Same-sex marriage also known as gay marriage is the marriage of two people of the same sex or gender , entered into in a civil or religious ceremony. There are records of same-sex marriage dating back to the first century though there is no legal provision in Roman Law, and it was banned in the Roman Empire in the fourth. In the modern era, same-sex marriage started being legalized at the beginning of the 21st century. Today, it is available in 28 countries. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal in Costa Rica.
In the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges , June 26, , U. Supreme Court decision striking down all state laws restricting marriage to a union between one man and one woman, public-opinion polls have shown significant levels of support for gay marriage among Christians of all denominations, including Catholics. Even though Catholic moral teaching has consistently taught that sexual relations heterosexual or homosexual outside of marriage are sinful, changes in the culture have led to a tolerance even among Catholics for such sexual behavior, including homosexual activity. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that as gay marriage has gained political ground since when Massachusetts became the first U.
On June 26, , the U. The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, including in the 14 states that did not previously allow gays and lesbians to wed.
Debates over gay marriage involve both legal and social arguments, for and against. Legal arguments on behalf of gay marriage tend to get more attention because it should be a matter of basic civil and equal rights. Yet, it's not demonstrable that gay marriage is harmful. On the contrary, there are good reasons to think that legalized gay marriage can benefit us all. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that people who marry tend to be better off financially, emotionally, psychologically, and even medically.