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For many people the ability to marry their significant other is taken for granted and it is commonly agreed to be a basic human right In fact according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Men and women of full age without any limitation due to race nationality or religion have the right to marry and to found a family They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage during marriage and at its dissolution UDOHR Article 16 Unfortunately in some countries this right does not extend to sexual orientation There is fierce controversy in the United States regarding the right of same-sex couples to marry Marriage serves many purposes It is an expression of love and commitment to a person and it serves a role in society in family units But it also protects that couple legally and provides basic rights to them recognizing them as a single entity and ensuring proper treatment As these protections and rights are stripped from the same-sex couple the loss is immeasurable In cases where there is a sympathetic voting bloc or local government civil unions and domestic partnerships sometimes are the legal alternative to actual marriage Unfortunately these often do not convey many additional benefits and only provide the rights in a limited fashion Lest we underestimate the financial health and social benefits of marriage we should take a brief look at the automatic rights marriage grants a staggering 1138 according to the Human Rights Campaign Overview of Federal Rights par 1 These include the ability to make healthcare decisions for your significant other funeral and remain rights survivor rights and tax exemptions It impacts the right of same-sex couples to adopt their rights with non-biological children to see their loved ones in the hospital and literally a thousand other aspects of life Without marriage same-sex couples are vulnerable and the situation needs
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