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.
Same-sex couples that have not been allowed to legally marry in Georgia have a reason to be cautiously optimistic for change. A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia allowed a decision to end the state's same-sex marriage ban to proceed. While the U.S. Supreme Court has now blocked that ruling and granted a stay, supporters of same-sex couples' right to marry in Georgia hope that their state will be the next to repeal its same-sex marriage ban.
More than 12 states have decided to recognize same-sex marriage as legal in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's action on the Defense of Marriage Act last year. Here in Georgia, same-sex marriage remains banned, but some think that this may change.
While the laws affecting same-sex couples continue to evolve in this country, a complicated patchwork of legislation has left gay and lesbian individuals with different rights based upon where they live. While the rights of gays and lesbians vary greatly from state to state, a recent study has found that gay parents are up against uphill battles in every state, including here in Georgia.