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Same-Sex Marriage The proposed legalization of same-sex marriage is one of the most significant issues in contemporary American family law Presently it is one of the most vigorously advocated reforms discussed in law reviews one of the most explosive political questions facing lawmakers and one of the most provocative issues emerging before American courts If same-sex marriage is legalized it could be one of the most revolutionary policy decisions in the history of American family law The potential consequences positive or negative for children parents same-sex couples families and social structure are enormous Given the importance of the issue the value of comprehensive debate of the reasons for and against legalizing same-sex marriage should be obvious Marriage is much more than merely a commitment to love one another Aside from societal and religious conventions marriage entails legally imposed financial responsibility and legally authorized financial benefits Marriage provides automatic legal protections for the spouse including medical visitation succession of a deceased spouses property as well as pension and other rights When two adults desire to contract in the eyes of the law as well a perhaps promise in the eyes of the Lord and their friends and family to be responsible for the obligations of marriage as well as to enjoy its benefits should the law prohibit their request merely because they are of the same gender Marriage has changed throughout the years In Western law wives are now equal rather than subordinate partners interracial marriage is now widely accepted both in statute and in society and marital failure itself rather than the fault of one partner may be grounds for a divorce Societal change has been felt in marriages over the past 25 years as divorce rates have increased and have been integrated into even upper class families Proposals to legalize same-sex marriage or to enact broad domestic partnership laws are currently being promoted by gay and lesbian activists especially in Europe and North America
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