Top Pro & Con Arguments
To deny some people the option to marry would be discriminatory and would create a second class of citizens. Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
On July 25, 2014 Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel ruled Florida’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional and stated that the ban “serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.”
As well as discrimination based on sexual orientation, gay marriage bans discriminated based on one’s sex. As David S. Cohen, JD, Associate Professor at the Drexel University School of Law, explained, “Imagine three people—Nancy, Bill, and Tom… Nancy, a woman, can marry Tom, but Bill, a man, cannot… Nancy can do something (marry Tom) that Bill cannot, simply because Nancy is a woman and Bill is a man.”
Over 1,000 benefits, rights and protections are available to married couples in federal law alone, including hospital visitation, filing a joint tax return to reduce a tax burden, access to family health coverage, US residency and family unification for partners from another country, and bereavement leave and inheritance rights if a partner dies.
Married couples also have access to protections if the relationship ends, such as child custody, spousal or child support, and an equitable division of property.Married couples in the US armed forces are offered health insurance and other benefits unavailable to domestic partners. The IRS and the US Department of Labor also recognize married couples, for the purpose of granting tax, retirement and health insurance benefits.
An Oct. 2, 2009 analysis by the New York Times estimated that same-sex couples denied marriage benefits incurred an additional $41,196 to $467,562 in expenses over their lifetimes compared with married heterosexual couples.
Additionally, legal same-sex marriage comes with mental and physical health benefits. The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and others concluded that legal gay marriage gives couples “access to the social support that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages, with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support.”
A study found that same-sex married couples were “significantly less distressed than lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons not in a legally recognized relationship.”
A 2010 analysis found that after their states had banned gay marriage, gay, lesbian and bisexual people suffered a 37% increase in mood disorders, a 42% increase in alcohol-use disorders, and a 248% increase in generalized anxiety disorders.Read More