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Same-sex marriage (SSM) is a new social phenomenon. In modern times SSM did not exist until the 21st century when an increasing number of countries began permitting same-sex couples to marry legally. This study presents statistical and related evidence concerning SSM worldwide, with special attention to the united States, where SSM has evolved into a major political and legal issue. In addition to examining data on levels and trends, differentials between men and women are investigated. The study also considers common arguments for and against SSM and likely changes in laws and policies that may occur. Although same-sex marriage now exists in a small number of countries and US states, its consequences and implications are being felt far beyond the borders of those countries and areas. In coming years same-sex marriage will remain a controversial and salient part of the legal, political, and cultural landscape, locally, nationally, and internationally.