Marriage is a formally recognized union of two persons in a relationship. Traditionally, marriage has included a man and a woman as the only pair that could be married. Within recent times, new romantic units have clamoured for official recognition, one such pairing being homosexual couples wanting to be able to marry. Same sex unions should be legalized to give homosexual couples the same benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy, to uphold this internationally recognized human right and to possibly bring financial gain to governments and help boost the economy.
Firstly, same sex marriage should be made legal to give same sex partners the same legal benefits that hetero couples enjoy. According to a 2004 General Accounting Office report, married couples receive 1138 benefits, protections and rights. Some of these rights include the ability to visit their sick spouse in the hospital during an illness, bereavement as well as inheritance rights if their partner dies. It is unfair that a long-term partner is denied the ability to file joint tax returns to reduce their financial burden or cannot receive spousal support should their relationship end because of their sexual orientation. This discrimination must end to ensure that all persons are treated as equals in society.
Additionally, same sex unions should be legalized because marriage is an internationally recognized human right for all people. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlights that “men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion” should have “the right to marry and to found a family”. This principle has been interpreted to be non-discriminatory and thus not excluding of same sex couples. According to Amnesty International, a leading watchdog institution for human rights, non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation has become an internationally recognized principle. In this regard, same sex marriage should be legalized to preserve human rights for gay couples.
Legalizing gay marriage could help boost the economies of the participating governments. Governments make money from issuing marriage licenses and from higher income taxes in some cases of combined incomes. In July 2012, then New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said that gay marriage added 259 million dollars to the city’s economy since it was legalized in July 2011. Also, the Congressional Budget Office in 2004 approximated that if gay marriage is recognized federally, the budget deficit could be cut by 450 million dollars in a year. Governments could benefit from this extra income and even put it to good use by improving social services or investing in education of at risk groups.
In conclusion, same sex marriage should be legalized for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it would give homosexual couples the same advantages that heterosexual couples enjoy. Another reason it should be allowed is to give same sex couples the same internationally acknowledged human right to be married that straight couples have. A third reason is it could possibly boost the economies of the countries that implement it.