Pro Con Gay Marriage Essay Example

The idea of same-sex marriage has been one of hot debate historically…often being met with strong opposition in the United States. In light of that, and as with most stories there are usually two sides.

Prior to the US Supreme Court rendering their ruling resulting in the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US, there were many pro and con arguments related to whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized. Although the list for each side is exhaustive, here are some gay marriage pros and cons that were at the forefront of the question.

Same-Sex Marriage: Con Arguments (those against same-sex marriage)

  • Same-sex marriage undermines the institution of marriage that has traditionally been defined as being between a man and a woman.
  • Marriage is for procreation (having children) and shouldn’t be extended to same-sex couples since they are not able to produce children together.
  • There are consequences for children of same-sex marriages as children need to have a male father and female mother.
  • Same-sex marriages increase the chances of leading to other unaccepted marriages and non-traditional marriages such as incest, polygamy, and bestiality.
  • Same-sex marriage is consistent with homosexuality, which is immoral and unnatural.
  • Same-sex marriage violated the word of God, thus is incompatible with the beliefs of many religions.
  • Same-sex marriages will result in people having their tax dollars used to support something that they don’t believe in or believe is wrong.
  • Legalizing same-sex marriage promotes and advances the homosexual agenda, with children being targeted.
  • Civil unions and domestic partnerships afford many of the rights of marriage, thus marriage should not be expanded to include same-sex couples.
  • Same-sex marriage will speed up the assimilation of gay individuals into the mainstream heterosexual culture which will be detrimental to the homosexual community.

Same-Sex Marriage: Pro Arguments (those in favor of same-sex marriage)

  • Couples are couples, whether same-sex or not. Thus, same-sex couples should be afforded the same access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
  • Singling out and denying a group to marry based upon their sexual orientation is discrimination and subsequently, creates a second class of citizens.
  • Marriage is an internationally recognized human right for all people.
  • Prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the 5th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.
  • Marriage is a basic civil right and same-sex marriage is a civil right, right along with freedom from employment discrimination, equal pay for women, and fair sentencing for minority criminals.
  • If marriage is only for procreation, heterosexual couples unable or unwilling to have children should also be prevented from marrying.
  • Being a same-sex couple doesn’t make them any less qualified or able to be a good parent.
  • There are religious leaders and churches that do support same-sex marriage. Furthermore, may state that it is consistent with scripture.
  • Same-sex marriage legalization is correlated with lower divorce rate, whereas same-sex marriage bans are correlated with higher divorce rates.
  •  Making same-sex marriage will not harm the institution of marriage. In fact, they may be more stable than heterosexual marriages.

Read More: A Historical Introduction to Same Sex Marriage

Ultimately, whether an argument of religion, values, politics, or general beliefs, the result in 2015 clarified that same-sex couples were afforded the same rights to marriage as heterosexual couples.

Same-Sex Marriage Legal Pros and Cons

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) decision, same-sex marriage is now protected federally in all 50 states. In addition to Obergefell clearing the way for same-sex couples throughout the United States to get married, unions that couldn't be finalized until this very ruling may now proceed. The ruling ushered in many other changes as well, including the recognition of marriages performed in other states and a more simplified divorce process.

While Obergefell dramatically altered the legal landscape for same-sex couples, citing the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, there still are somelegal considerationsyou may want to make beforetaking the plunge.

Legal Pros

Children and Your Rights

If you plan on having or raising children, your status as a couple greatly affects your rights regarding your children. In marriage, both partners have the same rights and responsibilities. Ina divorce, both partners can seek custody and visitation rights like any married couple. Upon death, the remaining parent automatically becomes the primary legal parent.

Absent marriage, same-sex couples can sometimes turn to adoption in order to gain the rights of legal parents. While no states may deny adoption to same-sex couples -- as long as they get married -- unmarried couples may run into the same legal challenges unmarried opposite-sex couples face.

Joint Property Rights

Marriage generally creates a presumption of joint ownership of property accrued during the marriage. The presumption is the opposite for unmarried couples, where your property will be presumed to be owned by whoever acquired it. Deciding which presumption works best for you and your partner can be helpful in deciding whether or not to get married.

Death and Taxes

Marriage creates a legal framework for dealing with issues that result from death, whether regarding property, parental rights or taxes. To create these effects as an unmarried couple, significant time and expenses will have to be spent establishing a similar relationship by contract. Even then, some things can't be recreated through contract, such as freedom from inheritance and gift taxes.

Another issue to keep in mind is the host of property-transfer taxes that by default don't apply to married couples, but do apply to unmarried couples. It can make moving assets around in a cost efficient way very difficult for unmarried couples.

Government Benefits

This is one of the largest reasons to get married, because the government provides a lot of benefits exclusively to married couples. A small sample of these benefits include Social Security benefits, health care benefits, nursing home care, and unpaid leave from your job to care for family members. In light of the 2015 Obergefell decision, federal and state benefits are available to all legally married couples in the United States, gay or straight.


Typically, legal marriage is the most reliable way to become a citizen in the U.S. While even legally married same-sex couples did not have this access to citizenship under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex and opposite-sex unions are now equally protected under federal law.

Legal Cons


Marriage, for all of its pros and cons, requires that certain formalities be performed, which may or may not be what you want. Unmarried couples can get together, and break up, without all the formalities (and court hearings) required for married couples.

Dividing Your Property

One of the effects of marriage's joint property status is that if you divorce, regardless of who is at fault, both partners are often entitled to half of the property accumulated during the marriage, depending on whether the divorce occurs in a community property state. Note that this also applies to liability for debts. As a result, many former couples become embroiled in costly legal battles over the division of assets in divorce.

For unmarried couples, on the other hand, each partner typically leaves with whatever they accumulated and responsibility for debts in their name. However, married couples have a right to seek alimony, whereas unmarried couples may have to account for this in a pre-marriage agreement.

Decide What Is Best For You and Your Partner

Given all of the above issues and factors, spend some serious time with your partner considering same-sex marriage legal pros and cons. If you plan on raising kids and you're ok with taking on the other partner's debts, then getting married may make sense. On the other hand, if you don't necessarily want to be burdened with the other person's debts or institutional marriage just isn't for you, then it may not be right for you.

Get More Information About Same-Sex Marriage from a Legal Professional

Following the Court's Obergefell decision, same-sex marriage carries all of the same rights and responsibilities as for straight married couples. But if you were previously married or have some legal issues to iron out following the decision, you might want to speak with an experienced family law attorney near you.

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