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11/13/2013 01:34 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Gay Marriage Rights Have Helped And Hurt Same-Sex Relationships, YourTango Dating Experts Conclude

Same-sex marriage has both helped and hurt gay relationships, a panel of YourTango dating experts determined.

"I think it's done both, actually," professional dating coach and matchmaker J. Cameron Gantt said. "It's actually put us in a position where we're now forced to think about whether we want to get married or not ... the bigger question is now with marriage comes the whole divorce factor."

With Hawaii and Illinois having legalized same-sex marriage over the course of the past month, the debate over marriage equality continues at full force nationwide. But even lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples who plan to tie the knot in the wake of these victories can find themselves facing unexpected challenges.

Added dating and relationship coach Mary Malia: "It can really shift the balance or the course of a relationship in ways that, in states where it's not legal, it's pretty straightforward ... I think one of things we've had in our community is this opportunity to craft our own kind of relationship and our own kinds of commitments."

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