You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. While the number of same-sex couples in the population is too small to produce significant change in overall patterns of behavior, the issue of gay marriage has generated so much attention and debate that a mixed process of gay assimilation to and effect on the social meaning of marriage is a reasonable expectation. This essay explores further changes that may lie ahead as same-sex marriage debates increasingly affect both family law and the social meanings of marriage. 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". Second, federal recognition of same-sex marriage, which will occur if the Defense of Marriage Act is invalidated or repealed, could significantly increase the number of same-sex couples who marry. The end of DOMA is also likely to further complicate the law of interstate recognition, as more gay couples have their marriages recognized for federal law purposes, such as tax, but not under state laws that regulate divorce, custody and property division. As to future legal change, the author identifies three questions likely to arise in the relatively near future that will flow, directly or indirectly, from same-sex marriage: In each, although recent data indicate some signs of converging behaviors between the two types of couples, major differences appear likely to continue. Same-sex marriage—and perhaps even more so, the highly visible cultural debate over it—is contributing to this process. If present demographic trends continue, the group of different-sex couples most likely to seek access to these new statuses will be persons middle-aged or older. Alternative terms[ edit ] Some proponents of legal recognition of same-sex marriage, such as Freedom to Marry and Canadians for Equal Marriage , use the terms marriage equality and equal marriage to indicate that they seek the recognition of same-sex marriage on equal ground with opposite-sex marriage as opposed to special rights. 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.