For anyone who was alive before the 1990's, they can remember when the words "gay" and "marry" in a sentence together were practically an oxymoron. Not only was it still widely unacceptable to be openly gay, but one never would have even thought about whether or not homosexuals should be able to marry. However, the past decade has been filled with court cases, social movements, and media headlines debating this very topic. Even without considering the moral or ethical issues of same-sex marriage, the legal aspects are compelling within themselves. Many same-sex couples have gone to court to fight for their right to legally marry, leaving many Americans wondering just how long it will take for gay couples to be legally accepted. .
One main advantage of legalizing same-sex marriage is that it would uphold the basic principles underlying the Constitution of the United States of America. As Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, " our fore fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal"." (Library of Congress) All would agree that it is these basic principles that make America such a wonderful country. Advocates of same-sex marriage will argue that in order to completely uphold these, same-sex marriages must be legalized, and furthermore, recognized by every state, just as an opposite-sex marriage would be. Homosexual people should have the same exact rights as heterosexual people. It is agreed that this will take time, just as it took time for African Americans and women to gain the same rights that white men had always been given. But allowing same-sex couples to marry would be a huge step in the right direction.
Another, more selfish benefit of legalizing same-sex marriage is that the married couple would then gain all of the legal marriage rights. The most sought-after of these rights include financial: insurance breaks, automatic inheritance, and assumption of spouse's pension, parental: child custody and joint adoption, and others such as divorce protections and immunity from testifying against one's spouse.