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The arguments for and against same-sex marriage

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.

The argument against same sex marriage deals more with moral, religious and societal considerations. Those on this side of the issue see traditional Judeo-Christian teaching as the foundation of American society, and they define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. They also maintain that the fundamental purpose of marriage is procreation, and they say that this is not biologically possible for a same sex couple.

While opinions remain polarized and the philosophical debate continues, many same-sex couples have very real legal issues to deal with. An experienced family law attorney may be able to assist same-sex couples with matters such as adoption, cohabitation agreements and the allocation of assets even as the law in this area continues to evolve. An attorney could also demonstrate how documents such as partnership agreements, powers of attorney and health care proxies may provide similar legal protections to same-sex couples as those offered by marriage.

Source: Findlaw, Same-Sex Marriage: A Historical Introduction

Source: Findlaw, "Same Sex Marriage", November 18, 2014

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