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Pros and Cons for Gay Marriage Legalization

Updated on November 20, 2016
PaulGoodman67 profile image

Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Pro gay marriage protesters.  Gay marriage is a controversial topic.  Despite this, same-sex unions have been legalized in many countries around the world.  In the USA, the issue is decided on a state by state basis.
Pro gay marriage protesters. Gay marriage is a controversial topic. Despite this, same-sex unions have been legalized in many countries around the world. In the USA, the issue is decided on a state by state basis. | Source

Gay marriage, or same-sex unions as they are also sometimes called, have been the subject of debate across much of the world in recent times.

The debate has been especially heated in the USA where the matter was initially decided on a state by state basis.

There are people who feel very strongly about the issues involved on both sides of the argument.

  • People who are in favor of gay marriage generally perceive it as an issue of equality and/or personal liberty.
  • People who are against, generally oppose it on grounds of tradition, religion, and/or they believe that it undermines key family values.

I thought it would be useful to list the pros and cons for gay marriage legalization for those who wish to understand the main arguments for and against that are used by people on both sides of the issue.

Gay marriage will be universally accepted in time. But if I may be so bold as to say to gays and lesbians, don't wait for that time to arrive. Just as my father and his generation did not 'wait' for their civil rights, nor should you. The toothpaste ain't going back in the tube. The tide has turned.

— John Ridley

Pros for Gay Marriage Legalization

  • Gay people should have the same rights as everybody else and that includes the right to get married. It is a straightforward question of equality.

Did You Know?

  • Younger people tend to be more sympathetic to gay marriage than older people. In recent polls, around 70% of voters aged under 30 support same-sex marriage.
  • In 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to make gay marriage legal.

  • Homosexuality is not an aberration but a normal part of nature and may well occur through purely biological factors, rather than involving any sort of lifestyle choice.
  • Allowing gay marriage would not cause harm to either individuals, or society generally. There is no evidence from places where same-sex marriages have been made legal that any damage has been done to people or communities.
  • Gay people should be allowed to access the same financial and legal benefits that heterosexual couples get.

  • Denying the right of gay people to marry has no rational or ethical basis and is based purely on historical prejudice against gays as a minority group.
  • If two people love each other, they should be allowed to marry, whatever their genders. Laws and governments should not stand in the way of romance and human relationships.
  • Gay marriage encourages commitment to long term relationships and family values and should therefore be encouraged, not banned or impeded.

Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don't.

— Kirk Cameron

Cons for Gay Marriage Legalization

  • Gay marriage undermines family values because it undermines the whole concept of marriage, which should be between a man and a woman.

Did You Know?

President Obama made US History when he told ABC News on May 9, 2012: “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” The announcement caused celebration and consternation for proponents and opponents of gay marriage.

  • Most religions see homosexuality as morally wrong. Opposition to gay marriage based on religious conviction is entirely justified.
  • One of the main historical principles behind marriage is that a man and a woman commit to each other so that they can have children together, but a gay couple cannot procreate.
  • Gay marriages confuse gender roles for children. Children who are adopted need a mother and a father, not two parents of the same gender. Gay marriage won't solve that problem, just make it worse.

  • Legalizing gay marriage further undermines the family values which hold society together and it encourages a gay lifestyle, which has been shown to be detrimental to people, with gay people having higher incidents of mental illness, suicide rates, problems with addiction etc.
  • Allowing two men, or two women to marry makes it easier for unscrupulous people to enter into phoney marriages designed purely to sidestep immigration rules, in order to gain residence or citizenship rights.

I don't support gay marriage, but I also don't support a constitutional amendment banning it. However, I do support same sex unions that would give gay couples all the rights, privileges and protections of marriage.

— Bob Casey, Jr.
Gay parade in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The Dutch have a long history of tolerance and were the first to legalize gay marriage back in 2001.
Gay parade in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Dutch have a long history of tolerance and were the first to legalize gay marriage back in 2001. | Source

Countries Where Same-Sex Marriage is Legally Recognized.

Below is a list of countries where gay marriage is recognized by law. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • England
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Uruguay
  • Wales

US States Where Same-Sex Marriage is Legally Recognized.

Below is a list of US states where gay marriage is recognized by law. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington State

Do you agree with gay marriage being legal?

See results

© 2011 Paul Goodman


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    • mortimerjackson profile image

      mortimerjackson 5 years ago from California

      I don't know why you keep doing these articles. To make a Pro Con argument implies that the topics at hand are subjective matters. These are not. Gay marriage is a matter of civil rights. In order to make this article more appropriate, it should be called "The Pros and Cons of Civil Rights."

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @mortimerjackson. Thanks for your comment. A statement of pros and cons is not an argument. It is a list of arguments that people make for or against something.

      I personally have passionate views on issues such as gay marriage, the death penalty, taxation etc. but I still believe that it is a good thing to understand what arguments people make in favor or against an issue, even if I disagree with some of them.

      Pros and cons lists are also also particularly pertinent for people like my daughter who are considering some of these issues for the first time in her life. Weighing up the different sides of an argument is, I think, a necessary element of critical thinking.

    • mortimerjackson profile image

      mortimerjackson 5 years ago from California

      Ah. I suppose that in that sense, I can understand your motivations.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast


      This is the best piece on the subject that I have ever seen. I am impressed by the way you put the two side by side without telling me how to vote! Ingenious and powerful. Let them ruminate!

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      I have now added a poll, so that people can give a yes/no opinion on this issue, if they wish.

    • profile image

      ginger 5 years ago

      Are you gay?

    • profile image

      ricky martin 5 years ago

      its a good article and it gives good ideas of why gay marriage is not a sin its just nature.!life love sex

    • JRockefeller profile image

      JRockefeller 5 years ago from America

      The subject you presented is a very controversial one that both sides are very serious about. Only when we have a seperation of church and state will we truly have civil rights for the gay community all over America. Yes, this is going to take along time to complete, but with the help of social and political activist for gay rights, we can certainly fight this unjustice.

    • profile image

      :D 5 years ago

      what is okay and not okay because i have read both pros and cons and it confuses my point of view

    • profile image

      D real juju 5 years ago

      This piece is great it is an eye opener for people who tend to get caught in the middle about whether to marry within same sex or not.

    • profile image

      Night Hawk 5 years ago

      This piece of information is quite spectacular.

    • profile image

      mike 5 years ago

      If marriage being limited to man and woman is discrimination, then adding one more group to the marriage party only means that now two groups are discriminating against other types of relationships. Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. It actually is a separation of church and state issue and the state should not be performing any spiritual/religious rights. Before ORGANIZED religion, marriage was still a spiritual rite. Before that it was a natural occurrence and recognized by the life long bonding and creation of families. The spiritual/religious were responsible for creating the rite of marriage based upon what was observed happening naturally between men and women. The state needs to recognize the creation of households for people who co-habitate for long periods of time reguardless of race, sex, relationship status or anything. That is the job of the government. Marriage being a spiritual/religious rite must be preserved as such without the state ordering or regulating how or by who it is practiced. The end.

    • profile image

      amber 5 years ago

      Gay marriage needs to be legal. Just because people are attracted to the same sex doesn't mean they shouldn't be aloud to marry them.

    • profile image

      amber 5 years ago

      Gay people rock they should be allowed to do anything they want. Especially getting married. They are fun to talk too and they are really cool.

      Young,wild & free

    • profile image

      cassie 5 years ago

      So i hope what i think matters so here i go. I am so for gay marriage i think everyone in life same sex or not marry they have the same right as all human do. Even though we like the same sex dose not mean that we don't get to be treated the same way as a normal person and i bet everyone has heard this " Being normal isn't always fun" so just being our self makes a big difference in our lives wether it's same sex marriage or not being gay is a normal thing for some or bisexual or even lez they are all being what they were meant to be and no one can change them but most can hurt them. I just resent have lost a friend from bullying because he was gay and i am bisexual so the next time you think about saying a rude comment don't all you have to do is look at them see if you have anything nice to say and if not you shut your mouth turn right around and walk away because words can hurt more than you think. So this is why i think gay marriage should be allowed. Love all who came out of the closet and told the world about your sexuality.

    • profile image

      Ben 5 years ago

      Hi my nam is ben ad i tink dat de gay pepl shold b mared

    • profile image

      @miah_madison.ccg 5 years ago

      I think that this whole debate is very rediculous.Gay people fall in love just like everyone else and have feelings like everyone else in the usa.the should be thoughtful and empathetic about the decision that they are making.#REALTALK.!

    • profile image

      nana 5 years ago

      evrybody think about the right that the couple has the same sex can married because is their right. it is something anormal, also nobody think about the children right to have parents from different sex and have the right to live normal without any complex. please think about your kids

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      mortimerjackson: "Pros and Cons of Civil Rights" would be too broad. This hub is about gay marriages. I have gays, males and females, in my family and I love them dearly, but I still know wrong from right. Should they have a choice in their lifestyle? Yes, God gave them, actually, all of us, choices. I have a choice to murder or let live. If I choose to murder, I may, but I must face the consequences because murder is wrong.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime


      Sin is a normal part of nature, too, but it is still wrong. It is normal to argue and fight, but it is unwise. Normal things are not necessarily right things. Gay marriage is wrong because God indicated that it was. We all have freedom to choose our course of life, though.

      Gay people cannot procreate together. They would have to tap into the right choice to get a baby, meaning the opposite sex. The fact that they are not permitted by God to procreate together is a testimony that they are confused. Their bodies won't allow them to live on through any children. Egg cannot unite with egg, and sperm cannot unite with sperm. Besides, the points of sexoal union between homosexuals is ridiculous.

      If we all were gay, life on earth would end.

      The gay society is practicing genocide in a way. It is like trying to fit a aquare peg into a round hole. It won't happen.

      I believe that gays should be treated with dignity and respect like anyone else, not ostracized. A womam who cheats on her husband is wrong, and a man who marries another man is wrong. These two couples are rocking in the same boat.

    • profile image

      sofia 5 years ago

      If we want to see changes in our society we need to make those changes...Majority long for a better society but yet we want to have our own legalizing gay marriage. e know that's wrong and yet it is legalized.. we contradict ourselves without even noting it..

    • profile image

      rob 5 years ago

      I thought we lived in America where we have the freedom to do most anything we like. Also there are so many worse things going on right now that need our attention. LGBT FTW

    • profile image

      LIFE 5 years ago

      Well We are having Debates In My Class on the Subject of gay Marriage and I was put on the Against side although that's not what I believe, So What would be a Good way to express the Cons of gay Marriage Just enough to Dispute, The Pros....

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      I listed the common arguments used against gay marriage under cons. You either use those that I give, or you think up some of your own. It's not easy to adopt a point of view that you don't hold, but it can be instructive to try and understand your opponent's arguments.

    • profile image

      keaisha mcqueary 5 years ago

      I'm not gay but I have gay friends and I support them in whatever they do. they love whom ever they love so let them be.

    • profile image

      diya 5 years ago

      its human right, i personally feel that these people's feeling as well should be taken into consideration and this matter is always a personal reflection

    • profile image

      jacobyshaddix22 5 years ago

      so i dont really think gay marriage is wrong but i was talking to my mom about it and she told me to read the bible to see why it was wrong. i have read the bible but i didn't get to that part and i think that if the two people love each other they should beable to be together. My Mom said it is wrong and she did want to talk about it but im doing a speech on it and i kinda need to know why it is wrong and i cant find the info i need for the speech.. i need some help! :)

    • profile image

      diya 4 years ago

      it may be because its against the law of nature to accept gay. also if the couple decide to adopt a child, who will perform the role of the mom and dad

    • profile image

      so sweet34 4 years ago

      gay marrige is both bad and good bad because their will be no repoduction ,goood because all should get married so........good point

    • Ellieface profile image

      Ellie 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Personally, I feel that gay marriage should be legalized (along with many other things.) I feel that if what someone wants to do isn't hurting anyone else, then why should it be illegal? People, generally, need to mind their own effing business and keep out of other people's bedrooms and bodies.

      However, I would like to point something out. Actually, two women ARE able to have a child together (the beauty of science/medicine!) The process is called haploidisation, and what it does is it creates an artificial sperm from one of the mother's cells in her body. It has already worked in female mice (and I believe some actual female people.)

    • profile image

      My opinion 4 years ago

      I'll support gay marriage if gay people support my right to smoke a joint without fear of losing my job.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 3 years ago

      Civil Unions are a State issue and Marriage is a religious issue. By definition a marriage requires a commitment to God before believer whom bare witness to the agreement. If you hate God or what the Bible has stated then why would you care to define marriage? The only reason why is to destroy the beliefs required to be a true believer. I do not care about Civil Unions and by legal definition you can not allow a homeless person to stay at your home for more then a few days or they are entitled to your property and the right to live there in a lot of states. What I fear is the attack on anyone who disagrees with the right to believe and practice their faith. Technically marriage is already a joke and your authority as a parent is undermined by your children who our taught to manipulate their parents everyday. Grade school children are being overwhelmed by adult decisions being forced on them by people with poor agendas, that do not need to be discussed at this time in their lives. Funny how today's Idea of choice has taken the choices of others away. The biggest mistake is to deny choice and free will to others, when you should be fighting for your own choices. Feel free to pursuit and confuse your kids with a sexual identity crisis, while I allow my kids to grow up and determine who they are, when they are ready to make adult decisions. In every debate on this subject it never ceases to amaze me that they will attack God and religion. How can no one not see that this will lead to an attack on all faiths unless the beliefs of all people are protected. I do not believe that we have to force complete compliance in order to satisfy a small percentage of the population. Equality is equality and full compliance is not required to meet legality. Marriage will still happen and has never needed a piece of paper before God. Like Rome believers will simply move under ground and conduct their business in secrecy. At the vey least we will soon know who the real believers are. Your Pros and Con list is actually good and I have no idea why anyone would be offended by it. In purgatory and before you decide your own fate, you have to live on Earth and allow everyone the time to determine it. Finding a way to do this, is a struggle we have yet to figure out. Allowing everyone Sanctuary and choice is a good start. Technically, I should be fighting for a right to be married in a gay church. By the Word of God however it would not make much sense to desire something I am not practicing to be. I guess this is the reason why we have so many churches. I guess it has not occurred to some that many churches have actual requirements to be married even if you are a heterosexual couple and can refuse to marry you until you meet there rules. Others just do it for the money. That's what happens when you serve Earthly purpose by falsifying Heavenly reasons. We call this hypocrisy and that catches up at some point.

    • greeneyedblondie profile image

      greeneyedblondie 3 years ago

      I'm glad you as the author put both sides, for and against to show both sides their reasons for fighting. I feel like one side completely undermines the other in most cases.

    • profile image

      VQOFORI 2 years ago

      To begin with; @PaulGoodman67, you did not answer the question about being a homosexual or not. I would like to know.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 23 months ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Gay marriage is not about a homosexuals human rights, they had those anyway.

      It's an attack on a religious belief. What was wrong with a civil partnership? they had equal rights then...

      Either way it doesn't really matter because it is what god says that counts, not people's votes. So i say let them have their sodomy if that's what they want...baring in mind that history is repeating itself, whenever society becomes too abhorrent, that's when god steps in.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 20 months ago from Ohio, USA

      oopsy. We were assured this would not happen...

    • profile image

      3cardmonte 15 months ago

      I love how when it's about gay people it's a "debate" but were you arguing the pros and cons of two black or Chinese people getting married there would be uproar. Family values have NOTHING to do with your sexuality and clearly you have a leaning so please don't imply your neutrality. And to be opposed to change as some clearly are simply means that some of you will be deservingly left behind in an increasingly changing world.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

      " And to be opposed to change as some clearly are simply means that some of you will be deservingly left behind in an increasingly changing world."

      Be very careful what you wish for. Unless your agenda is change for the sake of change...

    • profile image

      3cardmonte 15 months ago

      My alleged agenda is change for the sake of equality.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

      We had equality. The same laws applied to everyone equally. Think it through.

      See, inequality under the law is when a specific law applies to one class but not another class. We had a clear understandable law that applied to everyone equally.

      You didn't like the law, we all get the point. I respect that you didn't like the law.

    • profile image

      3cardmonte 15 months ago

      But clearly not, there were and still are laws that failed to protect the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace and housing. Companies did NOT recognise a same sex partner as equal to that of a straight marriage. We did not have equality by any means.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

      "But clearly not, there were and still are laws that failed to protect the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace and housing. "

      Now you've changed the subject. The marriage law was applied equally but you didn't like that. I am not discussing other laws. I understand you didn't like the marriage law: at least admit you want special treatment for some people. I can respect that.

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