Many Georgia residents hold strong views both in favor of and against same-sex marriage. While some hold these opinions based on religious or moral beliefs, others see same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. Passions run high on both sides of the argument, and the issue has featured prominently in recent years on ballot initiatives and in the courts.
The civil rights argument is based on the principle that all people should be treated equally under the law. This argument largely deals with the legal and financial benefits of marriage unavailable to same-sex couples who have been denied the right to marry. Such benefits include the ability to file joint income tax returns and qualify for benefits under a partners health insurance coverage or pension plan. Civil unions are supported by some as a way of providing these benefits to same-sex couples who are unable to marry.