Close up of happy male gay couple holding hands

Gay Marriage Pros and Cons

Marriage is a sacred union of two individuals who love each other, but this statement becomes controversial when it comes to gay marriages. This Buzzle article discusses the pros and cons pertaining to this issue.
Gay Parents with daughter
Did You Know?
The tradition of being a 'same-sex couple' seems to be overtaken by this new term, 'throuple'. Men named, Joke, Bell, and Art became the world's first gay throuple when they got married in Thailand on February 14, 2015, as reported by the New York Post.

The first country to legalize same-sex marriage in the world is Netherlands, taking the decision in 2001. While the world is getting open to the idea of seeing same-sex couples around, the idea of being married as a throuple is unconventional beyond its definition, for sure. Perhaps, this may be the next controversial topic in LGBT rights, but, for now, let us go back to discussing the concept of married gay 'couples'.

Although homosexuality has been a part of this world since ancient history, with even gay marriages being an acceptable part of the ancient Rome, a section of today's modern world still opposes the whole concept. Speaking of the United States, 37 states acknowledge gay marriages; however, in the remaining 13 states, it is still prohibited on the lines of law, constitutional amendments, and the like. There still exist certain issues that are preventing the unification of the liberal and orthodox sections of the society. Irrespective of this divided view, approximately 780,000 Americans are in same-sex marriages, as reported by Gallup Daily based on their tracking from January 28 to April 19, 2015.

Pros of Gay Marriages

In the states where same-sex marriages have been validated, a lot of unexpected benefits have been observed as a result of this union. These, along with other pros, are enumerated as under.

Same-sex couples are better parents
According to a 2014 study done by the University of Melbourne, children raised by same-sex parents tend to score better than children having both mother and father, in terms of their overall health and family cohesion. Also, a previous study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2010, stated that children raised by lesbian mothers had better social and academic performances when compared to others, and also that they had fewer social problems. When it comes to gay men, a July 2010 study reported that their children too were equally well-brought as those children who were adopted by normal couples.

Gay marriages reduce divorce rates
When the before and after divorce statistics were analyzed, it was observed that after a state made gay marriages legal, the divorce rates of that state were lowered significantly. Likewise, the states where gay marriages are prohibited had higher divorce rates.

Gay marriages increase state revenue
According to a 2014 study done by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), legalization of gay marriages would boost the state's economy to a great extent. 11 states in the country including Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah, Virginia, and Oregon, were analyzed in this respect. According to their findings, legal marriages of same-sex couples would result in a combined state revenue (of the 11 states studied) of USD 723.5 million, during the first three years of legalization.

Gay marriages increases psychological wellbeing
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, social acceptance and legalization plays a crucial part in the psychological wellbeing of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Their 2010 report highlighted a 37% rise in mood disorders, a 42% increase in alcohol-use disorders, and a whopping 248% rise in generalized anxiety disorders among lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, after same-sex marriages were banned in their states.

Marriage is a basic fundamental right
According to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, "Fourteen times since 1888, the United States Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. In these cases, the Court has reaffirmed that 'freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage' is 'one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause,' 'essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,' ..." Hence, a denial for the same is clearly a denial to grant a person his/her basic right.

The concept of marriage is based on love
Another argument that supports gay unions is the fact that confining marriage only between a man and woman is traditionally inaccurate. Marriage should be a union of two people who love each other, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender. In July 2005, the United Church of Christ General Synod favored "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender." Also, there are quite a lot of religious bodies that support same-sex marriages.

Cons of Gay Marriages

Having been through the points that support this union, we must also look at the arguments that still make gay marriage an unacceptable act in some states.

Gay marriages may diminish heterosexual unions
One of the strongest arguments among those against this union is the fact that same-sex marriages may diminish the heterosexual culture in the society. Perhaps, children raised by homosexual couples would grow up thinking that same-sex unions are way more beneficial or satisfactory than relationships with the opposite sex? A social and legal acceptance at large would encourage homosexual behavior among the next generation and therefore pose a threat to the future of standardized marriages between opposite sexes, and procreation.

A child needs both mother and father
Those who oppose this concept, argue that for a healthy upbringing of a child, it is crucial for him/her to be brought up under the love and care of both the father and mother. At the National Review Institute 2013 Summit, Doug Mainwaring, a gay panelist spoke the following words, "For a long time I thought, if I could just find the right partner, we could raise my kids together, but it became increasingly apparent to me, even if I found somebody else exactly like me, who loved my kids as much as I do, there would still be a gaping hole in their lives because they need a mom," He further added, "I don't want to see children being engineered for same-sex couples where there is either a mom missing or a dad missing,"

Same-sex unions will encourage other non-typical unions
Another possible threat that a worldwide acceptance of gay marriages arises is that it may give encouragement to those in other non-typical sexual unions, such as those that involve incestuousness, polygamy, bestiality, and the like. All these susceptibilities will only pave way to degrade and de-institutionalize the whole concept of marriage and consummation.

Gay unions are immoral in religious scriptures
A majority of Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, oppose same-sex marriages. In 2003, Pope John Paul II stated: "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family... Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law." Even religions including Islam, Orthodox Jews, and Hinduism do not support this union, considering it to be unnatural, immoral, and against the will of God.

Gay marriages hamper domestic partnership benefits
In the past few years, the states that have legalized same-sex marriages have ceased to grant benefits to domestic partners, be it of the same or opposite sex. After the decision of the US Supreme Court to declare part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional in 2013, same-sex couples are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of Labor when it comes to granting health insurance, retirement, and tax benefits. However, this proved to be disadvantageous to domestic partnerships or civil unions, as they were considered ineligible for such benefits.

Gay marriages would undermine the value of biological parents
While increase in gay unions would definitely encourage adoption and surrogacy, on the contrary, it would undermine the emotional need, value, and association of children to their biological parents. The whole concept of a man and a woman joining together in marriage, coming together to procreate and produce children, would lose its importance. While those in favor argue that with this logic, couples who get married and don't produce children by choice, or those who cannot produce children, should also not be allowed to get married, one cannot negate the possibility that such heterosexual couples can still produce children, either by changing their minds, or by use of advance medical procedures.

Conclusion

Looking at the current situation in respect to the openness of various dimensions of the society towards gay unions, things have definitely come a long way from where they began. A recent report from the Williams Institute, published in April 2015, states that "If current trends continue, by 2016 public support for marriage of same-sex couples will be at 40% or higher in every state, with 6 states above 45% and the remaining states between 50-85% support." However, there still seems to be a long wait before same-sexed partners are seen with the same dignity and normalcy as heterosexual partners on a global basis.
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