their state.

2) If this is a large company of 300+ employees, they probably 'self-insure.' This exempts them from state insurance laws and the employer gets to make most of the decisions.

3) WARNING: IF the employer pays any portion of your premium, they are required by federal law to consider the amount of money that they (the employer) pay towards your (the significant other) insurance premiums as taxable income to your boyfriend.

For example, if the employer pays 50% of the cost for dependents and the premium cost for adding you is $300 per month, then the employer pays $150 and your boyfriend will have $150 per month deducted from his pay. But he will also have the income taxes on the $150 the employer contributes deducted, too.

There is a complex reasoning the fed gov't has for requiring this. It has to do with the fact that significant others are not afforded the same tax status as spouses.

Yeah.

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Same-Sex Marriage
Mitt Romney

Is Mitt Romney being realistic when he says marriage is between a man and woman and that is the way it should be and always has been?

yeah,that,s how God intended it to be!

Another opinion:

Using the argument, "This is the way it's always been, and so this is the way it should always be," is an illogical argument. Just because things were done a certain way in the past is NOT a real reason to continue those things. In the past mothers put their babies to sleep on their stomachs, but scientific evidence has shown that this practice leads to higher rates of SIDS. So, now, mothers are encouraged to put their babies to sleep on their backs. Good thing! In the past, if a person showed signs of mental illness, a drill was taken to their skull to let the "bad spirits" out. Things change. Society changes. Marriage is a legal thing that has to go through a court licensing process to be recognized by the government. Then, many people have their religious ceremonies to celebrate the union. The government has no control over the religious aspect of marriage, as our government takes the stance of a separation of church and state. Whether you are a pagan, a Christian, or whatever, you can become married. So, God's opinion on marriage should not play into what the United States of America (or it's individual states) decides concerning marriage.

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US Constitution
Same-Sex Marriage
Bill of Rights

What does the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution have to do with same-sex marriage?

Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The ninth amendment implies that if the right to gay marriage is not mentioned in the constitution, that does not mean it is denied to citizens.

The implication is that since marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution (either directly or indirectly), it cannot be regulated by either the Federal or State governments, and remains an inherent natural right of the citizen.

The current legal reading of the Constitution with respect to marriage is that the 9th Amendment allows for regulation of marriage by the States, but, as of Loving v Virginia (1967), marriage is considered a fundamental right of the people, and thus, any attempts to regulate marriage by the States must pass the Strict Scrutiny test for Constitutionality. The question is whether or not restrictions on same-sex marriage can pass this Strict Scrutiny test which the 9th Amendment requires of the States.

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Same-Sex Marriage

How does same-sex marriage benefit everyone?

Gay marriages tend to have fewer children. Therefore, overpopulation is slightly slowed by having more gay marriages, benefiting everyone.

Gay people in gay marriages statistically tend to be healthier and happier than single gay people. Married gay people provide less strain on health care systems and are more productive than single gay persons statistically.

This last piece is true because gay marriage is crucial for a fully efficient economy. If a whole section of society, gays and lesbians in this case, are left without marriage, then the economy isn't functioning at its peak.

If children are being raised by gay parents, the parents are less likely to separate if they are legally married. Children raised by multiple parents do better in multiple areas than those raised by a single parent.

Allowing gay marriage also provides the image of equality to all people, as well as furthering the idea of equality among all people.

Societal sanctioning of same-sex bonds decreases the likelihood that homosexual men and women are pressured to marry opposite-sex partners - a situation that has been the historical cause of huge levels of distress and misery. People marry because they want to, not because they feel they must.

Gay children of heterosexual parents need not feel alienated or isolated because there is an alternative relationship model available to them.

Cohabitation is more cost-effective, reduces pressure on housing and leads to economic stability.

The main-streaming and normalisation of same-sex relationships could reduce the ghetto-isation of homosexuality that has been a factor in some of the excesses of the gay 'life-stle' and resulting homophobic violence.

An inclusive society benefits all its members. "Civilisation is the encouragement of differences." Gandhi

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Same-Sex Marriage

What are some pros and cons on same-sex marriage?

Opinions from contributors:

Arguments For (Pros)

  1. Denying same sex couples the right to marry is a violation of civil rights because marriage is a legal civil status. It provides homosexual couples with the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.
  2. It standardizes the rules of inheritance in the event that a deceased spouse does not leave a will.
  3. It creates the same responsibilities to spouse and children as does heterosexual marriage.
  4. Marriage benefits (such as joint ownership, medical decision-making capacity) would be available to all couples.
  5. Homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle nowadays with most evidence proving biological causation.
  6. Denying these marriages is a form of discrimination.
  7. It commits the community which grants the marriage license to honoring that relationship.
  8. It doesn't hurt society or anyone in particular.
  9. The only thing that should matter in marriage is love.
  10. The number of child adoptions should increase since gay couples cannot pro-create (although some might see an increase in gay adoptions as an argument against same-sex marriages).
  11. It encourages people to have strong family values and give up high-risk sexual lifestyles.
  12. The same financial benefits that apply to opposite sex marriages would apply to same-sex marriages.
  13. More children would find themselves in a family with married parents since many gay and lesbian couples have children of their own with either gay friends or through in vitro. Many children look forward to when their parents can be married.
  14. Contributes to family stability.
  15. Allows for assignment of distinct household roles, such as breadwinner and caretaker, if desired.
  16. Reduces economic burden of income tax, inheritance tax, real estate transfer tax, etc.
  17. Creates a new family, which takes precedence over both partners' prior families and thereby prevents them from remaining as "children" well into adulthood.
  18. Provides security of knowing that spouses will be acknowledged and treated as one family unit in times of crisis and that their relationship will not need to be proven or explained to others.
  19. It has no effect whatsoever on the institution of marriage since marriage is a civil legal institution.
  20. It strengthens family values by including and welcoming same sex spouses and their children into the community. This has been indicated to lead to less bullying of homosexuals and their children.
  21. There are lower STD rates among married homosexuals than among non-married or cohabiting homosexual couples.
  22. Married homosexual couples on average have more children then non-married homosexual couples. If homosexuals are married, they are more likely to be raising children, thus contributing to the future.
  23. As with heterosexual marriage, same-sex marriage tends to "stabilize" people. Keeping the marriage intact requires forethought, personal responsibility, personal and financial self-discipline, etc.
  24. The spouse of a sick, injured or disabled person is the "first responder" and care-giver, and has the legal authority to deal with doctors, hospitals, care residences, etc. The spouse also becomes eligible for inclusion in the other spouse's medical insurance. The spouse thus provides services that might otherwise be the responsibility of the state.
  25. It automatically grants a spouse the right to make medical decisions in the event that the partner cannot, which saves time and -- potentially -- a life.
  26. The married couple forms an economic unit with joint responsibility for debts. This not only helps to protect the bank or business that holds the debt, it can also help the couple to exercise financial responsibility. And if one partner is not working (or is working as a homemaker and child-raiser) the other person's income can support the household.
  27. In times of emotional stress, partners support and guide each other through difficult decisions. Spouses have the legal authority to assume full responsibility if their partners are disabled or otherwise incapacitated.
  28. Married couples have more resources for raising children, and there is no ambiguity about parental legal authority nor question of gender based parental superiority.
  29. It will boost the economy because of the number of people who will commit.
  30. Allowing it will reaffirm the separation between religion and the state.
  31. Married gay couples have higher average incomes than non-married or cohabiting gay couples.
  32. They can file joint tax returns
  33. Treating people with equality is good for all societies
  34. Marriage makes a stable basis for adopting children
  35. Marriage is a time-honored institution, and gay people deserve the personal dignity and respect to marry the person they love.
Arguments Against (Cons)
  1. Most religions consider homosexuality a sin.
  2. It would weaken the definition and respect for the institution of marriage.
  3. It would further weaken the traditional family values essential to our society.
  4. Many people believe the gay lifestyle is not something to be encouraged.
  5. Both cannot be biological parents of their own children.
  6. Minor reduction in revenues due to additional tax break to homosexual couples in marriages.
  7. Many tax breaks for couples were designed with the idea of relieving burden from a family in mind. However, homosexual couples are less likely to have children then heterosexual couples.
  8. The possibility of same-sex marriage requires social reconsideration of the meaning of "marriage". This is an inherently stressful situation for some people.
  9. Standards for marriage in the United States are generally set by individual states. Currently, opposite-sex marriages in one state are generally honored in all the other states, and by the Federal government. If some states allow and recognize same-sex marriages while other states do not, the legal landscape becomes very confusing. Further, there are now same-sex couples whose marriages have subsequently been threatened by revocation of the laws which permitted them through legislative or judicial action.
  10. Many of the legal rights can be bestowed with civil-unions or designated beneficiaries.
  11. It's a new idea to the rest of the world and gay married couples may experience opposing opinions (discrimination?).
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Barack Obama
Same-Sex Marriage

Does Barack Obama support same-sex marriage?

Yes. On May 9, 2012, President Obama announced that he supports same-sex marriage, three days after Vice President Biden suddenly announced that he was "perfectly comfortable" with marriage equality, and believed that gay men and lesbians should have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals. The president explained that he had "evolved" on the issue, and that his wife and daughters encouraged him to change his view.

President Obama now favors the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because "federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does." In the past, Mr. Obama had stated that he was opposed to same-sex marriage, a view he continued to express when he was campaigning for the presidency in 2008. He had stated previously that his religious belief led him to a traditional view of marriage, that it should be between a man and a woman only. On the other hand, Mr. Obama did support civil unions at that time. It should also be noted that although the president now supports marriage equality, he does not believe religious institutions should be forced to perform ceremonies that run counter to their beliefs. What he supports is civil marriage.

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Yahoo
Compensation and Benefits
Same-Sex Marriage

Does Yahoo Inc offer domestic partner benefits?

Yes, Yahoo offers the same benefits to domestic partners (both same-sex and opposite sex) as it does to spouses.

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Malaysia
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal in Malaysia?

No. In fact, homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia.

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Insurance
Same-Sex Marriage

Do all insurance companies have to offer 'significant other' insurance coverage?

I believe that currently no insurance companies HAVE to extend benefits for partners. That is one of the many issues concerning gay marriage because by legalizing marriage between couples of the same gender, it would give recognition to the spouse. This would therefore require insurance companies to offer insurance coverage for the recognized significant other. However, that's not to say that forward thinking insurance companies don't exist in the United States. Browse websites for insurance companies in your area, many of them will include information on benefits for same-sex couples. For example, my car insurance company (Geico) offers the same discounted insurance rates given to married couples to myself and my significant other. While they may only be seeing the dollar sign and not the politics, it's nice to know there are companies out there that can be ahead of the curve. It is not a legal requirement for any insurer to offer such choices. Insurers are not legally bound to insure anyone and can avoid discrimination laws by the use of the company's definition of who qualifies as insurable. This is one of the reason for so many "redlining" suits and similar litigation. In some state (like California) there are domestic partners laws that do require extension of benefits. There are precise definitions and guidelines that must be followed however. For instance, if a medical insurance policy is issued in CA then they must offer domestic partner coverage. However, if you work for a company headquartered out of CA and the polciy is issued in that state, even though it is insuring individuals in CA it does not have to extend the coverage since the policy was not issued there. �California Insurance Equality Act,� provides additional benefits to the registered domestic partners of employees in California and imposes additional benefit requirements on insurance companies. The law requires all health care service plans and health insurance policies, as well as all other insurance policies regulated by the California Department of Insurance, to provide benefits to registered domestic partners of employees equal to the benefits that are offered to spouses of employees. The law is effective for health care service plans (HMOs) and health insurance policies issued, amended delivered or renewed in California after January 1, 2005, which means the law will be effective for calendar year insured health plans January 1, 2006. However, the law applies to all other insurance policies issued on or after January 1, 2005, so it would apply for the 2005 year for such policies. A.B. 2208 does not apply to self-insured plans or to insurance policies that are not regulated by the California Department of Insurance.

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Same-Sex Marriage

What is a domestic partnership?

its a relationship between two people, that aren't married. Usually domestic partnership is referring to a relationship of homosexuals

Two people that are not married, that have set up a home together. It can be a heterosexual couple (a man and a woman), or it can be a gay or lesbian couple.

Registered domestic partnerships were created to address parties that were living together in a committed relationship but were not legally married. Depending upon the laws governing the partnership, parties could acquire certain rights and benefits by entering into such a partnership agreement. These partnerships are used mostly by municipalities although a few states do have statewide registries. Most commonly used by same-sex couples, a registered partnership is basically a public declaration of the union between the two parties. Some partnerships contain extremely broad language, providing for adoption rights, health benefits and other legal rights normally granted to married couples. Still others however are considerably narrow, acting as nothing more than an acknowledgement of the union with little to no legal rights.

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Catholicism
Same-Sex Marriage

Does the Catholic Church approve of same-sex marriage?

Answer

Absolutely not! Scripture spells out marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Answer

Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is strongly opposed to same sex marriage. Apparently the church (along with many people, such as the first contributor) only has a shallow understanding of the scripture. The parts of the Bible that seem to condemn homosexuality don't. Go to the following page to find out why. I don't feel like writing it all out if it's readily available already somewhere else. See link below:

Catholic AnswerAttached below are some documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when it was headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he was elected to the chair of Peter as Pope Benedict XVI. This reflect orthodox Christian teaching and the doctrine of the Church as it has been held for the entire twenty plus centuries of its existence. In particular the Holy Father noted, in his releases, that all people, including homosexuals are made in the image and likeness of God, and that we are all responsible for our fellow man, and his welfare. Therefore homosexual individuals are to be treated with compassion and respect. However, as with all sin, and all sexual acts that are performed outside of marriage and outside of the dual objectives of God, to further the love between a man and a woman, AND to beget new life - all other sexual activities are sins; and, in particular, homosexual acts are "gravely disordered." Thus the Holy Father is trying to instruct both those who are trying to find a way to deal with their disordered passions, while at the same time those who are dealing with the homosexuals, whether in their family, their neighborhood, friends, or country. The Catholic Church can never condone sin either in the homosexual or in the person dealing with the homosexual. Please see the links below.
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Gay Lesbian and Bisexual
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal?

Same sex marriage is legal in 21 countries as of 2016:

  1. Argentina
  2. Belgium
  3. Brazil
  4. Canada
  5. Denmark
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Iceland
  9. Ireland
  10. Luxembourg
  11. Mexico: only in CH, CA, GR, JA, NA, QR, DF
  12. Netherlands
  13. New Zealand
  14. Norway
  15. Portugal
  16. South Africa
  17. Spain
  18. Sweden
  19. United Kingdom: Only in England and Wales, Scotland, Pitcairn Islands
  20. United States including GU, MP, PR, VI and some tribal jurisdictions
  21. Uruguay

In addition, it is recognized but not performed in 7 countries/jurisdictions:


  1. Colombia
  2. Israel
  3. Malta
  4. Aruba
  5. Curaçao
  6. Sint Maartin
  7. Guernsey, United Kingdom
137138139
Divorce and Marriage Law
State Laws
Missouri
Same-Sex Marriage

Are same-sex civil unions legal in Missouri?

No, civil unions and domestic partnerships are not legally defined in Missouri.

137138139
Panama
Central America
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal in Panama?

No, there is no legal recognition of same-sex unions in Panama, a civil unions bill having been defeated in 2004. In 2014, Panama enacted a law specifically denying recognition to same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

153154155
Divorce and Marriage Law
Delaware
Same-Sex Marriage

Is same-sex marriage legal in Delaware?

Yes. Same-sex marriage is legal in Delaware effective July 1, 2013.

Previously, same-sex couples were able to obtain Civil Unions in Delaware effective January 1, 2012.

153154155
Gay Lesbian and Bisexual
Same-Sex Marriage

Where is same-sex marriage legal?

The following countries have legalized same-sex marriage in all locations:

-The United States of America

-Canada

-Denmark

-Sweden

-Norway

-Iceland

-Finland (The law was signed in 2015, but will not be effective until 2017)

-The Netherlands

-Belgium

-Spain

-South Africa

-Argentina

-Portugal

-Brazil

-England and Wales

-France

-New Zealand

-Uruguay

-Luxembourg

-Scotland

-Ireland

828384
Arkansas
Arkansas Law
Same-Sex Marriage

Are same-sex civil unions legal in Arkansas?

No. There is no specific legal recognition of civil unions, although some heterosexual domestic partnerships are recognized.

142143144
Democratic Party
Same-Sex Marriage

What do Democrats say about same-sex marriage?

Although there are some Democrats who oppose same-sex marriage, most Democrats now support marriage equality.

In 2012, the official Party Platform of the Democratic Party included the legalization of same-sex marriage.

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Australia Law and Legal Issues
Australia Politics and Society
Same-Sex Marriage

Does the Liberal Party of Australia support same-sex marriage?

No. The Liberal Party of Australia does not support same-sex marriage. The Liberal Party, under former PM John Howard, amended the Marriage Act in 2004 to define legal marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. Same-sex couples who marry legally overseas are thus not recognised in Australia. The present Liberal leader, Tony Abbott, opposes same-sex marriage.

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State Laws
Georgia (US State)
Same-Sex Marriage

Are same-sex civil unions legal in Georgia?

No. Civil unions not legal in the US state of Georgia.

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