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The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriage are human rights and civil rights organizations as well as the medical and scientific communities, while the most prominent opponents are religious fundamentalist groups.Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies.The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights organization in the United States, states that "many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry because they are in love—many, in fact, have spent the last 10, 20 or 50 years with that person—and they want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer, by making a public commitment to stand together in good times and bad, through all the joys and challenges family life brings." Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on claims such as that homosexuality is unnatural and abnormal, that the recognition of same-sex unions will promote homosexuality in society, and that children are better off when raised by opposite-sex couples.These claims are refuted by science, which shows that sexual orientation is not a choice and that homosexuality is natural and normal.In 2004, Coretta Scott King, a leader of the civil rights movement and the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., expressed her support for same-sex marriage and publicly denounced attempts to define marriage as the "union of a man and a woman" as a form of "gay bashing".In 2007, Mildred Loving, the joint plaintiff alongside her husband Richard Loving in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v.Hodges in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, stating that "races don't fall in love, genders don't fall in love—people fall in love".
The Associated Press warns that the construct gay marriage can imply that the marriages of same-sex couples are somehow different from the marriages of opposite-sex couples.
These claims are refuted by scientific studies, which show that homosexuality is a natural and normal variation in human sexuality, and that sexual orientation is not a choice.
Many studies have shown that children of same-sex couples fare just as well as the children of opposite-sex couples; some studies have shown benefits to being raised by same-sex couples.
In the United States and Canada, professional organizations including the American Anthropological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Nursing, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have stated that the scientific evidence supports the following conclusions: homosexuality is a natural and normal human sexuality, sexual orientation is not a choice, gay people form stable and committed relationships that are essentially equivalent to the relationships of heterosexuals, same-sex parents are no less capable than opposite-sex parents to raise children, no civilization or viable social order depends on restricting marriage to heterosexuals, and the children of same-sex couples fare just as well or even better than the children of opposite-sex couples.
Prominent figures in the civil rights movement have expressed their support for same-sex marriage.
The researchers took advantage of the gradual manner in which same-sex marriage was established in the United States (expanding from one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015) to compare the rate of attempted suicide among children in each state over the time period studied.