Gay Marriage Paper

Submitted By rmiaconis
Words: 1431
Pages: 6

Rachel Iaconis
Section 3- Consequences

Same sex marriage is heavily debated, with extensive arguments both for and against it, yet among all the controversy, it has been fully approved in many countries. Nations around the world have decided to allow for gay marriage. In total, 17 countries approve of gay marriage across their whole nation. The earliest of these countries was the Netherlands, making it legal in 2000. The bill passed by the Dutch parliament “gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children” (Pew). It was opposed only by the Christian Democratic party; after the law was passed, the Protestant Church declared that each congregation could choose whether or not to allow the ceremonies. Despite the small resistance, it is widely approved in the Netherlands. In the decade after the Netherland’s approval of gay marriage, nine other countries followed suit and made the decision to allow same-sex marriage, as well. These countries, in order of approval, were Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, and Argentina. Denmark was close behind, passing a bill legalizing gay marriage in 2012. The issue is clearly making increasingly great progress, as six countries have already passed laws approving of the nuptials in 2013. These countries are Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil, England and Wales (Pew). The effects of the legalization have been noted as mostly positive in these countries. A recent article has declared “countries who are highly accepting of gay people, and have very liberal societal attitudes towards homosexuality rank the highest in a list of the happiest nations in the world” (Jones). Among the top 10 happiest countries are Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands- all of which are countries that allow same-sex marriage. Although support of gay and lesbian marriage is not the sole determinant of a nation’s happiness, it is clear that countries that support this freedom have citizens that live happier lives. If support of gay marriage has a positive relationship with increasing happiness, wider spread approval of equality could lead to greater well-being all around the world. In all of the other countries in the top 10, which are Australia, the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, “same sex marriages have…been proposed, passed, or are pending” (Jones). Some countries have yet to legalize gay marriage throughout the entire nation, but have started to make progress by making it legal in some jurisdictions. The countries that have taken this step are Mexico and the United States. In Mexico in 2009, “the government of Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage within its jurisdiction” (Pew). The Mexican state of Quintana Roo also decided to allow gay marriages in 2011. In the United States, only certain states have approved of same-sex marriage thus far. The first state to do so was Massachusetts in 2003. Currently, 15 other states have laws legalizing the marriage that either are or will soon be in effect. These states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Gay marriage has also been approved in the District of Columbia. On top of these individual state approvals, the Supreme Court “struck down” a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act; as a result, the federal government must recognize the same-sex marriages from the states that have made the act legal (Pew). The majority of these states had same-sex legalized by State Legislature- these states are Delaware, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Five states made the act legal by court decision- California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Three states made it legal by popular vote- Maine, Maryland, and Washington (States). Hawaii and Illinois made the act legal very recently, within the past couple