Same-sex marriage, also often referred to as gay marriage or equal marriage, is a term for a legally or socially recognized marriage between two people of the same sex. The issue is a highly debated topic, with proponents often arguing for the same responsibilities and rights for same-sex couples as those granted in a marriage between heterosexual individuals. Opponents argue that equating same-sex marriage changes the meaning of marriage and its traditions, while others object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds.
In the United States, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. are the only states to have legalized gay marriages, while the states of California, Hawaii, Maine, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey and Oregon offer civil unions. Internationally, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Spain, allow same-sex marriage.
For more resources on same-sex marriage in the United States, check out the Web sites below.