|Legal recognition of|
|Recognized in some regions|
|Foreign marriages recognized|
|Civil unions and|
|Recognized in some regions|
|Same-sex marriage debated,|
|Entering into marriage|
|Prenuptial agreement · Marriage|
|Legal states similar to marriage|
|Cohabitation · Civil union|
|Dissolution of marriage|
|Annulment · Divorce · Alimony|
|Issues affecting children|
|Paternity · Legitimacy · Adoption|
|Legal guardian · Ward|
|Emancipation of minors · Foster care|
|Child Protective Services|
|Contact (including Visitation)|
|Residence in English law|
|Custody · Child support|
|Areas of possible legal concern|
|Spousal abuse · Child abuse|
|Child abduction · Child marriage|
|Adultery · Bigamy · Incest|
|Conflict of Laws Issues|
|Marriage · Nullity · Divorce|
Same-sex marriage (also referred to as "gay marriage") is a term for a governmentally, socially, or religiously recognized marriage between two people of the same sex. There is continued debate in the Brazilian legislative and judicial branches about the legal status of same-sex couples (ʁiu ˈgɾɐ̃de do ˈsuɫ lit "Large River of the South" is the southernmost State of Brazil, and the State with the fourth highest Human Development Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Civil unions in Quebec: Pursuant to a range of activism and to the M Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza is one of Mexico 's 31 component states. Mexico City (in Spanish: Ciudad de México, México DF, México or simply Méjico) is the Capital city of Mexico A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. A California domestic partnership is a legal relationship available to same-sex couples and to certain opposite-sex couples in which at least one party is at least 62 years Washington DC, has recognized domestic partnerships since June 11, 1992, when the Health Benefits Expansion Act DC Law 9-114 was passed allowing In April 2004 the Maine Legislature passed a bill to establish Domestic Partnerships. Civil unions in New Hampshire are permitted under state law between unrelated same-sex individuals and are intended to provide the same "'rights responsibilities and obligations' In April and May 2007 following a previous attempt in 2005 the Oregon state legislature passed legislation to make virtually all of the rights afforded to married couples available The State Registered Domestic Partners Registry (SRDP was created on April 10, 2007, by the Washington Legislature. There is continued debate in the Brazilian legislative and judicial branches about the legal status of same-sex couples Croatia has allowed unregistered Cohabitation for same-sex couples since 2003 Israel has granted unregistered Cohabitation for Same-sex couples since 1994, in the form of Common-law marriage, a status Civil unions in Portugal were introduced for opposite-sex couples in 1 July 1999 and extended to same-sex couples by the act of 15 March Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent There is continued debate in the Brazilian legislative and judicial branches about the legal status of same-sex couples Gay Civil unions are not legal in Costa Rica; however the issue is being considered by the Legislative Assembly. Croatia has allowed unregistered Cohabitation for same-sex couples since 2003 Cuban law does not currently recognize same-sex relationships and the Cuban Constitution reserves marriage only for men and women Age of consent Homosexuality has been legal in the Faroe Islands since 1933 when it was decriminalized in Denmark Currently the British Crown dependency of Jersey has no legislation recognising same-sex civil partnerships The pressure group Progress In December 2005, Latvia became the third member state of European Union (after Poland and Lithuania) to constitutionally define marriage as In December 2001 the FLay (a local organisation and a local political party (Freie Liste worked on a draft for a same-sex partnership law Same-sex marriages are not legal in Lithuania, with the Civil Code defining Marriage as a voluntary agreement between a man and a woman Romania does not recognise same-sex unions either in the form of same-sex marriage or civil unions Slovakia, unlike its liberal counterpart Czech Republic, is more conservative on issues dealing with Homosexuality. In 2003 the Executive branch of the Republic of China government ( Executive Yuan) proposed legislation granting marriages to same-sex couples under the Same-sex marriage, also referred to as gay marriage, is a Marriage between two persons of the same sex Same-sex marriage in the US state of Iowa was allowed for a short time from August 30 to August 31, 2007, Although Illinois does not currently have a civil union law the 2005 Illinois Policy Survey (conducted by Northern Illinois University) revealed that 31% of residents supported Same-sex marriages are not performed in the state of New Mexico, which also does not provide Civil unions or Domestic partnerships New Mexico Same-sex marriage cannot legally be performed in New York. While one intermediate appellate court in New York has held that the state must recognize foreign same-sex Same-sex marriages cannot currently be performed under the laws of the state of Rhode Island. The Czech Republic is considered to be one of the most liberal Central Europe countries Same-sex marriage is not legal in France. As of 2006, one Same-sex marriage ceremony has been conducted in France and was declared void Registered partnerships for Gay and Lesbian couples were introduced in Iceland in 1996. New Zealand does not allow same-sex marriage proper but allows Civil unions that provide virtually all the rights and responsibilities of Marriage but there The Portuguese civil code currently bans same-sex marriage but civil unions have been legal since 2001 Same-sex marriage is not legal in Sweden due to a 1987 law that defines marriage between one man and one woman but Civil unions are offered permitting the benefits Different laws and procedures apply to marriage in the different countries of the United Kingdom. Same-sex marriage, also referred to as gay marriage, is a Marriage between two persons of the same sex Washington DC, has recognized domestic partnerships since June 11, 1992, when the Health Benefits Expansion Act DC Law 9-114 was passed allowing In April 2004 the Maine Legislature passed a bill to establish Domestic Partnerships. LGBT rights in New Hampshire refers to the Civil rights specifically relating to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals In April and May 2007 following a previous attempt in 2005 the Oregon state legislature passed legislation to make virtually all of the rights afforded to married couples available Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Washington state The Washington Supreme Court would have made Washington the second U A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. Registered partnership is one of several terms synonymous with a Civil union or Civil partnership similar to Marriage, typically created in order to provide A domestic partnership is a legal or Personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by a traditional A timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage and legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide in modern history followed by a timeline of notable same-sex marriages and unions Family law is an area of the Law that deals with family-related issues and Domestic relations including but not limited to the nature of A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a Contract entered NOTICE TO WOULD-BE ROMEOS ************** Common-law marriage (or Common law marriage) sometimes called de facto marriage, informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute Cohabitation is when people live together in an emotionally- and/or physically- Intimate relationship. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. A domestic partnership is a legal or Personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by a traditional Registered partnership is one of several terms synonymous with a Civil union or Civil partnership similar to Marriage, typically created in order to provide A putative marriage is an apparently valid Marriage, entered into in Good faith on the part of at least one of the partners but that is legally invalid due to Annulment in the Catholic Church See also Annulment (Catholic Church In the Roman Catholic Church, a marriage is considered to be a valid contract Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the termination of a Marriage. Alimony, maintenance or spousal support is an obligation established by Law in many countries that is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute In law Paternity is the legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a man and a child usually based on several factors In Common law, legitimacy is the status of a Child that is born to parents who are legally married to one another or that is born shortly after the Adoption is the act of legally placing a child with a Parent or parents other than those to whom they were born A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty to care for the personal and Property interests of another person called a ward In Law, a ward is someone placed under the protection of a Legal guardian. Emancipation of minors is a legal mechanism by which a child is freed from control by their parent(s/guardian(s and the parent(s/guardian(s is/are freed from any and all responsibility Foster care is a system by which a certified stand-in "parent(s" cares for minor Children or young peoples who have been removed from their birth parents Child Protective Services (CPS is the name of a Governmental agency in many states of the United States that responds to reports of Child abuse In the states of the European Union and elsewhere parental responsibility refers to the rights and privileges which underpin the relationship between a In Family law, contact (or in the United States, visitation) is one of the general terms which denotes the level of contact a parent or other significant Residence is a term used to refer to not always similar concepts in various parts of English law including taxation immigration and family law Child custody and '''guardianship''' are Legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a Parent and his In family law and government policy child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse or spousal abuse) occurs when a family member partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate Child abuse is the physical, psychological or sexual maltreatment of children Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a Child (or Baby) by an older person Child marriage usually refers to two separate social phenomena which are practiced in some societies Adultery is the voluntary Sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her Spouse, though in many places it is The term polygamy (a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriage" is used in related ways in Social anthropology, Sociobiology, and Incest refers to any sexual activity between closely related persons (often within the immediate family that is illegal or socially Taboo. Conflict of laws (or private international law) is that branch of International law and intranational interstate law that regulates all Lawsuits involving In Conflict of laws, the issue of Marriage has assumed increasing public policy significance in a world of increasing multi-ethnic multi-cultural Community In Conflict of Laws, the issue of nullity (known as Annulment in the United States) in Family Law inspires a wide response among the laws In modern Society, the role of marriage and its termination through Divorce have become political issues For the government of parliamentary systems see Executive (government. Definition In the absence of agreement about its meaning the term "social" is used in many different senses referring among other things to attitudes A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos NOTICE TO WOULD-BE ROMEOS ************** Same-sex marriage and gay marriage are the most common terms used in news media and politics. Other terms used are included below.
Proponents of same-sex marriage often use the term "equal marriage" to stress that they seek equality as opposed to special rights; the term "equal marriage" has also been used by feminists to describe any marriage, regardless of the sex of the partners, in which the partners have equal status within the marriage.  Opponents argue that equating same-sex and opposite-sex marriage changes the meaning of marriage and its traditions.  Some opponents use the term "homosexual marriage," and surveys have suggested that the word "homosexual" is more stigmatizing than the word "gay. " Some publications that oppose same-sex marriage put the word marriage in scare quotes when referring to it. Scare quotes is a general term for Quotation marks used for purposes other than to identify a direct quotation One notable publication that practices this is The Washington Times. The Washington Times is a daily Broadsheet Newspaper published in Washington D Cliff Kincaid, a writer for the conservative American media watchdog group Accuracy in Media, agrees with this method, arguing that "marriage" is a word that same-sex couples merely want to apply to themselves, but have no legal ability to do so in most states. Accuracy In Media ( AIM) is an American organization which monitors the News media in the United States. Accuracy In Media ( AIM) is an American organization which monitors the News media in the United States.  Same-sex marriage supporters argue that it is editorializing and implying inferiority, and point out that the quotes are even used when referring to same-sex marriages in locations where such unions are legal. 
Some have suggested reserving the word "marriage" for religious contexts, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, for instance, wrote that such an arrangement would "strengthen the wall of separation between church and state by placing a sacred institution entirely in the hands of the church while placing a secular institution under state control. Harvard Law School (also known as Harvard Law or HLS) is one of the professional Graduate schools of Harvard University. Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American Lawyer, Jurist, and political commentator. " Marriage proponents find such a suggestion impractical. "Why do we suddenly have to throw out the entire system, invent some whole new thing, just because gay people want to get married?," asks Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry. Evan Wolfson (born February 4 1957 is a prominent American civil rights attorney and advocate Freedom to Marry, is a national non-profit organization founded in New York City in 2002 "I don’t actually see Alan Dershowitz doing anything about this, other than writing an article, because he probably rightly understands it would be an immense project to go around the country and convince 200 million plus people to trade in their marriage for something new and explain why we are doing this when we actually have a legal system that already clearly distinguishes between civil and religious marriage. " Conservative critics like National Review's Jennifer Morse contend that the conflation of marriage with contractual agreements is itself a threat to marriage that "has undermined more heterosexual marriages than anything, with the possible exception of adultery. National Review ( NR) is a biweekly Magazine and Web site, founded by the late author William F Dr Jennifer Roback Morse PhD is the President and Founder of the Ruth Institute a non-profit organization for the promotion of marriage " However, in the case of one state in which same-sex marriages are recognized, Massachusetts, there is a long history of marriage being regarded as purely a civil institution, as illustrated in Governor William Bradford's history Of Plymouth Plantation:
May 12 was the first marriage in this place [i. William Bradford is the name of William Bradford (Plymouth governor (1590–1657 William Bradford (Plymouth soldier (1624–1703 Written over a period of years by the leader of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation is the single e. , Plymouth] which, according to the laudable custom of the Low Countries, in which they had lived, was thought most requisite to be performed by the magistrate, as being a civil thing, upon which many questions about inheritances do depend, with other things most proper to their cognizance and most consonant to the Scriptures (Ruth iv) and nowhere found in the Gospel to be laid on the ministers as a part of their office. 
There is evidence that same sex unions have occurred since the beginning of recorded history in Egypt, China, Greece, Rome and Japan. See also History of human sexuality See also Timeline of same-sex marriage Although state-recognized same-sex marriage is a relatively new phenomenon in  Famous lovers include the Egyptian couple Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum and the Greek couple Harmodius and Aristogiton. Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were ancient Egyptian royal servants Harmodius (Ἁρμόδιος / Harmódios) and Aristogeiton (Ἀριστογείτων / Aristogeítôn) both d The first recorded use of the word "marriage" for same-sex couples occurs during the Roman Empire. A number of marriages are recorded to have taken place during this period.  The rise of Christianity changed attitudes to same-sex unions and led to the persecution of gays. In the year 342, the Christian emperors Constantius and Constans declared same-sex marriage to be illegal. Constantius may refer to Constantius Chlorus, Roman emperor 305–306 Constantius II, Roman emperor 337–361 Constantius Flavius Julius Constans (320-350 was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 337 to 350  In the year 390, the Christian emperors Valentinian II, Theodoisus and Arcadius declared homosexual sex to be illegal and those who were guilty of it were condemned to be publicly burned alive. Flavius Valentinianus Junior (371 – 15 May 392) known usually by his Anglicised name Valentinian II, was a Roman Emperor Flavius Arcadius (377/378&ndash May 1, 408) was Byzantine Emperor in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire from 395 until his death 
Marriage, as defined by the civil law, is currently available to same-sex couples in six countries. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001. The Netherlands has allowed Same-sex marriage since 1 April 2001, the first nation in the world to do so Same-sex marriages are also legal in Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa and Spain. On January 30, 2003, Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognise Same-sex marriage, with some restrictions On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act. Same-sex marriage became legal in South Africa on 30 November 2006 when the Civil Unions Bill was enacted after having been passed Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005 In 2004 the nation's newly elected Socialist government led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Massachusetts was the first state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses.  This was the result of a 4 to 3 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Goodridge v. Department of Health, which found that the state constitution required same-sex couples be granted marriage licenses under the "common benefits" clause,. In Massachusetts, while there were initial efforts to limit the decision legislatively or pass a state constitutional amendment reversing the decision, ultimately marriage licenses began to be issued to same-sex couples. These couples enjoy all the benefits of opposite-sex couples under Massachusetts state law, including the right to inherit, sue for loss of consortium, and coverage under state insurance laws. These benefits do not, however, extend to matters controlled by federal law, such as the ability to file a joint income tax return or assert a claim as a dependent spouse under Social Security. This is due to the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress in 1996, which Act states, "`In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a Federal law of the United States passed on September 21 1996 as Public Law No '
On 15 May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional. Events 1252 - Pope Innocent IV issues the Papal bull Ad exstirpanda, which authorizes but also limits the 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Citing a 1948 California Supreme Court decision that reversed a ban on interracial marriages, the Republican-dominated California Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling penned by Chief Justice Ronald George, struck down California's 1977 one-man, one-woman marriage law and a similar statute passed by initiative in 2000. Ronald Marc George (born March 11, 1940) is the current and 27th Chief Justice of California, where he heads the Supreme Court of California The ruling was not to take effect for 30 days, during which time appeals and motions could be filed. However, in a one-page Resolution, the California Supreme Court on June 4, 2008 forthwith denied all petitions for rehearing and to reconsider the May 15 ruling, as it removed the final obstacle to same-sex marriages starting on June 16. Events 781 BC - The first historic Solar eclipse is recorded in China. Events 1487 - Battle of Stoke Field, the last dying breath of the Wars of the Roses. It further rejected moves to delay enforcement of the decision until after the November election, when voters will decide whether to reinstate a ban on same-sex nuptials. Chief Justice Ronald George and Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar and Carlos Moreno, voted for the resolution, while dissenting or voting to reconsider the judgment, were Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan. The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English The judgment stated: “The decision filed on May 15, 2008, will become final on June 16, 2008, at 5 p. m. ” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that marriages would be held “5:01” on June 16. Gavin Christopher Newsom (born October 10 1967 is the current mayor of San Francisco. 
However, in November there will be a constitutional amendment on the ballot in California to define marriage as between a man and woman and effectively annul the decision. 
On August 31, 2007, Iowa Judge Robert Hanson ruled a law defining marriage as a union only between one man and one woman as unconstitutional. Events 1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora becomes ill dying suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the Throne Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The State of Iowa ( is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. A judge, or justice, is an Official who presides over a Court of law Robert Hanson (or Hansen or Hanssen) may refer to Robert Hanson (Air Forces (1920-2005 American Army flier Robert M  There was later a stay issued (a court order requiring that a party refrain from a certain action until the court has time to consider a matter). The issue is now before the Iowa Supreme Court. The Iowa Supreme Court is the constitutional head of the judicial branch of the state of Iowa.
While Massachusetts is the only state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and California will soon join it, several other states—including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state, as well as Washington, D.C.—offer civil unions or domestic partnerships, which grant same-sex couples some or all of the same rights under state law granted to married couples. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The State of Hawaii ( or həˈwaɪʔiː Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) is a state in the United States located on an Archipelago in the The State of Maine ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean New Hampshire ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Vermont ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island recognize foreign marriage licenses, but do not grant them or any other form of same-sex relationship recognition. New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States Twenty-six states have amended their constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, with the language varying as to what legal rights, other than marriage, can be extended to same-sex couples. 
A New York appellate court ruled on February 1, 2008 that same-sex marriages performed outside state must be recognized as valid within the state. Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common However, same-sex couples are not permitted to wed in New York. 
At the federal level, Australia bans recognition of same-sex marriage, but the current federal Australian Labor Party government favours synchronised state and territory registered partnership legislation (as in Tasmania) although the Australian Capital Territory favours the introduction of civil unions with official ceremonies. Registered partnership is one of several terms synonymous with a Civil union or Civil partnership similar to Marriage, typically created in order to provide Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass } The Australian Capital Territory (ACT is the Capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. By stark contrast, same-sex marriage in Canada was preserved when a proposed repeal bill failed at its first reading in 2006, while New Zealand's Parliament similarly heavily defeated a private members bill that would have prohibited same-sex marriage in New Zealand in December 2005. On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island New Zealand does not allow same-sex marriage proper but allows Civil unions that provide virtually all the rights and responsibilities of Marriage but there PortalCurrent events News collections and sources See WikipediaNews collections and sources. However, as far as current jurisprudence goes, New Zealand's Marriage Act 1955 still recognises only opposite-sex couples as marriageable (although it has also included transsexuals who have undergone reassignment surgery as the 'opposite sex' for these purposes, since Family Court and High Court of New Zealand decisions in 1995. Jurisprudence is the Theory and Philosophy of Law. Scholars of jurisprudence or legal philosophers hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature Transsexualism is a condition in which a person identifies with a physical Sex different from the one with which they were born Sex reassignment surgery (SRS gender reassignment surgery, or sex-change operation is a term for the Surgical procedures by which a person's physical The High Court of New Zealand was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court until 1980 Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995
Israel's High Court of Justice ruled to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries, although it is still illegal to perform them within the country. Same-sex marriage in Israel is currently unlikely since all marriages in Israel are performed under the auspices of the religious authority of the religion to which the couple belongs A bill was raised in Knesset to rescind the Israeli High Court's ruling, but the Knesset has not advanced the bill since December 2006. For Beit Knesset a Jewish Place of worship, see Synagogue. The Knesset (כנסת lit Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. (This makes the practice of same-sex marriage, as far as Israel is concerned, like the performance of a Reform or Conservative Jewish wedding. )
Canada and Spain are the only countries where the legal status of same-sex marriage is exactly the same as that of opposite-sex marriage, though South Africa is due to fully harmonize its marriage laws. On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act. Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005 In 2004 the nation's newly elected Socialist government led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Same-sex marriage became legal in South Africa on 30 November 2006 when the Civil Unions Bill was enacted after having been passed Other nations all have requirements or restrictions that apply to same-sex marriage that do not apply to opposite-sex marriage.
The first same-sex union in modern history with government recognition was obtained in Denmark in 1989. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe Year 1989 ( MCMLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar)
Civil unions, civil partnership, domestic partnership, unregistered partnership/unregistered co-habitation or registered partnerships offer varying amounts of the benefits of marriage and are available in: Andorra, Australia (except Commonwealth law), Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary (unregistered co-habitation since 1996; registered partnership from 2009), Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. A domestic partnership is a legal or Personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by a traditional Registered partnership is one of several terms synonymous with a Civil union or Civil partnership similar to Marriage, typically created in order to provide Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra ( Catalan: Principat d'Andorra) is a small Landlocked country in western For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. This article describes the federal government of Australia See Australian governments for other jurisdictions Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. Croatia (Hrvatska ˈxȓvatska officially the Republic of Croatia ( Republika Hrvatska) is a southern Central European country at the crossroads between The Czech Republic ( ˈt͡ʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka short form in Česko ˈt͡ʃɛskɔ also called Czechia, The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Hungary (Magyarország 'mɔɟɔrorsaːg) officially in English the Republic of Hungary ( Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian Republic Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Luxembourg (Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg Grand-Duché de Luxembourg Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small Landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a Country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Uruguay.(official full name in República Oriental del Uruguay;, Oriental Republic of Uruguay) is a country located in the southeastern part of South America They are also available in some parts of Argentina, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Mexico (Federal District and Coahuila), the U.S. states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia (Washington, D. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld (ʁiu ˈgɾɐ̃de do ˈsuɫ lit "Large River of the South" is the southernmost State of Brazil, and the State with the fourth highest Human Development The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The State of Hawaii ( or həˈwaɪʔiː Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) is a state in the United States located on an Archipelago in the The State of Maine ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean New Hampshire ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Vermont ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D C. ).
In the United Kingdom, civil partnerships have identical legal status to a marriage, and partners gain all the same benefits and associated legal rights; ranging from tax exemptions and joint property rights, to next-of-kin status and shared parenting responsibilities. Amsterdam (pronounced) is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west The Netherlands has allowed Same-sex marriage since 1 April 2001, the first nation in the world to do so The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands Next of kin is the term used to describe a person's closest living blood relative or Relatives. Partnership ceremonies are performed by a marriage registrar in exactly the same manner as a secular civil marriage. Secularity ( adjective form secular) is the state of being separate from Religion. Civil marriage or secular marriage is a Marriage which is performed by a government official and not a religious organization Civil unions in New Zealand are identical to British civil partnerships in their association with equivalent spousal rights and responsibilities to fully-fledged opposite-sex marriage.
Australia provides under all states, territories and two council areas either a registry system provided in; - Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Victoria; or Unregistered partnership provided in; Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, Norfolk Island, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 Melbourne ( is the second most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 3 Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the center of the mainland continent as well as the central northern regions Norfolk Island ( Norfuk: Norfuk Ailen) is a small inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. } The Australian Capital Territory (ACT is the Capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory However, Commonwealth law provisions and statutes prohibit the recognition of civil unions, civil partnerships and same-gender marriages; fifty-eight (58) Legislative Acts of the Commonwealth use the phrase 'member of the opposite sex'. However, Commonwealth law still recognises same-sex partner under "interdependancy relationship" for anti-terrorism legislation, migration of same-sex partner, private superannuation schemes and Federal military and ADF services only.  In 2007 Grace Abrams and Fiona Power became Australia's first legally recognised same sex married couple  after Grace Abrams had gender modification surgery and was later officially granted a passport with female status.
A registered partnership in Scandinavia is nearly equal to marriage, including legal adoption rights in Sweden and, since June, in Iceland as well. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005 In 2004 the nation's newly elected Socialist government led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Registered partnership is one of several terms synonymous with a Civil union or Civil partnership similar to Marriage, typically created in order to provide Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well These partnership laws are short laws that state that wherever the word "marriage" appears in the country's law will now also be construed to mean "registered partnership" and wherever the word "spouse" appears will now also be construed to mean "registered partner" - thereby transferring the body of marriage laws onto same-sex couples in registered partnerships. In these countries, registered partnerships are generally called marriage in daily speech.
In some countries with legal recognition the actual benefits are minimal. Many people consider civil unions, even those which grant equal rights, inadequate, as they create a separate status, and think they should be replaced by gender-neutral marriage. 
The terms of employment of the staff of international organizations (not businesses) are not, in most cases, governed by the laws of the country in which their offices are located. International Organization is a peer-reviewed Academic journal that covers the entire field of International affairs. Agreements with the host country safeguard these organizations' impartiality with regard to the host and member countries. Hiring and firing practices, working hours and environment, holiday time, pension plans, health insurance and life insurance, salaries, expatriation benefits and general conditions of employment are managed according to rules and regulations proper to each organization. Recruitment refers to the process of sourcing screening and selecting people for a job at an Organization or firm or for a vacancy in a volunteer-based organization Firing refers to a decision made by an Employer to terminate employment. Working time refers to the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor Lists of holidays The words holiday or vacation have related meanings in different English-speaking countries and continents but will usually refer to one of A pension is a steady income given to a person upon Retirement, typically in the form of a guaranteed annuity. The term health insurance is generally used to describe a form of Insurance that pays for medical expenses Life insurance or life assurance is a contract between the policy owner and the insurer, where the insurer agrees to pay a sum of money upon the occurrence of the A salary is a form of periodic payment from an Employer to an Employee, which may be specified in an Employment contract. The independence of these organizations gives them the freedom to implement human resource policies which are even contrary to the laws of their host and member countries. A person who is otherwise eligible for employment in Belgium may not become an employee of NATO unless he or she is a citizen of a NATO member state. The North Atlantic Treaty  The World Health Organization has recently banned the recruitment of cigarette smokers.  Agencies of the United Nations coordinate some human resource policies amongst themselves. The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security
Despite their relative independence, few organizations currently recognise same-sex partnerships without condition. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the agencies of the United Nations voluntarily discriminate between opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages, as well as discriminating between employees on the basis of nationality. The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security Unlike most discrimination policies discrimination between, which is the discernment of qualities and recognition of the differences focused here discrimination against is These organizations recognize same-sex marriages only if the country of citizenship of the employees in question recognizes the marriage. In some cases, these organizations do offer a limited selection of the benefits normally provided to opposite-sex married couples to de facto partners or domestic partners of their staff, but even individuals who have entered into an opposite-sex civil union in their home country are not guaranteed full recognition of this union in all organizations. A domestic partnership is a legal or Personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by a traditional A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. However, the World Bank does recognize domestic partners. The World Bank is an internationally supported Bank that provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries for development programs (e 
In the United Kingdom, the government is reported to have anticipated demand for same-sex civil partnerships as being around 11,000 to 22,000 by 2010. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located For the film see 2010 The Year We Make Contact. For the book see 2010 Odyssey Two. However, this appears to have been an underestimate; as of December 2006 some 15,657 such partnerships had been registered in around 9 months. 
When sex is defined legally, it may be defined by any one of several criteria: the XY sex-determination system, the type of gonads, or the type of external sexual features. Transsexual people are those who establish a permanent identity with the Gender opposite to that which they were assigned at birth The XY sex-determination system is the Sex-determination system found in Humans most other Mammals some insects ( Drosophila) and some The gonad is the organ that makes Gametes The gonads in males are the Testes and the gonads in Females are the Ovaries. By all of these definitions both transsexuals and intersexed individuals are legally categorized into confusing gray areas, and could be prohibited from marrying partners of the "opposite" sex or permitted to marry partners of the "same" sex due to arbitrary legal distinctions. Transsexualism is a condition in which a person identifies with a physical Sex different from the one with which they were born Intersexuality is the state of a living thing of a gonochoristic species whose Sex chromosomes, Genitalia, and/or Secondary sex characteristics This could result in long-term marriages, as well as recent same-sex marriages, being overturned.
An example of the problem with chromosomal definition would be a woman with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS), who would have a 46,XY karyotype, which is typically male. Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS also referred to as androgen resistance syndrome, is a set of disorders of Sexual differentiation caused by Mutations Although she may have been legally registered as female on her birth certificate, been raised as a female her entire life, have engaged in heterosexual female relationships, and may even have married before the status of her condition was known, using the chromosomal definition of sex could prevent or annul the marriage of a woman with this condition to a man, and similarly allow her to legally marry another woman. These same issues were faced by the IOC to determine who qualified as a female for the women's competitions. 
The problems of defining gender by the existence/non-existence of gonads or certain sexual features is complicated by the existence of surgical methods to alter these features. Sex reassignment surgery (SRS gender reassignment surgery, or sex-change operation is a term for the Surgical procedures by which a person's physical Although it has not been exhaustively stated by a court, it is possible that a court could find that if a person has their gonads removed (not limited to a sex-change but also for medical disorder, such as testicular cancer or removing sexual ambiguity), they would enter a sexual limbo status and fail to meet either set of criteria, thus excluding them from any allowance to marriage. Testicular cancer is Cancer that develops in the Testicles a part of the Male reproductive system Intersexuality is the state of a living thing of a gonochoristic species whose Sex chromosomes, Genitalia, and/or Secondary sex characteristics This situation could easily occur through exclusionary findings by separate courts in a state that already does not recognize transsexual marriages to people of the same sex as their birth-sex, as in the case of Linda Kantaras vs. Michael Kantaras. Basing the distinction on genital appearance is complicated by available surgery converting typically male genitalia to typically female genitalia, which has advanced to the point where, even were a genital inspection necessary, many transgendered women would pass this inspection without question. Sex reassignment surgery from male to female involves reshaping the Male genitals into a form with the appearance of and as far as possible the function of
Requiring a surgical reassignment for definition of gender for the purpose of declaring a marriage valid comes with further problems. The female-to-male sex reassignment surgery is expensive and does not provide results as satisfactory as its counterpart; therefore many female-to-male transsexuals choose not to undergo this procedure. Sex reassignment surgery from female to male includes surgical procedures that will reshape a female body into a body with a male appearance In a situation where genitalia legally defines gender and same-sex marriage is not permitted, the transsexual man would therefore only be allowed to legally marry another man if he wished to marry.
These complications are probably more likely than one would think at first glance; according to the highest estimates (Fausto-Sterling et al. , 2000) perhaps 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity, and between 0. Childbirth (also called labour, birth, partus or parturition) is the culmination of a Human Pregnancy or 1% and 0. 2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including sometimes involuntary surgery to address their sexual ambiguity. Surgery (from the χειρουργική cheirourgikē, via chirurgiae meaning "hand work" is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental 
In any legal jurisdiction where marriages are defined without distinction of a requirement of a male and female, these complications do not occur, and some legal jurisdictions may recognize a legal and official change of gender, which would allow one to satisfy the requirement of either "male" or "female" according to their gender-identity within their legal definition of marriage. Although some legal jurisdictions continue to only recognize the "immutable traits determined at birth. " (Linda Kantaras vs. Michael Kantaras)
In the United Kingdom, recent legislation allows transsexual persons to be officially recognized in their new gender, but this has the effect of annulling any previous marriage. However the couple will now be able to register a civil partnership, to come into force immediately upon the dissolution of their marriage
In countries with legal systems based on the Napoleonic codes, being legally recognized as one's transitioned gender may require conditions of infertility, where if a transsexual were ever found to have had a child, it would result in a reversal of a legal sex change and spontaneous annulment of the marriage if that country does not recognize same-sex marriages. The Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally called the Code civil des Français) is the French Civil code, established under
In the United States, transsexual and intersexual marriages typically run into the complications detailed above. As definitions and enforcement of marriage is defined by the state, these complications will vary from state to state. In Massachusetts no problem should arise in seeking to get a marriage, or enforcing that marriage, however marriage in states that have more prohibitive definitions, any marriage with a transsexual could face challenge in a court based on any number of criteria.
(For discussions on the status of marriages involving transgendered persons see Julie A. Greenberg, Defining Male and Female: Intersexuality and the Collision Between Law and Biology, 41 Ariz. L. Rev. 265 (Summer 1999); and Michael L. Rosin, Intersexuality and Universal Marriage, 14 L. & Sex. 51 (2005) as well as the references they contain. )
The controversy over recognition of same-sex unions as marriages is a small, albeit very important, part of a larger controversy concerning the role of government in recognizing and regulating intimate relationships. While there are few instances of societies recognizing same-sex unions as marriage, the historical and anthropological record reveals a remarkable variety of treatment of same-sex unions ranging from sympathetic toleration to indifference to prohibition. The 2004 Statement by the American Anthropological Association relies upon this variety in reaching its conclusion that same-sex unions can "contribute to stable and humane societies":
The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Founded in 1902 the American Anthropological Association (AAA is the world’s largest professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of Anthropology. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of The household is the basic unit of analysis in many Social, Microeconomic and Government models Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin through either biological cultural or historical descent Family denotes a group of People affiliated by consanguinity affinity or co-residence A Civilization is a society in which large numbers of people share a variety of common elements Social order is a concept used in sociology history and other social sciences Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
Some disagree with the idea of government recognition of any marriages, arguing that the personal relationships of citizens are not a proper issue of governmental concern. This view is often expressed by those who see the only legal issues related to marriage involving the nature and extent of parties’ consent to the relationship. Proponents of this view argue that the parties should define almost all aspects of the relationship, in much the same way that parties to other types of contracts are generally free to define the terms of their agreement. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements arise among those holding this view. 
Others, including many gay rights advocates, assert that legal recognition of marriage is based upon the government's interest in encouraging stable, committed relationships. Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender social movements share related goals of social acceptance of Homosexuality, Bisexuality and Transgenderism Lesbian Stable relationships reduce the need for society (sometimes through government) to provide support for its members. Each spouse safeguards the other's well being by, at times, acting as a nurse, banker, policeman, etc. Examples include demanding the keys to the car when one or the other has had too much to drink, or staying home to care for the other after surgery, or paying debts owed by a husband or wife.  Advocates for recognition of same-sex unions argue that there is no difference in the ability of same-sex and opposite-sex couples to make commitments and care for each other, and therefore the law of marriage should apply to both. 
A third approach to marriage is based on the belief that the government's involvement in marriage arises from the consequences of sexual acts between men and women – namely the creation of children. Based on research showing that, on average, children do best when raised by their biological parents in a low-conflict marriage, proponents argue that legal marriage is society’s way of encouraging monogamy and commitment by those who may create children through their sexual coupling.  These advocates acknowledge that not every opposite couple is capable of creating a child through sexual acts, but they argue that all laws are over inclusive in some aspect and to create exact congruence marriage and child-bearing capacity would require unacceptable inquiries by government at the time of issuing marriage licences.  No such intrusion is necessary to conclude that no sexual act between same-sex partners will result in childbearing, and therefore it is proper to exclude these couples from the legal definition of marriage.
Opponents of marriage within the gay community also object to the same-sex marriage movement, even though their concerns pertain to the institution of marriage, rather than to the gender of its participants. Gay community or LGBT community is a term used to describe the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender subculture They argue that seeking marriage as a means to social benefits and recognition reinforces the exclusion of other persons, notably the single and those in families composed of three or more intimate partners, from these benefits.  From this perspective same-sex marriage is a conservative movement within LGBT politics. Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favour Tradition, where tradition refers to various religious cultural or nationally defined
Some opponents object to same-sex marriage on purely religious grounds. John Eastburn Boswell ( March 20, 1947 – December 24, 1994) was a prominent historian and a professor at Yale University. Adelphopoiesis, or adelphopoiia from the Greek, derived from (adelphos "brother" and (poieō "I make" literally "brother-making" the relationship between homosexuality and religion can vary greatly across time and place within and between different Religions and Sects and regarding different Opponents often claim that extending marriage to same-sex couples will undercut the conventional purpose of marriage as interpreted by cultural, religious, sexual, and traditional understanding.  Furthermore, opponents argue that same-sex marriage cannot fulfill common procreational roles, and/or sanctions a partnership that is centered around sexual acts that their respective religion prohibits. For example, James Dobson, in Marriage Under Fire and elsewhere, states that legalization or even tolerance of same-sex marriage would redefine the family, damage traditional family unions, and lead to an increase in the number of homosexual couples. WikipediaPersondata --> James Clayton "Jim" Dobson (born April 21, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana
The Roman Catholic Church also opposes recognition of same-sex unions, arguing that acts of sexual intimacy are only proper between a man and a woman, and that the proper setting for those acts is only within marriage. Government inclusion of any other unions within the definition of "marriage" would reflect a belief in the moral equivalence of acts between a husband and wife and acts between two men or two women; this belief many find erroneous, in turn, would form the basis for public education requirements and legal enforcement of that view through laws restricting the actions of those who continue to believe that sexual acts between members of the same sex are not morally acceptable.  Inclusion of same-sex unions within the definition of marriage would also evidence rejection of the idea that, in general, it is best that children be raised by their biological mother and father, and that it is the community's interest in insuring the well-being of children that forms the basis for the government's licensure and involvement in marriage. 
Conservatives and some moderate Christians further claim that homosexuality goes against biblical teaching, and extend this to same-sex marriage. For conservative political views within Christianity see Christian right. As an example, there is the Bible verse Genesis 19:5, which many Biblical scholars believe indicates that homosexual behavior led to the destruction of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Other passages are Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, and in the New Testament of the Bible, I Corinthians 6:8-10 and Romans 1:24-27.  While these passages do not define the institution of marriage, Genesis 2:22-24 reads as follows: "Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man. ' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. " This passage is quoted by Jesus in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew.  However, other moderate and liberal Christians claim that Biblical passages concerning homosexual behavior are taken out of full textual, historical and cultural contexts, and are not applicable to homosexual relationships as we know them today. For liberal political views within Christianity see Christian left. They view the passages about Sodom and Gomorrah as referring to systematic rape and inhospitality. Rape, also referred to as Sexual assault, is an Assault by a person involving Sexual intercourse with or Sexual penetration of another person They view the passages in Leviticus as part of the Holiness Code and strictly reserved to the Israelites of that time. The Holiness Code is a term used in Biblical Criticism to refer to Leviticus 17-26 and is so called due to its highly repeated use of the word Holy. Some of this Holiness Code is not practiced by contemporary Christians (e. g. , prohibitions on wearing mixed fabrics, a proscription of the consumption of pork, the sacrifice of animals as atonement for sins), while other parts such as the prohibitions on incestuous relations still are. For some modern Christians, the passage in Romans is seen as relating more to specific instances of Greco-Roman temple sex acts and idolatrous worship and it is not intended to address contemporary homosexuality.  Other modern Christians hold that Romans 1 proscribes all homosexual behavior, regardless of its relational context. 
Judaism, like Christianity, reflects differing views between conservative and liberal adherents. Orthodox Judaism maintains the traditional Jewish bans on both sexual acts and marriage amongst members of the same sex. The Orthodox Union in the United States supports a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  Some Conservative Jews reject recognition of same-sex unions as "marriage," but permit celebration of commitment ceremonies, in part as an expression their belief that scripture requires monogamy of all sexually active couples.  Members of Reform Judaism support the inclusion of same-sex unions within the definition of marriage.  The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation leaves the choice up to the individual rabbi. 
There are some people who, despite having a moral or religious stance that same-sex marriage is wrong, still feel that it is not their place to take their religious sentiments into the secular realm, and enforce their beliefs on others who may disagree. So, while these religious people do not approve of homosexual couples and continue to refuse to recognize their marriages from a religious aspect, they nevertheless recognize and tolerate their secular marriage.
Some modern religions and denominations perform same-sex weddings. At the 1996 Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, delegates voted overwhelmingly that because of "the inherent worth and dignity of every person," same-sex couples should have the same freedom to marry that other couples have. Unitarian Universalism ( UUism) is a theologically liberal Religion characterized by its support for a "free and responsible search for truth General Assembly, commonly abbreviated as simply GA, is an annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists of the Unitarian Universalist Association 
Those who advocate that marriage should be defined exclusively as the union of one man and one woman argue that heterosexual unions provide the procreative foundation of the family unit that is the chief social building block of civilization. Social conservatives and others may see marriage not as a legal construct of the state, but as a naturally occurring "pre-political institution" that the state must recognize as it recognizes other natural institutions such as jobs and families. "Government does not create marriage any more than government creates jobs. " They argue that the definition proposed by same-sex marriage advocates changes the social importance of marriage from its natural function of reproduction into a mere legality or freedom to have sex. These sides of the argument may refer to themselves as "defenders" of traditional marriage. As any customary relationship may be considered "marriage," some argue that this then leads to undue legislative burden and an affront to the social value and responsibility of parenting one's own children.
The dissent by Justice Martha Sosman in the decision of the Massachusetts high court that legalized same-sex marriage in that state makes a societal argument without specifying the harm that would occur from this change.  Asserting the a priori importance of marriage as an institution, she questions whether the burden of proof that this would be harmless has been met. "A priori" redirects here For other uses see A priori. Her analysis can be seen as an example of precautionary principle, which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action. The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment in the
|“||Marriage is a vocabulary, it’s a vehicle, an engine for a larger discussion that moves people’s understanding of who gay people are, why sex discrimination is wrong, why exclusion is wrong in America, that brings up discussion of the separation of church and state, that brings up discussion of whether there should be limitations or roles based on sex, or whether men and women should be treated equally.||”|
A common objection to same-sex marriage is that the purpose of marriage is a result of naturally occurring sexual attraction that leads to procreation, and that the same-sex partnership is inherently sterile. Evan Wolfson (born February 4 1957 is a prominent American civil rights attorney and advocate Some who hold this view see marriage as the social codification of an evolved long-term mating strategy, with economic and legal benefits to facilitate family growth and stability. Others argue that because the law does not prohibit marriage between sterile heterosexual couples or to women past menopause, the procreation argument cannot reasonably be used against same-sex marriage, particularly since technological advances allow gay couples to have their own related biological children. Menopause is the permanent shutting down of the female Reproductive system, a considerable length of time before the end of the lifespan 
Another view is that all marriages should thus be viewed legally as "civil unions. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. " These civil unions would then only receive the benefits of marriage which do not require expenditures from the government (e. According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO there are over a thousand federal laws that treat married people differently from g. , tax breaks), and any monetary benefits would only be awarded based on the number of children living in a household.
Dissidents to the same-sex marriage movement within the gay community argue that the pursuit of social recognition and legal benefits (e. g. , health care insurance) by means of marriage reinforces marriage as an institution of exclusion, because it extends rights and benefits to people on the basis of their relationship status.  Some of these rights (e. g. , health care insurance), they argue, should be made available to all people, including those who are single and those whose families are composed of three or more intimate partners. Some also argue that seeking marriage as a way of legitimating gay parenting reinforces cultural biases and discrimination against single parents. Lastly, some note that the same-sex marriage movement reinforces a cultural bias against being single in adulthood, treating it as abnormal, undesirable, or immature.
Some same-sex marriage proponents, such as Andrew Sullivan, argue that same-sex marriage is moral enough to support the family-centered role that marriage plays in society despite the absence of biological children. Andrew Michael Sullivan (born August 10 1963 is a prominent Blogger, author and Political commentator. Supporters also argue that the institution of marriage would be strengthened by making it available to more people, and furthermore that same-sex marriage would encourage gays and lesbians to settle down with one partner and raise families. Others argue that marriage no longer retains a procreative function of the government since many governments offer child tax credits and assistance regardless of marital status.
Also, many people argue in favor of same-sex marriage because they say that sexual orientation is uncontrollable. They cite many scientific studies which claim  that no one can choose or change their sexual orientation, and that forbidding marriage between two people of the same sex is like forbidding marriage between two people of the same eye color, skin color, or nose length. Some believe that sexual orientation is genetically determined, just like these traits, and thus should not be cited as a basis for discrimination. In contrast, opponents of same-sex marriage (including some ex-gay organizations) argue that homosexuality is not genetic or unchangeable. Ex-gay is a term sometimes used to refer to persons who once identified as Gay or Lesbian, but have since turned away from such identification for  Same-sex marriage opponents support this position with research as well as anecdotal evidence regarding efforts to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.  Some opponents of same-sex marriage reason that if homosexuality is not genetic or unchangeable, then it is not unjust for government to define marriage as the union of one woman and one man. 
Another argument in favor of traditional marriage is that it reflects the biological imperative and innate construct between males and females; that despite the natural desire to procreate, there is also a biological desire to mate with the opposite gender. Hence the fundamental differences between males and females is seen as natural; and such difference exists independently of religion or social prejudice. This view posits that marriage has a universally important shared public meaning, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
This meaning has been construed as a a constitutive core of the institution. That core meaning is essential in influencing the forming of the individual identity to an extent that common sense readily comprehends. 
Proponents of same-sex marriage point out that "traditional" concepts of marriage in actuality have already undergone significant change. Civil marriage has undergone significant changes in the United States since the country's inception 1830 - Right of married woman to own property in her own name (instead
Polygamy has been prohibited, married women are no longer considered the property of their husbands, divorce is legal, contraception within wedlock is allowed, and anti-miscegenation laws forbidding interracial marriage have been eliminated in most modern societies. Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the termination of a Marriage. Birth control, sometimes synonymous with contraception, is a regimen of one or more actions devices or Medications followed in order to deliberately prevent Miscegenation (Latin miscere "to mix" + genus "kind" is the mixing of different racial groups, that is marrying, cohabiting Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing racial groups marry, often creating Multiracial children
The fact that changes in the customs and protocols of marriage often occur gives rise to the argument that marriage is dynamic, and same-sex marriage is only the latest evolution of the institution.
Opponents of such a point of view note that the prohibition of interracial marriage, opposition to polygamy, legality of divorce and the concept of the wife as the property of the husband, have been dependent upon any given society, throughout history. Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing racial groups marry, often creating Multiracial children The term polygamy (a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriage" is used in related ways in Social anthropology, Sociobiology, and Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the termination of a Marriage. None have been an historical norm, either as accepted or prohibited. These forms of marriage have had varying degrees of acceptance or formation throughout cultures, societies, and civilizations in recorded history. These opponents note that "marriage" between members of the same gender in historical incidence are speculative at best, and in fact have little if any historical record.
In opposing same-sex marriage in various state courts, a common key state's argument against allowing same-sex marriage has been the use of legal marriage to foster the state's interest in human reproduction. Many lesbian gay bisexual and transgendered people are parents In Anderson et al. v. King County in which several same-sex couples argued that the state of Washington's version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the Washington Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the law was constitutional. Andersen v King County, 138 P3d 963 (Wash 2006&mdashformerly Andersen v The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a Federal law of the United States passed on September 21 1996 as Public Law No The Washington Supreme Court is the highest Court in the Judiciary of the U Writing in the majority opinion, Justice Barbara Madsen wrote in 2006:
The Legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are brought up in homes headed by children's biological parents.
In responding to this argument in 2007, the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, a supporter of same-sex marriage, began a petition drive to place a ballot measure on the November 2007 ballot that would require opposite-sex couples who marry to have children within three years or have their marriages become legally unrecognized. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Washington state The Washington Supreme Court would have made Washington the second U Same-sex marriage and procreation is an issue that lawmakers and Judges have used to determine whether or not Same-sex marriage is legal Couples seeking a marriage license would also have to show they can produce children. The group admits this ballot initiative aims at calling attention to the Washington Supreme Court's decision in Anderson and the logical extension of this reasoning to childless and/or sterile heterosexual couples.
In terms of numbers, the 2000 U.S. Census reports more than 600,000 same-sex couples (unmarried domestic partners on the Census form) in the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that this number would be over 770,000 in 2005.  While a post-Census study by UCLA economist Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett found that there was a significant undercount of same-sex couples in 2000, the Census reports that among the couples answering they are a same-sex couple: one-third of lesbian couples and one-fifth of gay male couples have children under 18 living in the home. 
Some object on the grounds that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt or raise children or to have access to reproductive technologies, and that same-sex marriage would make such arrangements easier. A number of health and child welfare organizations, however, disagree. They include the Child Welfare League of America, North American Council on Adoptable Children, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. The American Academy of Pediatrics ( AAP) is an organization of Pediatricians physicians trained to deal with the medical care of infants children and adolescents The American Psychiatric Association (APA is the main Professional organization of Psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the The American Psychological Association (APA is a professional organization representing psychologists in the U The National Association of Social Workers (NASW is a professional organization of Social workers in the United States.  On July 28, 2004, the American Psychological Association's Council of Representatives adopted a resolution supporting legalization of same-sex civil marriages and opposes discrimination against lesbian and gay parents.  Noted Harvard political philosopher and legal scholar John Rawls supported gay marriage and didn't see any problem with it unless it could be shown it would somehow undermine the welfare of children, for which he did not believe there was an argument. John Rawls ( February 21, 1921  &ndash November 24, 2002) was an American Philosopher, a Professor of  He is joined with philosophers Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, Cornel West and Susan Moller Okin among others, who see the issue as a matter of justice within family and society. Robert Nozick ( November 16, 1938  &ndash January 23, 2002) was an American Philosopher and Pellegrino University Martha Nussbaum (born Martha Craven on May 6, 1947) is an American philosopher with a particular interest in ancient Greek and Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is a Scholar, Public intellectual, Philosopher, Critic, Pastor, Susan Moller Okin ( July 19, 1946 - March 3, 2004) was a Feminist political philosopher and author
On an international scale, the most comprehensive study to date on the effect of same-sex marriage / partnership on heterosexual marriage and divorce rates was conducted looking at over 15 years of data from the Scandinavian countries. The study (later part of a book), by researcher Darren Spedale, found that, 15 years after Denmark had granted same-sex couples the rights of marriage, rates of heterosexual marriage in those countries had gone up, and rates of heterosexual divorce had gone down - contradicting the concept that same-sex marriage would have a negative effect on traditional marriage. Darren Spedale (born March 17 1974 is an author and investment banker who is known as one of the world's foremost experts on the Scandinavian Registered partnership 
All U. S. states submit monthly summaries of vital statistics on births, deaths, marriages, and divorces to the U. S. Center For Disease Control's National Center For Health Statistics (NCHS) who then prepares monthly and yearly reports. The following statistics are based on that NCHS material. Over three years have passed now since same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts and data from all of 2004 and 2005 are now available.
The current divorce trends in Massachusetts counter claims of same-sex marriage having a negative impact on traditional marriage. In fact, for several years now the Commonwealth has had the lowest divorce rate of any state in the union. In 2004 the Massachusetts divorce rate, at 2. 2 per 1,000 residents per year, was considerably lower than the U. S. national average rate for that year, 3. 8 per 1,000 and close to the national average of 2. 0 back in 1940. In the first two years of same-sex marriage in the Bay State, the rate of divorce showed a steady decline making it likely that Massachusetts will continue to have the lowest divorce rate in the nation. 
States which have taken aggressive action against same-sex marriage have not done nearly as well during the two year period of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. The preliminary data from 2004 and 2005—from the 17 U. S. states which have provided data on divorce for 2004 and 2005 and whose voters also passed state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage—presents a striking picture: the group of U. S. states arguably most hostile to divorce, those which have passed both state laws and also state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage, lag dramatically in terms of divorce rate improvement when compared to same-sex marriage-friendly states. 
Among those U. S. states that are most opposed to same-sex marriage which have also provided divorce data for the time period — Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Texas — the average divorce rate ( unadjusted for population changes ) for 2004 and 2005 increased 1. 75%. This group contains 4 of the 5 states with the highest divorce rate increases in the U. S. during 2004 and the first 11 months of 2005.
In the United States, there are at least 1,138 federal laws "in which marital status is a factor. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the " (See Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States for a partial list) A denial of rights or benefits without substantive due process, assert the proponents of same-sex marriage, directly contradicts the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides for equal protection of all citizens. According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO there are over a thousand federal laws that treat married people differently from Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall… deny to any person For instance, a heterosexual U. S. citizen who marries a foreign partner immediately qualifies to bring that person to the United States, while long-term gay and lesbian binational partners who have spent decades together are denied the same rights, forcing foreign gay partners to seek expensive temporary employer or school-sponsored visas or face separation. See Immigration Equality and Human Rights Watch report on this and other forms of discrimination against same-sex couples.
In a 2003 case titled Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court held that the right to private consensual sexual conduct was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence v Texas, 539 US 558 ( 2003) was a landmark United States Supreme Court case A right is a legal or moral Entitlement or Permission. Rights are of vital importance in theories of Justice and deontological ethics The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first The court noted "moral disapproval does not constitute a legitimate governmental interest under the Equal Protection Clause. " Both supporters and detractors of same-sex marriage have noted that this ruling paved the way for subsequent decisions invalidating state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia noted as such in his dissenting opinion to Lawrence. (born March 11, 1936) is an American Jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Some opponents of extending marriage to same-sex couples claim that equality can be achieved with civil unions or other forms of legal recognition that don't go as far as to use the word "marriage" that's used for opposite-sex couples. A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to Marriage. An opposing argument, used by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, is the following: "the dissimilitude between the terms "civil marriage" and "civil union" is not innocuous; it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status" and also that "The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ( SJC) is the highest Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ruling In a 50-page 4–3 ruling delivered on November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the state may not "deny " For instance, in matters under federal purview such as immigration, a bi-national same-sex couple committed under civil union do not have the same rights as their married heterosexual counterparts in sponsoring their alien partner for permanent residency. In US law, an alien is a legal term for a person, either a corporation or a human who is not a United States national. Permanent residency refers to a person's visa status the person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country despite not having Citizenship. There is however, a bill pending in the United States Congress since 2000, called Uniting American Families Act pertaining to this discrimination. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses The Uniting American Families Act ( UAFA,,) is a US bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate Discrimination in the immigration
Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that men and women are fundamentally different from one another, whereas interracial couples still fit within the "one man and one woman" definition of marriage.  Louisiana State University law professor Katherine Spaht has characterized the debate as follows: “the fundamental understanding of marriage has always been, by definition, a man and a woman. Never did Webster’s dictionary define the term marriage in terms of the races. There is an inherent difference between interracial marriage and same-sex “marriage” because homosexuals cannot procreate. " Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton told the Baptist Press that “knocking down bans on interracial marriage did not redefine marriage, it affirmed marriage by saying that any man has a right to marry any woman under the law. But what same-sex ‘marriage’ proponents seek to do is to radically redefine the very definition of marriage to say it’s not about gender. Marriage is about bringing the genders together, not keeping the races apart. ”
Proponents of same-sex marriage make a comparison between racial segregation and segregation of homosexual and heterosexual marriage classifications in civil law.  They argue that dividing the concept of same-sex marriage and different-sex marriage is tantamount to "separate but equal" policies (like that overturned in the U. Separate But Equal is a 1991 American Television movie depicting the landmark Supreme Court Desegregation case S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education), or anti-miscegenation laws that were also overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, 347 US 483 (1954 was a Landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court, which overturned earlier Anti-miscegenation laws, also known as miscegenation laws, were laws that banned Interracial marriage and sometimes interracial sex between whites and members of other Loving v Virginia,, was a landmark Civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia 's Anti-miscegenation
In 1972, after the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in Baker v. Nelson specifically distinguished Loving as not being applicable to the same-sex marriage debate, the United States Supreme Court dismissed the appeal "for want of a substantial federal question. Baker v Nelson, 291 Minn 310 ( Minn 1971 409 US 810 (1972 was a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Minnesota " This type of dismissal usually constitutes a decision on the merits of the case; as such, Baker appeared—at least for a time — to be binding precedent on all lower federal courts. On the merits refers to a legal decision based on the facts in Evidence and the law pertaining to those facts because the judge considers technical and procedural defenses to
It is unclear whether Baker v. Nelson remains as a potential bar to the federal courts from hearing cases regarding same-sex marriage. The federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) simultaneously created (1) a federal definition of marriage, , and (2) a new rule under the Full Faith and Credit Act (passed pursuant to Congress's authority under the federal Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause), , purporting to limit mandatory interstate recognition of same-sex marriages. The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a Federal law of the United States passed on September 21 1996 as Public Law No Title 1 of the United States Code outlines the general provisions of the United States Code. Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause, addresses the duties that states Title 28 ( Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) is the portion of the United States Code (federal statutory law that governs the federal judicial system By "federalizing" marriage with statutes that are susceptible to judicial scrutiny, Congress effectively — albeit perhaps unintentionally — expanded the subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal courts, seemingly superseding Baker's dismissal "for want of a substantial federal question. "
This loophole in jurisdiction recently came to light when a same-sex couple was granted standing to sue in federal district court on a claim that DOMA is unconstitutional under the federal Constitution. See Smelt v. County of Orange, 374 F. Supp. 2d 861 (C.D. Cal., 2005), aff'd in part and rev'd in part, 447 F. The US District Court for the Central District of California (commonly referred to as the CDCA CACD or C 3d 673 (9th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 127 S. Ct. 396 (2006). In Smelt, the district court applied Pullman abstention to one part of the claim, but it proceeded to the merits on another part, finding DOMA to be constitutional. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court on the abstention question, but it reversed the district court on the merits, holding that the couple lacked standing to sue. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a federal court with Appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts The Ninth Circuit raised the standing question sua sponte, but only because the couple had not demonstrated the requisite injury. Sua sponte, Latin for "of one's own accord" is a legal term that means to act spontaneously without prompting from another party The Ninth Circuit left open the possibility that another couple with a demonstrable injury could bring the same suit in the future. Importantly, Baker v. Nelson is mentioned nowhere in the Ninth Circuit's opinion; its continuing relevance is therefore highly suspect.
Beginning in 2003, members of Congress have annually introduced a "court-stripping" provision that would prevent all federal courts from hearing claims challenging the constitutionality of DOMA. Jurisdiction stripping refers to the practice of defining the jurisdiction of the United States federal judiciary as to eliminate its ability to hear certain classes of claims See, e. g. , Marriage Protection Act of 2003, H. R. 3313 (108th Cong. , 1st Sess. ). This proposed court-stripping provision has itself been challenged as being of dubious constitutionality. See Jason J. Salvo, Comment, Naked Came I: Jurisdiction-Stripping and the Constitutionality of House Bill 3313, 29 Seattle U. L. Rev. 963 (Summer 2006); Maxim O. Mayer-Cesiano, On Jurisdiction-Stripping: The Proper Scope of Inferior Federal Courts' Independence from Congress, 8 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 559 (May 2006); J. Spencer Jenkins, Note, 'Til Congress Do Us Part: The Marriage Protection Act, Federal Court-Stripping, and Same-Sex Marriage, 40 New Eng. L. Rev. 619 (Winter 2006); Sarah Kroll-Rosenbaum, Note, The Marriage Protection Act: A Lesson in Congressional Over-Reaching, 50 N. Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 809 (2005-2006); Michael J. Gerhardt, The Constitutional Limits to Court-Stripping, 9 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 347 (Summer 2005); Theodore J. Weiman, Comment, Jurisdiction Stripping, Constitutional Supremacy, and the Implications of Ex Parte Young, 153 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1677 (2005).
Economic arguments on the impact of same-sex marriage focus on the effects on same-sex couples, businesses, employers, and governments. Economist and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett has studied the impact of same-sex legal marriage on all four of these groups.
Impact on Same-sex Couples: Badgett finds that exclusion from legal marriage has an economic impact on same-sex couples. According to a 1997 General Accounting Office study requested by Rep. Henry Hyde (R), at least 1,049 U. Henry John Hyde ( April 18, 1924 &ndash November 29, 2007) an American politician was a Republican member of the S. Federal laws and regulations include reference to marital status. A later 2004 study by the Congressional Budget Office finds 1,138 statutory provisions "in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving 'benefits, rights, and privileges. '"  Many of these laws govern property rights, benefits, and taxation. Same-sex couples are ineligible for spousal and survivor Social Security benefits. Badgett's research finds the resulting difference in Social Security income for same-sex couples compared to opposite-sex married couples is US$5,588 per year. The federal ban on same-sex marriage and benefits through the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) extends to federal government employee benefits. For example, after the 2006 death of former Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds (D), the first openly gay member of Congress, his legal spouse Dean Hara was denied the estimated $114,337 annual pension to which Hara would have been eligible if their Massachusetts marriage was recognized on the federal level. Gerry Eastman Studds ( May 12 1937 – October 14 2006) (ˈɡɛri was an American Democratic Congressman According to Badgett's work, same-sex couples face other financial challenges against which legal marriage at least partially shields opposite-sex couples:
While state laws grant full marriage rights (Massachusetts) or some or all of the benefits under another name (Vermont, New Jersey, California, etc. ), these state laws do not extend the benefits of marriage on the Federal level, and most states do not currently recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions from other states.
One often overlooked aspect of same-sex marriage are the potential negative effects on same-sex couples. While the legal benefits of marriage are numerous, same-sex couples would face the same financial constraints of legal marriage as opposite-sex married couples. Such potential effects include the marriage penalty in taxation. The marriage penalty in the United States refers to the higher taxes required from some married couples where spouses are making approximately the same Taxable Similarly, while social service providers usually do not count one partner's assets toward the income means test for welfare and disability assistance for the other partner, a legally married couple's joint assets are normally used in calculating whether a married individual qualifies for assistance.
Impact on Businesses: Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett's research estimates the potential impact on businesses of same-sex marriage legalization to be $2 billion to the wedding industry alone. Badgett derives this estimate by calculating the amount spent on weddings if a) half of same-sex couples marry and b) each couple spends 1/4 the average amount spent on an opposite-sex wedding (US$27,600 average wedding cost / 4 = US$6,900 per same-sex couple).
Impact on Employers: In terms of employers where marriage opponents fear higher benefit costs, Badgett and Mercer Human Resources Consulting separately find less than 1% of employees with a same-sex partner sign up for domestic partner benefits when a company offers them. Badgett finds less than 0. 3% of Massachusetts firms' employees signed up for spousal benefits when that state legalized same-sex marriage.
Impact on Governments: A 2004 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report examines the impact of allowing the 1. 2 million Americans in same-sex domestic partnerships in the 2000 Census to marry and finds the impact to be comparatively small in terms of the huge Federal budget. While some spending on Federal programs would increase, these outlays would be offset by more savings in other spending areas. The report predicts that if same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 states and on the Federal level, the U. S. government would bring in a net surplus of US$1 billion per year over the next 10 years.  In terms of specific programs' spending the report states:
Recognizing same-sex marriages would increase outlays for Social Security and for the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, CBO estimates, but would reduce spending for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and Medicare. Effects on other programs would be negligible. Altogether, CBO concludes, recognizing same-sex marriages would affect outlays by less than $50 million a year in either direction through 2009 and reduce them by about $100 million to $200 million annually from 2010 through 2014. 
The CBO study counters the economic argument by some U. S. critics of same-sex marriage against governmental recognition on the grounds that the public should not have to shoulder the burden of increased taxes and insurance premiums to cover the associated costs. 
The Weekly Standard commentator Stanley Kurtz argues allowing same-sex marriage blurs other common law precedents and will lead to the legalization of a variety of non-traditional relationships (see Slippery-slope argument). The Weekly Standard is an American opinion Magazine published 48 times per year Slippery Slope is a 2006 independent film starring Tony Award -winning actor Dan Fogler. 
|Same-sex marriage by country|
|Performed nationwide in||Netherlands (2001) Belgium (2003) Spain (2005) Canada (2005) South Africa (2006) Norway (2009)|
|Performed statewide in||Massachusetts, USA (2004) California, USA (2008)|
|Foreign same-sex marriage recognized in||Israel (2006) - Aruba (2007) - Netherlands Antilles (2007)|
|Debate in other countries and regions||Argentina - France - Latvia - Lithuania - New Zealand - Australia- Portugal - Romania - Sweden - Taiwan - United Kingdom - United States: Florida, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington|