10 April 2013
Same Sex Marriage Debate
Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex and/or gender identity. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage equality or equal marriage, particularly by supporters. The argument that gay marriage raises divorce rates is not panning out. In fact, research from the newest census, along with studies from the Center for Disease Control’s
National Vital Statistics System, shows that states allowing gay marriage have lower divorce rates. Of the eight states that allow same-sex marriage, five of those have the lowest divorce rates in the United
States. Data taken from 2009 showed the average divorce rate at 41.2 percent, while states that did not allow same-sex marriage had an average divorce rate of 53.2 percent.
In considering the pros and cons of same sex marriage, the cultural pressures on gay
couples are rarely mentioned. Gay couples face a wealth of prejudice, including the assumption
that gay men and lesbians are promiscuous and incapable of sustaining a committed relationship.
One reason to end the gay marriage ban is that gay marriage would further integrate gay culture
into open society. In addition to legal obligations to care for spouses, there are also social
expectations that make marriage a stabilizing element in a relationship. Society expects people to
care for their spouses and stick with them through difficulties. Friends and acquaintances, family
and work mates regularly check in on the health of a spouse and how the relationship is going.
Divorce, although no longer socially crippling, is seen as a blow to confidence.
San Francisco tested California's gay marriage laws in 2004 when