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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 10:37 GMT
Should gay marriages be legal?
Gay wedding in Canada

Massachusetts could become the first US state to recognise gay marriage after ruling that same-sex couples are legally entitled to marry.

The Massachusetts court ruled that barring same-sex couples from the benefits of civil marriage was "unconstitutional."

The issue came to court as the result of a lawsuit filed by seven gay couples who sued the Massachusetts Department of Public Health after they were refused marriage licenses.

Do you agree with the court's decision? Should same-sex marriages be legal? Send us your views.

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Your reaction:

YES, they should be legal. If two gays love each other and want to be united in holy matrimony why not? Isn't love better than war?
Alex, UK

Heterosexual marriages are legal so why shouldn't gay marriages be the same. Whichever way you look at it the gay community is being discriminated against. The only thing standing in the way is a book called the bible which was written in the dark ages when folk could walk on water, part oceans and turn water into wine. Let's let the gay and lesbian community get on with their lives and marry who they want to marry regardless of sex.
Craig, UK

Marriage should be about two people loving each other and wanting to have a family regardless of being gay lesbian or any other sexual orientation.
Filippa, UK

Gays should be able legally to make civil contracts
Keith, England
Marriage is a religious institution. The Christian Church had almost no interest in marriage 500 years ago and couples were joined in civil contacts. You can marry 50 people of any sex if your religion permits that but in the UK it will have no legal basis and if you try to do it as a civil contract it will be illegal. Gays should be able legally to make civil contracts and I don't see why good friends who are not gay should not be able to make civil contacts so as to protect each others rights when they share lives.
Keith, England

Marriage of heteros are already dreadful why do they want gay marriages? Lets plea for safe and happy sex for everybody. It is really a decaying world!
Veralice, Brazil

White Americans defended slavery until it was abolished in 1865. American men defended their exclusive right to vote until women's suffrage arrived in 1920. American schools defended their right to racial segregation until they were forced to stop in the 1960s. Throughout the 20th Century, many Americans defended their right to keep what they viewed as the "wrong kind of people" out of their neighbourhoods and country clubs. Now conservative heterosexual Americans are defending their ownership of marriage. I'm sorry that there's a large segment of the population, perhaps even a majority, that doesn't want to share yet another institution with people they don't like. Thank goodness for wise judges who can rise above the populist politicians who nominated them!
Aaron, Australia

They should not be made legal. Marriage is a institution created by God. It is a religious institution. Gays can make contracts with each other.
Peter, South Africa

'Marriage is an institution created by God'? Indeed, dear boy, some might argue that God is an institution created by man...
Jason Miles, UK, previously South Africa

Anyone can marry as long as it is within the appropriate boundaries be it secular or ecclesiastical
Matt, UK
Marriage is an institution established by some of the world's oldest religions and faiths. Anyone can marry as long as it is within the appropriate boundaries be it secular or ecclesiastical. As a Christian I would take a rare offence to any rules the state would impose on the Church. Everyone gets their own space so let them have it!
Matt, UK

With so many individuals who believe marriage is a purely religious union between a man and a woman I find it strange that more people are not upset by atheists marrying one another. In Denmark, where gay marriage is legal, it is the decision of the priest if s/he wishes to wed gay couples in her/his parish. As I understand it priests are experts on religion and if they can have such contrasting views on the matter is it not best to leave the judging to God?
Eva, London

I think that they should because in the end it is what people feel, and if it makes them happy then what's wrong about that?

I think the most important parts to take out of the bible are the parts about love, forgiveness and understanding. Unfortunately too many people seem to focus on the petty small minded comments rather than the overriding sentiment. As for the person who suggested that if gay marriage was legal soon we wouldn't reproduce any more. Come on, do you seriously believe that legalising gay marriage would make everyone gay?
Richie, UK

We may end up living in an unproductive world
Chris, Zambia
Marriage of same is wrong. Biblically it is stated that man will leave his mother and father to be united with his wife and the two will become one. Bible further goes on to say we should be in the world to multiply (bring up off-springs). We may end up living in an unproductive world and there will be no future people to run the affairs of the world if we encourage same sex marriage.
Chris, Zambia

I think we should all do what makes us happy - PERIOD. If you like having sex and intimacy with a person of the same sex, great - do it. But don't tell me that it is not abnormal human behaviour. It IS...PERIOD. Men and women marry due to the tradition of family and procreation - the natural order of life. If you are gay, you don't get married, you shouldn't be allowed to have children, you should just exist as two "same sex" partners having flippity floppity with no "SPECIAL" rights. Be happy...but shut the hell up!
David, New York, USA

David, New York: Gay marriage is about having the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual marriage, not special rights. And our relationships are not "abnormal". Same-sex unions are found throughout the animal kingdom. Interestingly heterosexual monogamy rarely is. Does that make monogamous marriages "abnormal" in your eyes? Are heterosexuals and their relationships so feeble that a gay couple getting married would have a detrimental effect on them? That seems to be the message coming from some people here.
Kate, England

For everyone who is against gay marriage that is against it because the bible says homosexuals acts are a sin: Do you also condone slavery as well? The bible's ok with slavery.
Bryan Zeth, Sweden

It is ridiculous to call ourselves democrats and at the same time deny the human right to others
Simintab, Slovakia
They should. Homosexuals are the same citizens as heterosexuals, they pay the same taxes and are bound by the same legal responsibilities, so they have also the right to live their private lives like they want to and to enjoy the same privileges like any other citizen of the state. Civil marriage should be allowed to any of them. It is ridiculous to call ourselves democrats and at the same time deny the human right to others just because they have the sexual partners some bigots do not approve of.
Simintab, Slovakia

The Bible also forbids the eating of shellfish, pork, and sausage on your pizza (no meat and dairy in the same dish), the wearing of clothing containing more than one sort of fiber (no linen/wool or cotton polyester/lycra), and having people with disabilities in the sanctuary, all the very same book that prohibits homosexuality, and with the same penalties. It seems to me that if you are going to insist on one outdated prohibition, you'll have to take the whole package. Reducto ad absurdum.
Mercedes Lackey, USA

Many of the comments presented here have based their arguments against gay marriage on the statement that marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman. Just where did this definition come from? In a progressive society, definitions change. Furthermore, in these days of failing marriages and lack of long term commitment, any committed loving relationship should be nurtured and respected, regardless of the gender of those involved.
Peter, USA

Civil union under state law, yes. Marriage as defined by my God, No! Let them all be gay until they're blue in the face for all I care! Just get on with it, and please don't push the gay agenda into everybody's face!
Brian Killion, Massachusetts,USA

I believe that "gay marriage" is wrong. The Bible clearly states that "gay sex" is a sin and describes a marriage as a life long union between a man and a woman. It is not surprising that this is happening, for the Bible also tells us that men will call good evil and evil good.
Clint Reiff, USA

That union is the foundation for a family, a community and a society
Lee, US
Marriage, traditionally (for several millennia) the union between a man and a woman, is about the union of two that become one. That union is the foundation for a family, a community and a society. A marriage between two women or two men cannot afford the needs required for a child. Fathers provide what mothers cannot provide for a child and mothers provide what a father cannot. Of course, this cannot always be possible because of the circumstances of life BUT is the optimum goal.
Lee, US

People are misinformed about the separation between church and state. The meaning is no state controlled church such as in England. The constitution says nothing about church controlled state. This is a Christian nation, under God. So, no gay marriages.
Ralph Hunt, USA

Same sex marriage is already legal here in many parts of Canada. Many same-sex couples have been married and society has not broken down as some have predicted.
Hasan, Canada

YES - If they pay the same taxes, and take life long vows, why then should gays not receive the same benefits of a marriage. Its just a matter of economic equality.
Patrick, NYC,USA

Civil Unions are a sham and a way for government to hold homosexuals as second class citizens. When the term civil union is used, it is thought of as lesser than a marriage between a man and a woman even though the two unions are close to the same. If the US is truly the land of opportunity, then anything less than full scale marriage between loving and consenting adults is not equal.
Drew, USA

Massachesetts, congratulations and welcome to the 21st century
Damian, USA
If I can marry the person that I love, then I don't know of a single valid reason why my gay friends shouldn't be able to do the same. THAT is the only abomination here. Semantics aside (call it marriage or a civil union), I say - Massachesetts, congratulations and welcome to the 21st century.
Damian, USA

It seems that anything can be condoned in this present day. I have been married for the 35 years and having taken our vows in the house of the Lord We continue to have a wonderful marriage and three healthy straight children for which we are thankful. What happens when gay marriages fall apart Divorce?
Pete, UK

People are just people; and gender is merely an objective cultural identity inferior to the universal concept of love. This isn't only an argument of religious based morality, it's also a question of equality.
Tina, USA

I agree completely with the court's decision. Religions should decide who marries in their churches. Not anywhere else.
Annemarie, USA

Don't call it marriage; call it a civil union if you must call it anything. It's still a sin and it's very disgusting behaviour. By the way, I'm from Massachusetts and disagree with this crazy court ruling.
bob Johnson, US

No! We exist as energy beings in a world of duality. Everything must have its polar opposite to create a balanced energy. Example: Notice how batteries require a negative and positive charge to make them work? The same applies for human beings. Two males or two females together will repel each other.
Cindy, USA

Don't try to mess with happiness of other people but live your live as you want yourself
Jaap, Netherlands
Marriage is older than the bible so keep the bible out of the discussion. Gay marriages are already legal where I live. I have got no problem with it, why should I, it has nothing to do with me or everybody who is against Gay marriage. Don't try to mess with happiness of other people but live your live as you want yourself. If there is a god, we will all meet him, if not so be it.
Jaap, Netherlands

The USA has always prided itself in being a nation that has a separation between church and state. This idea has proved to be exceedingly false when looking at many of the decisions that are made in politics. The only place where the marriage between a man and a woman is sacred is in the bible. The government has no right to condemn gay marriage based solely upon this belief.
Lauren, USA

Yes and no. They should have a legal form of "marriage" that is no different to homosexual marriage. However, they should NOT expect the Christian faith to allow gay marriages. The reason? Because a religion is as such a solid set of rules to live by in order to go to "heaven" or whether your religion takes you and if you can change these to popular demand the rules are meaningless.
Paul, England

Freedom comes with responsibility. If I and two or more women or men, consent to and agree to live together, "loving each other", practicing polygamy, who's there to stop us, we might as well ask for the same benefits. Pretty soon anything and everything is (will be) "ok". Same difference!
Paul, Princeton NJ, USA

NO! It is wrong...if they want to live together they can, but they shouldn't be allowed to marry. Marriages are "invented" for man and woman and not different.
Peter, Austria

Our constitution does not say only rights for people that can procreate
Tiffany, Boston USA
Yes. Our constitution does not say only rights for people that can procreate. I am straight and in a committed relationship. If I were to get married and not have children I would still gain all the rights of marriage regardless. Many people forget that there is a separation of church and state and churches can do as they wish. But the state is the one that hands out rights and supports those rights. So if I can get married and not have children but get all the perks why can't two other citizens.
Tiffany, Boston USA

Marriage by definition is the legalized union between men and women. A legalized union between persons of the same sex is an abomination. It may be legal, but should not be called a marriage.
Gieringer Franz, Germany

It should be legal. We are second class citizens otherwise because we aren't allowed to partake in the full human experience that other citizens can. I don't buy the argument that it's a "sacred institution" because if it is, then government shouldn't be involved in it at all because that would be in violation of separation of church and state.

And I don't buy the argument that it deteriorates the marriages of heterosexual couples...that's a great catch phrase but specifically how so? What does it REALLY do to John and Jane Doe's relationship and marriage? Absolutely nothing...they'll be the same the days before and the days after legalization of marriage for everyone. Marriage should be available to any two people who promise to take care of one another. Period.
Matt B., USA

No, because a "gay marriage" is not a marriage. Let them come up with another name for their union but defiling the meaning of marriage is unacceptable and so is making their union legal.
Natasha, USA

C'mon people - wake up and live and let live
Bala, India/USA
Yes by all means. They too are humans. And if two humans decide that they love each other and want to get married, by all means they should be allowed. And as far as the surmise that "God" will be unhappy, then he will be unhappy about adultery (not illegal), sex before marriage (not illegal) etc. So should we have a law banning these also. C'mon people - wake up and live and let live. Life is short, spread love, tolerance and happiness.
Bala, India/USA

Of course they should not be legal. I don't care what people consent to in private, but marriage is something involving MEN and WOMEN for procreation.
Paddy, France

Yes, it should be legal. I am straight and single. The conservative holy children argument is a fantasy. If marriage has anything to do with children, it has to do with raising them, not simply producing them. Learning to love one another is the most important lesson a marriage can teach a child. I doubt that loving stable gay parents do that less effectively than a mom or dad left single after a failed marriage.

Fine, get on with it but please stop trying to justify it on religious grounds. Adam and Steve? I think not.
Maris J Teteris, UK

It's not God who wrote the Bible. It was written by people who claim to have heard God. If I claim He has spoken to me and has explained that homosexuality is actually alright, am I allowed making an addendum to the Bible? (Didn't think so.) Religious bigotry and short-sightedness should not be a reason to prevent a legal union of homosexuals.
Ryan D., England

True love, whether between opposite sexes or the same, should never be repressed by any law
Mike, VT, USA
It's truly a shame to have politicians, along with the president, working so hard against love. True love, whether between opposite sexes or the same, should never be repressed by any law.
Mike, VT, USA

I feel that gays should have the right to privacy in their own homes. However, to force society to accept their lifestyle is insulting. What is next? The government allowing Billy Bob to marry his horse? What about a bigamist marrying twenty women?
Brian, Texas

No way should gay "marriages" be given official approval. These people are clearly outside the norm and though they should not be persecuted they should certainly not be encouraged. This is the thin end of the wedge... whatever next? Incestuous marriage? Legalised bigamy? Paedophile marriages? Come on, it's fine that gays can operate without being criminalised but to allow their "marriage" will diminish the meaning of true marriage between a man and woman.
Kulu, UK

Yes I agree with the decision that same sex marriages should be legal. I will never say to anyone your love for your partner means less than my love for my partner, or try deny them the same equal rights and or benefits under that order. Why is it that I can pay my taxes but not protect my partner the way I want her protected if something was to happen to me or her? Marriage is a contract and as with anything you sign you should not enter into it lightly. NOW remind me again ..why is it that I don't have the right to enter into this contract with my partner?
Resa, USA

Just because something is permitted does not mean it is right
Jesse, UK
Hey - to hell with it, let's just legalise everything - drugs, gay marriages, reduce the age of consent to nine to eradicate paedophilia. Just because something is permitted does not mean it is right.
Jesse, UK

In this time and age, when some societies are complaining of the ravages of HIV/AIDS and the claim of lives to the economy of these countries, I would say this is the most insensible act any country could extend her moral independence. Morally, it is wrong. Legally, of course, that depends on who is making the law. Not in some countries where laws are bent to suit some people.

In some societies that have gone decadence, what do you expect? Religiously, surely, no religion would ever tolerate such an abominable act. It is simply inhuman. In animal kingdom, God has not make them and we humans male and female for nothing. Finally, this is the beginning of the end of human race if such act could be allowed to go on. What an awful sight!
Abayomi Peter Joshua, NIGERIA

It's very simple. A marriage is to produce children, can two people of the same sex? No.
Tom, England

To Tom - England. If marriage is only for creating children, then any couple that do not have children say after the age of 35 should be divorced? Plus they should not be allowed to have any tax breaks either, as they are for the children that they don't have.
Ron, US/UK

Why is legalising Divorce ok and not marriage between two people that like each other?
Finally! For all those that say marriage was defined by God, shouldn't believe in divorce either. Why is legalising Divorce ok and not marriage between two people that like each other, irrespective of their sexual inclinations?

To SS, USA: Those who get divorced have erred and (in some cases) seek forgiveness. They are not proud of being divorced. That, in a nutshell, is why divorce is generally tolerated and gay marriage is not.
Jeff, USA

As long as marriage grants any sort of legal privilege to a person, it can not be denied to anyone based solely upon their social group. If conservatives wish to keep marriage exclusive to heterosexuals they should work to remove all the rights and privileges that marriage grants. I mean, if it's a religious matter it should be of no consequence whether or not the government bestows any sort of special recognition or rights to it.
Lorelei, USA

If it is not the place of the state to say what type of union is acceptable, then why bar bigamy, or even same sex bigamy? What's to prevent five men from having a union? A little silly perhaps, but once you've opened it up, you'll have to live with the consequences.
Ted, USA

If a clear separation of church and state exists, either the term marriage need be reserved solely for religious union (and removed from recognized civil partnership) or the term marriage will carry two definitions, both a civil partnership and a religious partnership. However, the former may not legally be offered on the precondition of the couple's sex alone.
John, USA

It's about time US courts realized that there's no harm in allowing same-sex couples to wed
Jonathan, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
It's about time US courts realized that there's no harm in allowing same-sex couples to wed. In Ontario most individuals have no problem with a homosexual couples getting married.
Jonathan, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Same-sex marriages should definitely be legal. Marriage is something that occurs between two people who love each other; why should this not include same-sex couples? Courts don't have the ability to say that certain straight couples can't get married; why then should they be allowed to say that same-sex couples can't get married? The US Constitution states equality for all, and we've got a long way to go before we get there. Allowing same-sex marriage is only one step towards having equality for all.
Katie, USA

It seem to me that most people would not care if their neighbour are gay and live together. But people could vote against letting them marry simply because of religious reasons. Why not invent a new name specifically for gay "marriage" which still carries all the legal meaning of a marriage but not the kind God would define?
Roger, USA

Before we tackle this question we should consider why society instituted marriage as a legal construct in the first place. When we can clearly answer that question then we can consider whether we should provide the same benefits to gay-unions.
Richard Helmes, Washington D.C., USA

Of course same-sex marriages should be legal. They are not harming anyone else because they love each other and would like a formal marriage. People need to learn to be tolerant and understand that just because they aren't a certain way or wouldn't do certain things, it doesn't mean that others shouldn't be able to do them either.
Farzana Hoque, Saudi Arabia

It was created to be a sacred union between a man and a woman
Penny, USA
No. This is an assault to the Word of God. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, the body of believers. It was created to be a sacred union between a man and a woman whose love would bring forth fruit - children.
Penny, USA

I believe any two people should be able to marry if they wish. I'm very heartened by how many of my fellow Americans agree. And I'm very proud that my home state is leading the way.
Mike Dow, USA

As a straight person I think that marriage was originally designed as a form of social control to do with acquiring, retaining and increasing family wealth, land and power. Therefore, what's the difference who chooses to buy into the concept?! Personally, I see love and marriage as two different things that are not necessarily mutually connected.
Andie, UK

Yes. It is no business of anyone other than the couple being married. Religious extremism must be defeated in all its forms, tolerance is the only way forward.
Marc Graham, US

As someone from a state where the US Supreme Court struck down an anti-sodemy law, I am proud this takes homosexuality to the next step in our world and society.
E. Figueroa, Texas USA

Most gay people would be happy with equal legal recognition of our partnerships. Putting the word "Marriage" into the debate just winds up those with religious beliefs.
David Hulse, United Kingdom

Yes of course they should be legal. Despite marriage having lost much of its former relevance, it still means something. If you are prepared to commit yourself to one partner and wish to consolidate that commitment through marriage, it doesn't matter whether it's a heterosexual or homosexual partnership - it's the love that counts.
James Whale, UK

I say that it is about time that this ruling has come out
David, Cambridge, MA USA
As someone who has been in a committed gay relationship for nearly 13 years, I say that it is about time that this ruling has come out. The courts of Massachusetts have ruled in a way that shows the world that not all of America is the intolerant and bigoted place it is often portrayed elsewhere as, and that sometimes the sheer rationality of argument can actually win out. The big wrinkle will be, however, when it actually hits the state legislature, and the governor has already threatened to establish some sort of support-of-marriage amendment that would exclude same-sex couples. So we are not there quite yet, folks.
David, Cambridge, MA USA

God made us and he says homosexuality is wrong so that can be no reason to legalise it - it's that simple.
Paul Reynolds, England

For gay people in love, the feelings are the same as for heterosexuals. To say that they can't form a marriage and a family unit is discrimination. To discriminate against gay people makes an art form out or misunderstanding.
Stephen Bickford, USA

Everyone is different. We all lead separate lives so why not keep it that way? If gays want to be gay, who's in a position to say otherwise? No-one! Its like trying to live someone's life for them. Why don't people just back off and let them get on with their lives? It shouldn't affect anyone else.
Danni, UK

I am straight, but I whole-heartedly believe that gay marriages should be legal. Regardless of people's religious outlook, contemporary marriage is more of a civil connection than a religious institution, and thus equal rights must be made paramount.
James McEnaney, Scotland

It is their choice to be together and commit to each other and we should respect that
Raluca, UK/currently in the US
A committed, loving and long standing relationship is the same, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Therefore, a gay couple should be allowed to get married, just as anyone else. It is their choice to be together and commit to each other and we should respect that, just as they respect us and our choices.
Raluca, UK/currently in the US

I definitely believe same-sex marriages should be legal. Americans should have full rights to their "pursuit of happiness" as long as it does not prohibit someone else's. Many Americans feel this way, it's a wonder why it has taken this long to kick up a fuss about it.
Amanda, TEXAS, USA

Considering the problems that the Anglican Church are having at the moment I think that they and the state should enable same sex couples to become married. I find it difficult for heterosexuals to say that the only time that people can have sex is in the institution of marriage. If so this prevents gay people from having sex ever. This is not natural as sex is an expression of love between two people. Why should heterosexuals can only have this deep and meaningful part of their lives not afforded to gay members of our society?
Ed, UK

No, they certainly should not be legal. It is an insult to the institution of marriage itself.
Kia, UK

I don't think same-sex marriages should be legal. It is quite clear that the basis of a good family unit is a man and woman who are married and stay together. Same-sex relationships do not allow for the differences between the sexes to be a part of the relationship and family unit. Such relationships will have a detrimental effect on society and children will suffer most.
Matt, UK

Yes! Those individuals who fear the results of recognizing us as equals need to step back and take an open view of the situation. We don't want to be denied rights and privileges they receive - standing in ICU next to our partner as "closest relative", making medical decisions, having them treated as a "relative" in every situation. And having our commitment recognized the way heterosexual couples are.
John, Orlando, FL USA

We should be doing all we can to encourage responsible, committed adult relationships
LBR Lucas, USA
Yes, gay marriages should be legal. Love is a gift from God and should be supported by society. None of us can predict whom we will love, and none of us has the right to pass judgment on the love of others. Instead, as a society, we should be doing all we can to encourage responsible, committed adult relationships, and to celebrate the miracle of love whenever it occurs.
LBR Lucas, USA

If equal opportunities are ever to be in place within the world, they must be ALLOWED to occur!! Whether homo or hetro sexual love is still the same!!
Sam Woodfield, England

Yes, same sex marriage should be legal. Why can't we just live and let live. OK, the gay lifestyle is not for everyone, but there is one sure thing in life and that is that we will all die. Life is just too short to be condemning people because they choose to love someone of the same sex. Some use the Christian analogy that the Bible says it is wrong, but then by the same token it should therefore be up to God to be the ultimate judge. In this world there are far more important things to worry about. Make love not war!
Maxine H, London, UK

By all rights they should be legal! A couple in love is a couple in love. If they want to get married let them. This is a rather hot debate here in the US. You'll never see something polarize faster here. It's scary. I just want to know what the big deal is about two men or two women getting married. However, many straight couples here in the US don't want gay couples having the same legal benefits. Ludicrous if you ask me.
Ally, Georgia, USA

I can understand some people getting uptight about church weddings for same-sex couples but a civil marriage is just a contract between two people and should be available to all - or perhaps gay people should pay less tax in exchange for a lower standard of service from the state?
Derek, UK

It's an abomination to use the term marriage for same-sex relationships
John M, LyneMeads, UK
It's an abomination to use the term marriage for same-sex relationships. However, I don't find anything wrong with stable same-sex partnerships being legally recognised and both partners having the comfort of legal protection should the relationship fail. Marriage, being designed for rearing children, the future of our species, should have extra benefits over same-sex partnerships and to treat the two as equal options would be inappropriate.
John M, LyneMeads, UK

I absolutely agree with the action of the Mass. Supreme court. It is time for us to open up the civil rights of legal contract, called marriage. Let churches sort their own positions on the matter. This is a matter of equal treatment under the law and not theology. />Very Rev. Hugh Strickland, USA

I can't see why anyone would want to get married but hell, if heterosexual couples can marry why not homosexual couples? I mean, it is 2003 isn't it? Anyway, it'd be great to see guys holding hands in the street rather than trying to beat the crap out of each other.
Arkady, UK

I definitely support Gay rights to marry each other. Discrimination is wrong, it's time to evolve!
Joel Hobson, USA

Legally, these marriages should be allowed. However, I personally don't believe it is religiously correct. I don't see why this is so confusing for people. Man and Woman were made for each other. They can create a child together. Anyway, it doesn't affect me. Just because a court makes it ok doesn't mean GOD is cool with it. In the end, GOD judges all people...not the court. If you don't believe in GOD, then I'll just have to pray for you.
Dave, USA

I see no reason why same-sex couples should be excluded from marriage
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA
I see no reason why same-sex couples should be excluded from marriage. The only arguments against it are religious, but not everybody shares the same religious values. Why should gay people have fewer rights than straight people? That is discrimination, pure and simple, and can not be justified legally or morally. Bravo, Massachusetts! Equality under the law is not conditional upon one's sexual orientation.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

What would we talk about without them? Gay bishops, gays getting married, gay parents ..ooooohh whatever next !
Andy, UK

They should, without question. If the US Constitution is amended to reflect otherwise, it is paramount to creating an "untouchable" caste where the freedoms of a specific segment of the population is reduced at the whim of many. THAT is not democracy.
C Michaelson, US

Yes, civil marriages should be made legal. The Gay community does not demand extra rights just equality. We pay our taxes and contribute to society in many ways and we deserve the same rights as all other groups of citizens.
Ian Robinson, UK

Marriage is a religious issue that should be left to the various faith organizations around the world to dictate. Temporal/secular governments should not define a religious issue. However, some form of civil protection/union should be warranted. Albeit, more rights should be protected for heterosexual couples based on the sole fact of biology...the procreative sexual activities of heterosexual couples promulgates the human race. That fact should be protected and warrants more civil union rights than homosexual marriage.
Brian O'Hare, New York, New York

I find it encouraging to finally see a high court have the courage to take action and ensure that everyone have equal access and protection to and from the law.
Ralph Elias, USA

The struggle for gay rights is the civil rights movement of our generation. Those who stand in the way are on the wrong side of history, just as they were in the past.
Michal Zapendowski, USA

Legalising gay marriages distorts the holy concept of union of a man and a woman
John, USA
Legalising gay marriages distorts the holy concept of union of a man and a woman, it will certainly disturb the unique way of human race to reproduce and live a healthy life under the rules of God. I am certain it will lead the human race to the paths of Sodom and God's anger towards and already shattered world.
John, USA

As a gay man, I believe there will undoubtedly be a big stink made of this by the Christian right wing who deem that marriage is this sacred institution between God and a man-woman couple. The funny thing is this "sacred institution" fails in 50% of all cases. So, to the church I say, "Keep your marriage. We only want fair and equal treatment under the law." Civil unions can be between the government and a same-sex couple, and let's just leave God out of it. Problem solved.
David, USA

'Civil unions can be between the government and a same-sex couple, and let's just leave God out of it. Problem solved.' David, USA - now I agree with this option 100% it is to the point and does solve the debate that some seem to want to keep going. Why can't we just end this right now across the board state-to-state recognition? And leave god out of it.

I can understand giving gay couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples but to call it marriage is a travesty. Marriage is a legal union of a heterosexual couple whose basis is love and with the commitment to produce children into a stable family environment. However much 'politically correct' nonsense is spouted a gay couple can't produce children. In my experience they also do not remain faithful to one partner for very long so if they are allowed to 'marry' I can see the lawyers making a killing.
John, France

John in France - just how much 'experience have you had?' - I've never heard so much rubbish in such a short statement! I'm a gay man, in a solid committed relationship for 17 years. Religion does not play any part in my relationship. And neither should it. My religious beliefs (and yes, I do have them) are entirely separate.

I am a gay man, I am human, I love, I feel and I believe in God. I also believe (even though no-one has any proof remember) that He made me in His image. If I was such an 'abomination' as some people put it, then surely I would not exist. Shucks, maybe he made a big mistake in making me and has continued to do so for millennia. Or could it simply be that it is how He wants it?
Hamid, London

Massachusetts backs gay marriage
18 Nov 03  |  Americas


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