Same-sex marriage is a sharply divisive issue in the United States. Yet in the twenty-first century, cities and states across the nation are beginning to make available a range of legal options for same-sex couples who want to make a commitment to each other. These options include domestic partnership, civil union, and marriage. Advocates in favor of legal marriage point to the many benefits that come with the institution of marriage: tax advantages, adoption and inheritance rights, health-care protections, and general social recognition. Opponents, on the other hand, believe that marriage is an institution reserved for one man and one woman. Making sense of the debate involves asking tough questions: - Do all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, have a right to legal marriage? - What are the benefits and disadvantages of allowing same-sex couples to marry? - Does same-sex marriage threaten or strengthen families? - Should U.S. courts or the American voting public make the final determination about same-sex marriage? To answer these questions, this book examines the history of the gay rights movement in the United States and the struggle for equal protection under the law, including the right for same-sex couples to marry. It provides the opinions and perspectives of leaders, activists, politicians, and ordinary Americans on both sides of the issue. Supplemented with quotes, anecdotes, and discussions from the pages of USA TODAY, The Nation's No. 1 Newspaper, this book will broaden your understanding of all sides of the issue and help you form your own opinion, either for or against same-sex marriage.