The issue on same-sex marriage or gay marriage has been a controversial topic for so many years now, with several countries worldwide have made it legal while others still are firm on their stand to ban it. Gay marriage is a union or marriage between two people of the same sex through a civil ceremony or in church. Although it was not acknowledged legally for decades and some even considered it a taboo, some countries have broadened their perspective and take on this contentious issue. Some of the countries that have legalized same-sex marriage are the Netherlands, Argentina, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and just years ago, the United States. Since June 2, 2015, same-sex marriage has become legal nationwide. The LGBT community considers this a feat but for them, the battle isn’t over yet. Despite this achievement, not everybody disagrees and have their views on the issue.
List of Advantages of Gay Marriage
1. Legal Rights Protection
One of the most useful advantages of legalizing marriage is the protection it gives the couple when it comes to health care, finances and taxes. Before, two people who are cohabitating and in a homosexual relationship living as couples are not given the security of protecting what both have them earned and saved together. If a partner dies, the surviving lover does not have the right to the property under the name of the deceased even if both of them have paid for the property. With the legalization of gay marriage, they are now considered by the state they live in as legally married so they now can enjoy tax breaks given to heterosexual married couples and are entitled to become heirs to their spouses. This also includes signing documents together as a couple and open joint accounts and purchase properties together.
2. Lessens Stigma
Legalizing gay marriage also mitigated the discrimination and stigma on homosexuals because making the union or marriage legal gives gay couples the affirmation that they are accepted not only by society but also the state. For so many years, there have been stories about discrimination of homosexuals as well as crime committed against them. Today, no one can be ostracized and discriminated in the workplace or be denied from marrying his or her partner because of sexual orientation.
3. Gives Right to Start a Family
There have been lesbian and gay couples who want to start a family and have their own children. Before, this was not allowed and looked at negatively by society. If ever one partner already has children, the other partner does not have the right to be an adoptive parent or if ever, they process does not work on their favor and takes years to be completed. With the legalization, gay couples can now adopt children just as straight couples can. They can even have children of their own through in vitro fertilization or by getting surrogate mothers or sperm donors.
4. Gives Equal Laws
Homosexual relationships are also the same with heterosexual relationships when it comes to the mistakes or abuses that can happen between two people. However, unlike straight married couples who can file for adultery, divorce and infidelity, gay couples were not given the same purview of the law before. With gay marriage, married homosexuals can now file for divorce and sue their partners with adultery or infidelity. Also, in case of divorce, the other one can receive alimony and their children will be given child support.
List of Disadvantages of Gay Marriage
1. Affects Child Development
Even if gay parents are allowed to adopt or have children, having two parents of the same sex might not be healthy or what’s best for the children involved. These kids need both a father and a mother image to have a balance and normal childhood. Gender roles can be hard to play especially if biological and physical aspects are the issue. If a boy grows up with two women, with the other one playing the role of the father or both plays the role of mothers, father image will be lacking and the couple cannot answer questions typically asked by boys to fathers, say, the physical changes in the body. Same goes for girls living with two-male parents.
2. Burdens the Divorce System
Another disadvantage of allowing gay people to marry is the fact that when things don’t work out and they file for divorce, they will add to the number of cases pending in court and the burden put on the legal system in terms of court proceedings for divorce, alimony and child support will be doubled while these problems would have been lessened if gay marriage were not legalized.
3. Prone to Bullying
Even if gay marriage is already legalized, not all accept and embrace this practice, particularly kids. Opponents of gay marriage claim that making this marriage between homosexuals legal can bring problems in the future especially when children are involved. Children of homosexuals and lesbians may be prone to bullying at schools and some even end up being physically hurt by other kids.
4. Possibility of Tax Increase
With the tax benefits to be given to surviving legal partners, this can be added expense for the government. Some people are thinking that with the legalization of same-sex marriage and the increase in tax benefits, the government will be prompted to raise taxes in order to afford these added expenses.
5. Affects Adoption Process
By allowing married gay couples to legally adopt children and given that they might find it difficult and expensive to have children of their own, there will be an increase in the number of child adoption applications. This might lead to more straight couples who are also interested to adopt not being given priority since they have bigger chances to have their own children.
Despite the legalization of gay marriage, this topic will remain to be a contentious issue especially that not all can accept and will accept the idea of two people with the same gender to be married in a religious ceremony.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.