Gay Marriage

The idea of same sex marriage, more commonly known as gay marriage, is increasing with approval in the population of America. The federal government doesn’t recognize gay marriage, therefore, same sex couples can’t get the same federal tax benefits that married couples do. The Defense of Marriage Act that passed in 1996 is what stops the Federal government from giving gay couples the right to marry. The act states to protect marriage by keeping it between a man and woman. However, some states have gotten on the bandwagon for allowing gay couples to have the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. Washington State passed Referendum 71 in 2009, giving same sex couples equal rights as a heterosexual married couple, without calling it a marriage. Same sex couples get to apply for domestic partnership. California passed gay marriage, much to many gay people’s delight, but sadly it was overturned when Proposition 8 passed in 2008, banning same sex marriages. In 2011, New York became another state to pass same sex marriage, making it legal for any gay couple to get married. It was a big victory for the Human Rights Campaign, a big supporter of gay rights.

Massachusetts was the first state to grant same sex couples marriage licenses, in 2004. There are currently seven states that recognize gay marriage. However, Maryland is the only state that recognizes gay marriage but doesn’t grant marriage licenses to same sex couples. Gay couples that get married in New York would still retain their marriage license and have the same rights if they moved to Maryland. If they moved to a state that doesn’t recognize same sex marriage, they would lose their rights. To this day, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont are states where gay couples can tie the knot.

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