In recent years, the issue of whether gay and lesbian people ought to be able to legally marry has been hotly debated. On the one side are the right-wingers who believe that homosexuality is morally wrong and on the other are gay advocates who argue that their sexual preferences shouldn't determine whether or not they can marry. To the latter group, gay and lesbian couples should have the same civil rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to legally marry. .
Advocates for same-sex marriage purport that to deny a couple, no matter what their sexes, the right to marriage is to deny them a basic civil right. If a couple is unable to marry, they cannot access state and federal benefits that married couples can, such as health care, visitation rights when one partner is in the hospital, joint tax benefits and social security. But the fight for equal rights to marry isn't just about access to benefits. Gay and lesbian couples are also looking for a way to legally proclaim their love for and commitment to each other in the same public way heterosexual couples have always enjoyed. .
On the other side are those who state that, by their very nature, homosexual relationships are promiscuous, and so allowing same-sex marriages would increase the divorce rate. Further, opponents of gay marriage say that it would taint the long-standing tradition of the institution of marriage - that is, marriage between one man and one woman. .
Supporters of gay marriage counter with the argument that allowing same-sex marriages to occur the government is simply strengthening the relationship between two people and providing them with some legal and economic security.
Another argument against the issue stems from the belief that the primary, if not only, purpose of marriage is procreation. Since procreation is obviously not possible between a same-sex couple, they argue, these couples should not be allowed to marry.