For more than two years now, everyone in the United States benefits from the right to enter into a same-sex marriage partnership. While getting married may not suit everyone — and some may not be ready to do that with their current partners — there are some genuine benefits to marriage for gay couples.

Let’s examine these benefits in depth so you and your partner can decide whether a same-sex partnership might be right for you.

4 benefits of same-sex marriage

There are numerous benefits to same-sex marriage that relate to more than honoring the love you have for your partner. Here are some of the four most vital benefits, and the reasons why the LGBT community fought so hard for the rights they now enjoy:

Receive marital rights: Legal specialists have documented 1,138 benefits to marriage. That’s a lot of benefits ranging from visiting your loved one at the hospital, sharing health insurance, filing taxes jointly, inheritance rights and more. Yes, marriage comes with interpersonal challenges that you navigate with your partner, but if you’re in a loving union, there are countless financial and legal benefits you will enjoy.

You’re a first-class citizen: If you really think about it, when the LGBT community was barred from entering into same-sex marriages, they were denied basic human rights enjoyed by everyone else. This relegated LGBTs as “wrong” or somehow not eligible to enjoy the same quality of life as their fellow citizens in the United States.

If you want to get married and enjoy the benefits afforded to all, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. By getting married as an LGBT person, you are showing up and asserting your rights as a first class citizen who is equal to everyone else.

Parenting benefits: Previously, if you wanted to raise a child with a same-sex partner, one of you would not have parental rights. This was completely unfair. No matter how much you bonded with your child, there was the potential for the nonbiological parent to lose his or her access to the child. Now, with gay marriage, same-sex couples can raise their children together without the fear of losing the right to have contact with the children if they separate as a couple.

Your union feels more “real”: Referring to your significant other as “wife” or “husband” carries more weight. It helps you to feel like your love union is permanent and lasting, and it can bring a deeper feeling of love and security. This is a benefit that many married couples know quite well but don’t have a way of putting words to. Do you think you would enjoy a benefit like that?

Marriage is not for everyone, but it’s definitely for some

Not all gay couples will want to get married after looking at the numerous benefits. Marriage isn’t right for everyone, but isn’t it a great feeling to know that you and your same-sex partner now enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else? Before you say “yes” or “no” to marriage — whether you’re gay or straight — be sure to learn more about the numerous legal rights and marital benefits associated with saying “I do.”

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