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“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is the marriage of a same-sex couple, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony. The term marriage equality refers to a political status in which the marriages of same-sex couples and the marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognized as equal by the law.
As of 2018, same-sex marriage is performed and recognized by law (nationwide or in some jurisdictions) in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Additionally, Armenia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries. Same-sex marriage is also due to soon become performed and recognized by law in Austria, Costa Rica, and Taiwan. Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through legislative change to marriage law, an apex court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, by recognition that the existing marriage laws did not prevent it, or by direct popular vote (via referenda and initiatives). The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue. The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriage are human rights and civil rights organizations as well as the medical and scientific communities, while the most prominent opponents are religious groups. Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies.
Scientific studies show that the financial, psychological, and physical well-being of gay people are enhanced by marriage, and that the children of same-sex parents benefit from being raised by married same-sex couples within a marital union that is recognized by law and supported by societal institutions. Social science research indicates that the exclusion of homosexuals from marriage stigmatizes and invites public discrimination against them, with research also rejecting the notion that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon restricting marriage to heterosexuals. Same-sex marriage can provide those in committed same-sex relationships with relevant government services and make financial demands on them comparable to that required of those in opposite-sex marriages, and also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.Opposition to same-sex marriage is based in part on beliefs that homosexuality is unnatural and abnormal, that the recognition of same-sex unions will promote homosexuality in society, and that children are better off when raised by opposite-sex couples. These claims are refuted by science which shows that homosexuality is a natural and normal human sexuality, that sexual orientation cannot be chosen, and that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well or even better than the children of opposite-sex couples.A study of nationwide data from across the United States from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in approximately 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States.