One issue that has been fiercely contested in recent years is gay marriage. The debate is hotly argued over, and one is as likely to get a yea as a nay if the question is raised.
The largest reason why it is contested is the definition of marriage, and who is privileged enough to receive matrimony (although no one would state it in this way). People against gay marriage say that marriage should be strictly between a man and a woman. The reasoning behind this seems to be officially understood to be because only a man and a woman are capable of having a child, and for a couple of the same sex, this is physically impossible. This statement makes little sense, since for some heterosexual couples it is still impossible to have children. It is not fair for couples who want marry to be told they cannot marry because they cannot have children with their chosen mate, for anyone.
Even if a gay or lesbian couple does have a child, it is believed that the child will be worse off than children of heterosexual families. There can be nothing further than the truth. The children of gay parents are just the same as children of heterosexual parents, except the children of the homosexual parents tend to be more accepting of diversity and less likely to judge due to being different. This has been proven through numerous scientific studies.
Another reason why people will tell you that gay marriage should be illegal is because of their religion. Religion shouldn't even be a consideration for politicians when it comes to marriage, since a) the whole "separation of church and state" shouldn't even allow religion to be a consideration, but b) not all religions believe that gay couples are bad, or shouldn't be allowed to marry. Despite the separation of church and state, there really are many who would say that their religion is the reason why they believe gay marriages should be illegal. This is, yet again, unfair.
Gay marriage has worked quite well in other countries. Denmark has made it legal for gays and lesbians to be married since 1989. They have almost full rights, and are only not allowed to adopt or be married in a church, which, according to the author of "Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives" the Danish government has a proposal to change the two restrictions. The Dutch have also allowed gay marriage, and even call it marriage.
Gay marriage will probably be a heated topic for generations, even if there is a resounding yes or no (especially in the case of the former). However, if people come to understand each other better and actually accept that if a gay or lesbian is in love, it is just as real as if a straight couple were in love. So it is up to each of us to come up with a decision based on facts and not just what we are told to believe.