Gay Marriage in the USA Free Essay

Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?


The idea of the possibility of same-sex marriage became widely discussed in Western society in the second half of the XX century against the backdrop of the liberalization of attitudes towards homosexual people, though such relationships have a long history. Discussions about the access of same-sex couples to the institution of marriage are still acute. In many states, this debate has led to the recognition of such unions. Currently, 28 countries in the world, including the USA, with a total population of more than one billion people, have legalized gay marriages. Such relationships were legalized throughout the United States on June 26, 2015, when the country’s Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. The Supreme Court in the United States ruled that the US Constitution (cf. 14th Amendment) guarantee the right of same-sex couples to marry. By its decision, the US Supreme Court ordered the authorities of all states to register same-sex marriages, as well as to recognize such marriages, if they are concluded in other jurisdictions. One needs to go through the background of the same-sex marriage’s appearance, its vivid debates across the country and its important public opinion in American society.

Brief History of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

By prohibiting registration of marriages, state law may offer same-sex couples other forms of relationship registration, for example, civil unions and or domestic partnership, or completely ban all types of official registration of relationships. In states in which there is a constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage, the legislator cannot legalize such unions until the existing constitutional amendments are repealed. Eskridge & Spedale (2006) claimed that in 1998, in the state of Hawaii, people did not vote directly for the prohibition of gay marriage. As a result of the referendum, the state government received the right to ban same-sex marriage, which it certainly took advantage of. In thirteen states (cf. Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah, and Oregon), such relationships were banned by the results of the referendum held in 2004. Also, at the same time in Ohio, a legislative initiative was supported, prohibiting same-sex civil unions. In subsequent years, bans followed in some other states.

Since 2013, as a result of a series of trials, constitutional bans gay marriages in many states were declared unconstitutional by courts of various instances, and the corresponding amendments were repealed. Opponents of same-sex marriages in some of them attempted to overturn these decisions and filed appeals. The US Supreme Court, in its judgment of June 26, 2015, in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, ruled that all states are required to issue marriage certificates to all same-sex couples, as well as to recognize such documents released by law in other jurisdictions. Accordingly, all bans on gay marriages in force in various states and territories were wholly legalized. Such court decision completes the most large-scale change in the institution of marriage in the United States over the past 50 years since interracial marriages were allowed in the same court order.

Brisk Debates  

LGBT rights in the United States are currently a hot topic. Each state of the United States has local laws that provide LGBT rights, ranging from the legality of same-sex contacts and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and ending with the right of same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

Same-Sex Marriage in the Military

After the abolition of the army doctrine of “Do not ask; do not tell,” the US military allowed the military chaplains to conduct same-sex marriages at military bases or outside military bases in those states where they are legalized. According to the Pentagon’s Circular, chaplains may refuse to hold a ceremony if this is contrary to their beliefs (Eskridge & Spedale 154). After the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of the United States v. Windsor, same-sex spouses in the armed forces will be able to get the same rights as heterosexual. However, trans are not allowed to have all these rights. According to a source, President Trump has announced “his determination to ban trans people from serving in the military” (Teeman 10). Thus, there is still discrimination and hate toward changing genders and so forth.

Immigration Rights

The right to register a gay marriage or union also closely relates to the right of immigration. Approximately 36,000 couples are divided geographically since federal immigration legislation, following the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act does not recognize same-sex marriages or unions. Prior to the decision of the US Supreme Court to identify the third part of the Law as unconstitutional, even in the states that legalized same-sex marriages, couples lived in fear of the deportation of a partner. In April 2011, the US Democratic Party proposed the “Uniting American Families Act,” which, together with The Respect for Marriage act may eliminate inequality (if adopted). However, President Trump said that “he and most of his offices do not support same-sex marriage in the United States of America” (Teeman 9). One of the signs that the President opposes to the LGBT movement is that he has cut all federal funds for any organization that protects same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

The Problem of Divorcing Same-Sex Couples

One of the problems associated with same-sex marriage is getting a divorce in those states where gay marriage is not recognized. According to the law, a divorce can be issued only at the place of residence; hence, same-sex couples who have married in states that allow this face with the problem of formalizing the breakdown of relations “if they reside in states that have not legalized gay marriages” (Roy & Abaid 3).  For example, judges in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island denied a divorce to same-sex couples referring to the constitutional definition of marriage in the respective countries and arguing that the denial was also a divorce is a kind of recognition of gay marriage. Heterosexual couples do not face similar limitations in similar circumstances.

Economic Effect       

According to some experts (2018), the establishment of marital equality in New York alone will bound to lead to a state growth of $100 million per year directly due to taxes and fees thanks to gay marriages, and also indirectly as a result of gay tourism, weddings ceremonies, and the creating of new professional occupations. Homosexuals, as a rule, have no family, because they spend more on entertainment, clothing, shoes, cars, tourist trips, and so on. Researchers point out that serving LGBT people has long since become a separate large-scale industry in the United States: special magazines, agencies, shops, cafes and restaurants, lawyers, doctors, psychoanalysts, and television work for them.

Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriages

According to a public opinion poll (2017), the majority of Americans (70%) support the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country. Since 2015, all national polls show support for same-sex marriage by the majority of Americans. Also, they have shown that every third American who supports same-sex marriage, previously held opposing views, but changed one’s mind. Over the past 20 years, tolerance towards gay people has grown by 90%. Notably, women and young people are more tolerant than men and old people everywhere. The former Soviet republics (due to strong ‘Lenin’ initiative), along with Muslim countries due to Islam, are among the most intolerant toward the LGBT community.

A plethora of scholars believes that people have become more open-minded, easy-going, and well-rounded, which makes them open their horizons to numerous things, mostly gay marriages. Same-sex marriages have made people understand that everybody is equal and unique and nobody should think only about biological aspects such as genetics (Winsor 6). Today, one can easily imagine oneself in the place of blacks, gays, religious minorities, and declining populations. Therefore, a vast amount of Americans and Western societies wholly support LGBT community and/or have ever been in same-sex relationships.


June 26, 2015, was the best day for gays since Barack Obama issued the order to legalize same-sex marriage, and the refusal to marry such a couple would be a violation of constitutional law. Over the last years, the number of gay marriages is rapidly growing, and the couples even adopt children, where they can have two fathers or two mothers. Though gays and lesbians still can face some discrimination or prejudices in the American community, day by day they become more united and active than before. The legalization of same-sex marriages caused a lot of speculations and protests alongside worldwide support and human rights movements celebrating this significant accomplishment in US history. Ultimately, the topics such as the history of legalizing, lively debates in various aspects, and public opinion have been in-depth analyzed and rigorously discussed.

Works Cited

“Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?” ProCon Organization, updated 26 November 2018,

Eskridge, William N. & Spedale, Darren R. Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse?: What We’ve Learned From the Evidence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Roy, Subhradeep & Abaid, Nicole. Interactional dynamics of same-sex marriage legislation in the United States. The Royal Society Publishing, 4(6): 1-13, 7 June 2017, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170130

Teeman, Tim. “Obama Gave Us Gay Marriage, Trump The Honeymoon From Hell.” The Daily Beast, 10 Apr. 2018,

Winsor, Ben. “How same-sex marriage changed the US.”  SBS News, 20 Oct. 2017,

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: November 27, 2021] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]
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