Last updated on: 1/25/2021 | Author:


The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following sources.


1.Christian Broadcasting Network, "Americans Question Who Makes a Family,", Sep. 15, 2010
2.Nate Silver, "Divorce Rates Higher in States with Gay Marriage Bans,", Jan. 12, 2010
3.American Foundation for Equal Rights, "14 Supreme Court Cases: Marriage Is a Fundamental Right,", July 19, 2012
4.Kathryn Perry, "The Cost of Gay Marriage - In Dollars and Cents," Christian Science Monitor, May 27, 2009
5.American Psychological Association, "American Psychological Association Reiterates Support for Same-sex Marriage,", Aug. 11, 2010
6.Freedom to Marry, "Marriage 101," (accessed Sep. 15, 2010)
7.Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber, "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple,", Oct. 2, 2009
8.American Anthropological Association, "Statement on Marriage and the Family,", Feb. 26, 2004
9.Margaret Talbot, "Marriage as a Dynamic Institution,", Jan. 12, 2010
10."Do We Really Want to Redefine Marriage,", Aug. 11, 2010
11.Glen Lavy, "Gay Marriage and the 'Slippery Slope,'", May 21, 2008
12.Jerome Nathaniel, "5 U.S. Presidents Who Were Never Fathers," Policy.Mic website, June 17, 2013
13.Sigal Samuel, "Jewish Responses to the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings,", June 27, 2013
14.M.V. Lee Badgett, When Gay People Get Married, 2009
15.William N. Eskridge, Jr., Equality Practice: Civil Unions and the Future of Gay Rights, 2001
16.Paula Ettelbrick, "Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation?," OUT/LOOK National Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Fall 1989
17.Stanley Kurtz, "The End of Marriage in Scandinavia," Weekly Standard, Feb. 2, 2004
18.John F. Harvey, "Regarding 'Gay Marriage,' ", July 7, 2009
19.Dana Mack, "Now What for Marriage?,", Aug. 6, 2010
20.Andrew Sullivan, Same-Sex Marriage Pro and Con, 2004
21.David Carter, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, 2005
22.George Chauncey, Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality, 2004
23.Tricia Andryszewski, Same-Sex Marriage: Moral Wrong or Civil Right?, 2007
24.Gregory M. Herek, "Facts About Homosexuality and Mental Health," (accessed Sep. 16, 2010)
25."North Carolina Passes Same-sex Marriage Ban, CNN Projects,”, May 8, 2012
26.Alan Cooperman, Jonathan Finer, and Fred Barbash, "Gay Couples Wed in Mass.," Washington Post, May 17, 2004
27."House Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Ban," Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2004
28.Jennfer C. Pizer, "Lambda Legal Applauds Perry v. Schwarzenegger Ruling Striking Down Prop 8,", Aug. 4, 2010
29."Same Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships,", Apr. 2010
30.Maura Dolan, "Federal Panel Puts Same-sex Marriage on Hold as Appeal of Prop. 8 Ruling Goes Forward,", Aug. 17, 2010
31."ABA Supports Legalizing Same-sex Marriage,", Aug. 11, 2010
32."American Psychological Association Reiterates Support for Same-Sex Marriage,", Aug. 11, 2010
33."Church Statement on Proposition 8 Ruling,", Aug. 4, 2010
34.Jeffrey Donovan, "Pope Condemns Gay Marriage, Warns on Biotechnology Before Trip to U.K.,", Sep. 13, 2010
35.Nate Silver, "Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage Appears to Shift at Accelerated Pace,”, Aug. 12, 2010
36."Americans Split Evenly on Gay Marriage,", Aug. 11, 2010
37.Amber G. Marcellino, et al., "Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate H.R. 2517,", Dec. 17, 2009
38.J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, et al., "The Legal, Medical, Economic & Social Consequences of New Jersey's Civil Union Law,", Dec. 10, 2008
39."Recognition of Same-Sex Couples Worldwide,", July 19, 2010
40.Sahil Kapur, "Breaking: Appeals Court Scraps Gay Marriage Bans In Wisconsin, Indiana,", Sep. 4, 2014
41.Vaughn Walker, Opinion, Perry v. Schwarzenneger,, Aug. 4, 2010
42.D'Vera Cohn, "Love and Marriage,", Feb. 13, 2014
43.Blake Ellis, "Gay Marriage Boosts NYC's Economy by $259 Million in First Year,", July 24, 2012
44.Sabrina Tavernise, "Adoptions by Gay Couples Rise, Despite Barriers,", June 13, 2011
45.Nanette Gartrell, and Henny Bos, "US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents," Pediatrics, July 7, 2010
46.Rachel H. Farr, Stephen L. Forsell, and Charlotte J. Patterson, "Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?," Applied Developmental Science, July 19, 2010
47.Anjan Choudhury, "Application for Leave to File Brief Amici Curiae in Support of the Parties Challenging the Marriage Exclusion, and Brief Amici Curiae of the American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, and National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter in Support of the Parties Challenging the Marriage Exclusion,", Sep. 26, 2007
48.Laura Langbein and Mark A. Yost, Jr., "Same-Sex Marriage and Negative Externalities," Social Science Quarterly, June 2009
49.Bruce Peterson, "Majority Opinion, Baker v. Nelson,", Oct. 15, 1971
50.W. Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Marquardt, "The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2009,", Dec. 2009
51.Brady E. Hamilton, Joyce A. Martin, and Stephanie J. Ventura, "Births: Preliminary Data for 2008,"  National Vital Statistics Reports, Apr. 6, 2010
52.Bruce J. Ellis, "Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?," Child Development, May 2003
53.Napp Nazworth, "Kids Need Both Mom and Dad, Says Gay Man Opposed to Gay Marriage,", Jan. 28, 2013
54.Joseph Card. Ratzinger, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons,", June 3, 2003
55.Steven Levinson, Majority Opinion, Baehr v. Lewin,, May 5, 1993
56.John Dooley,Baker v. Vermont,  Majority Opinion,, Dec. 20, 1999
57.Jake Tapper, "President Obama Supports Legislation to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),”, July 19, 2011
58.David Nakamura, "Obama Backs Bill to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act,", July 19, 2011
59."A Contentious Debate: Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.,", July 9, 2009
60.US Supreme Court, Loving v. Virginia,, June 12, 1967
61."Remarks from NAACP Press Conference on Marriage Equality,", May 21, 2012
62.Matthew D. Staver, "Homosexual Behavior Should Not Be Accorded Special Protection," National Law Journal Online, Oct. 2002
63."Denmark Approves Same-Sex Marriage and Church Weddings," BBC website, June 7, 2012
64.Jackie Calmes and Peter Baker, "Obama Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal," New York Times, May 9, 2012
65.Michael K. Lavers, "Uruguayan President Signs Marriage Bill into Law," Washington Blade, May 7, 2013
66."Marriage Legislation Becomes Law," Radio New Zealand website, Apr. 21, 2013
67."France Gay Marriage: Hollande Signs Bill into Law," BBC website, May 18, 2013
68.Ezra Klein, "Sorry, Justice Scalia: There’s No Evidence That Gay Parents Aren’t Great Parents,", Mar. 27, 2013
69.Shankar Vedantam, "Bans of Same-Sex Marriage Can Take a Psychological Toll,", May 20, 2013
70.Ryan T. Anderson, "Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It,", Mar. 11, 2013
71.Jillian Keenan, "Legalize Polygamy!,", Apr. 15, 2013
72.Justin McCarthy, "Same-Sex Marriage Support Reaches New High at 55%,", May 21, 2014
73.United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Perry v. Brown,, Feb. 7, 2012
74.David G. Savage, "Gay Marriage Ruling: Supreme Court Finds DOMA Unconstitutional,", June 26, 2013
75.US Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor,, June 26, 2013
76.Bill Mears, "Supreme Court Dismisses California's Proposition 8 Appeal,", June 26, 2013
77.US Supreme Court, Hollingsworth v. Perry,, June 26, 2013
78.Chris Kirk, "What Countries Have Marriage Equality?,", July 17, 2013
79."Where State Laws Stand," (accessed July 17, 2013)
80.Pew Research Center, "Gay Marriage around the World,", Feb. 5, 2014
81.Lawrence Hurley, "Supreme Court Dodges Gay Marriage, Allowing Weddings in Five States,", Oct. 6, 2014
82.Freedom to Marry, "States,", Nov. 12, 2014
83.Freedom to Marry, "The Freedom to Marry Internationally,", Dec. 2014
84.Against Equality, "Marriage," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
85.Illinois Family Institute, "The Effects of Same-sex Marriage on Education," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
86.Congressional Budget Office, "The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages,", June 21, 2004
87.Niraj Chokshi, "Gay Marriages Could Generate Hundreds of Millions in First Year of Legalization for 11 states, Studies Find,", Aug. 14, 2014
88.US Supreme Court, Oral Arguments in Dennis Hollingsworth, et al., v. Kristen M. Perry, et al., Mar. 26, 2013
89.Josh Barro, "What Is the Fiscal Impact of Gay Marriage?,", Mar. 26, 2013
90.Ed. Basil Jones, "The American Ruling Cases as Determined by the Courts: Including the Fundamental Cases of England and Canada; Also All Reviewing and Illustrating Cases of Material Value from the Latest Official Reports, Completely Annotated,", 1917
91.Ross Douthat, "Marriage, Procreation and Historical Amnesia," Apr. 2, 2013
92.Lindsey Bever, "Children of Same-Sex Couples Are Happier and Healthier than Peers, Research Shows,", July 7, 2014
93.Nolo, "Marriage Rights and Benefits," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
94.Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbell, "The High Price of Being Single in America,", Jan. 14, 2013
95.Evan Wolfson, "Protections Denied to Same-Sex Couples and Their Kids," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
96.Jonathan Vespa, Jamie M. Lewis, and Rose M. Kreider, "America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012,", Aug. 2013
97.National Center for Health Statistics, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Infertility,", Feb. 13, 2014
98.Meredith Clark, "Arizona Points to Procreation to Defend Gay Marriage Ban,", July 25, 2014
99.Derryck Green, "Marriage Is Not a Right," National Center for Public Policy Research website (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
100.Jonathan Dohanich, "Marriage Is a Privilege, Not a Right," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website, Dec. 27, 2013
101.Center for Family and Human Rights, "European Court: Gay Marriage Is Not a Human Right,", Jul 25, 2014
102.European Court of Human Rights, "Case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria,", Nov. 22, 2010
103.United Nations, ""The Universal Declaration of Human Rights," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
104.Amnesty International, "Love Is a Human Right," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
105.Nisha Chittal, "Judges Chip Away at Florida Gay Marriage Ban,", July 26, 2014
106.The Week Staff, "How Marriage Has Changed over Centuries," the, June 1, 2012
107.Evan Wolfson, "Protections Denied to Same-Sex Couples and Their Kids," (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
108.B.A. Robinson, "Marriage Prohibition on the Basis of Race. Part 1: Conflict over Inter-Racial marriage in the U.S. Anti-Miscegenation Laws. The Supreme Court Ruling of 1967 in Loving v. Virginia,", May 27, 2014
109.Courage International, "About Courage," (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
110.Rose McDermott, "Polygamy: More Common Than You Think,", Apr. 1, 2011
111.Peter Strauss, "Due Process," Dec. 4, 2014)
112."14th Amendment [of the US Constitution],", July 9, 1868
113.Richard G. Wight, et al., "Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from the California Health Interview Survey," American Journal of Public Health website, Feb. 2013
114.Jessica Dickler, "The Gay Marriage Windfall,", May 10, 2012
115.M.V. Lee Badgett and Jody L. Herman, "Patterns of Relationship Recognition by Same-Sex Couples in the United States,", Nov. 2011
116.National Center for Health Statistics, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Unmarried Childbearing,", Feb. 13, 2014
117.US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, April DeBoer, et al., v. Richard Snyder, et al.,, Nov. 6, 2014
118.The White House, "Civil Rights," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
119.Pew Research Center, "Religious Groups' Official Positions on Same-Sex Marriage,", Dec. 7, 2012
120."Leviticus 18:22," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
121.Human Rights Campaign, "Stances of Faiths on LGBT Issues: Islam," (accessed Dec. 4, 2014)
122.David S. Cohen, "Same-Sex Marriage Bans: A Form of Sex Discrimination,", Jan. 17, 2014
123.Lornet Turnbull, "State to Same-Sex Domestic Partners: You're about to Be Married,", Feb. 16, 2014
124.Michael Dresser and Carrie Wells, "With Same-Sex Marriage Now Available, State to End Benefits for Domestic Partners,", May 3, 2013
125.Chuck Hagel, et al., "Memorandum for secretaries of the Military Departments under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness,", Aug. 13, 2013
126.Joanne Sammer and Stephen Miller, "The Future of Domestic Partner Benefits," Society for Human Resource Management website, Oct. 21, 2013
127.Anders Zanichkowsky, "Why I Oppose Marriage Equality, ", June 26, 2013
128.Jon Stewart and Gene Robinson, "Exclusive - Gene Robinson Extended Interview Pt. 1,", Dec. 10, 2012
129.Lee Jefferson, "What Does the Bible Actually Say about Gay Marriage?,", Nov. 4, 2012
130.Stevie St. John, "What Does Judaism Say about LGBT People?,", Dec. 3, 2014
131.Megan McArdle, "Can Gay Marriage Solve Our Adoption Problem?,", Mar. 29, 2013
132.People for the American Way Foundation, "Marriage Equality Opponents Blur Distinction between Civil and Religious Marriage," (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
133.Mark Regnerus, "How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study," Social Science Research, 2012
134.Legal Voice, "Questions and Answers: Washington’s Domestic Partnership Law,", Dec. 2012
135.Maryland Department of Budget & Management, "Short Plan Year Summary of Changes,", 2013
136.Raphael Schweber-Koren, "Dobson: Same-Sex Marriage Would Lead to 'Marriage between Daddies and Little Girls ... between a Man and his Donkey,' " Oct. 7, 2005
137.Rick Santorum, "Americans Must Preserve Institution of Marriage,", July 9, 2003
138.Greg Botelho and Bill Mears, "Texas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down by Federal Judge,", Feb. 27, 2014
139.Joel Connelly, "Gregoire: End Discrimination, Let Same-Sex Couples Marry,", Jan. 4, 2012
140.General Convention of the Episcopal Church, "Resolution Number 2006-A095: Reaffirm Support of Gay and Lesbian Persons,", 2006
141.Unitarian Universalist Association, "Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples: 1996 Resolution of Immediate Witness,", Oct. 19, 2011
142.United Church of Christ General Synod, "Equal Marriage Rights for All,", July 4, 2005
143.Dana Ford, "Presbyterians Vote to Allow Same-Sex Marriage,", June 25, 2014
144.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Unintended Pregnancy Prevention,", Feb. 12, 2013
145.Philip Pullella, "Gay Marriage a Threat to Humanity's Future: Pope,", Jan. 9, 2012
146.Peter Sprigg, "The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage," Family Research Council website (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
147.Maria De Cristofaro and Tracy Wilkinson, "Gay Marriage Is Immoral, Vatican Says,", Aug. 3, 2003
148.David Edwards, "‘Grow a Spine!’: Huckabee Explodes at GOP for Giving up as Gays Break 'Nature’s Law' of Marriage,", Oct. 13, 2014
149.Right Wing Watch, "Barber: Every Gay Person Knows 'What They Are Doing Is Immoral, Unnatural, & Self-Destructive," (accessed Dec. 16, 2014)
150.Rob Boston, "The Religious Right's Gay Agenda: How Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Other Religious Right Leaders Use Gay-Bashing to Fill Their Coffers and Rally Their Troops," Americans United for Separation of Church and State website, Oct. 1999
151.Shannon Minter, "Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children,", Oct./Nov. 2001
152.BBC News, "Gay Marriage around the World,", Apr. 23, 2013
153.Josh Hicks, "Federal Benefits Won't Extend to Domestic Partners under DOMA Ruling,", July 8, 2013
154.Internal Revenue Service, "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Registered Domestic Partners and Individuals in Civil Unions,", Aug. 19, 2014
155.National Conference of State Legislatures, "Civil Unions and Domestic Partnership Statutes,", Nov. 18, 2014
156.Lambda Legal, "8 Things Same-Sex Couples Need to Know about Taxes (Updated for 2015),", Mar. 18, 2015
157.Yahoo News Video, "From Foreign Policy to Marijuana: Carly Fiorina Talks about the Issues," (accessed June 10, 2015)
158.Elisabeth Bumiller, "Bush Says His Party Is Wrong to Oppose Gay Civil Unions,", Oct. 26, 2004
159.SCOTUS Blog, "Obergefell v. Hodges," (accessed Jan. 6, 2016)
160.US Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges,, June 26, 2015
161.Cheryl Wetzstein, "States Rebel against Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling,", July 6, 2015
162.Michael Martinez, "Who Is Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk Jailed over Same-Sex Marriage Licenses?,", Sep. 8, 2015
163.CBS/AP, "More Alabama Counties Allow Same-Sex Marriage Amid 'Judicial Chaos,'", Feb. 10, 2015
164.CBS/AP, "Ala. Judge Goes After Same-Sex Marriage after Son Indicted,", Jan. 6, 2016
165.Camila Domonoske, "Alabama Chief Justice Orders Judges to Enforce Ban on Same Sex Marriage," nprorg, Jan. 6, 2015
166.Justin McCarthy, "Two in Three Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage,", May 23, 2018
167.Pew Research Center, "Majority of Public Favors Same-Sex Marriage, but Divisions Persist,", May 14, 2019
168.New York Times, "Gay Marriage Backers Win Supreme Court Victory,", June 26, 2015
169.Christy Mallory and Brad Sears, "The Economic Impact of Marriage Equality Five Years after Obergefell v. Hodges,", May 2020
170.Harmeet Kaur, "Costa Rica Becomes the First Central American Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage,", May 26, 2020