In the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, the U. Supreme Court ruled that all state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, making gay marriage legal throughout America. The ruling was a culmination of decades of struggles, setbacks and victories along the road to full marriage equality in the United States. In , just one year after the historic Stonewall Riots that galvanized the gay rights movement, law student Richard Baker and librarian James McConnell applied for a marriage license in Minnesota. Clerk Gerald Nelson rejected their application because they were a same-sex couple, and a trial court upheld his decision.
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Same-sex marriage in the United States
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About Follow Donate. A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, 30 countries and territories have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Below is a list of countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first.
History of Gay Marriage
In California, where same-sex marriage had been performed since June, the ban had more than 52 percent of the vote, according to figures by the secretary of state, and was projected to win by several Californian news media outlets. Opponents of same-sex marriage won by even bigger margins in Arizona and Florida. Just two years ago, Arizona rejected a similar ban. The across-the-board sweep, coupled with passage of a measure in Arkansas intended to bar gay men and lesbians from adopting children, was a stunning victory for religious conservatives, who had little else to celebrate on an Election Day that saw Senator John McCain lose and other ballot measures, like efforts to restrict abortion in South Dakota, California and Colorado, rejected. The losses devastated supporters of same-sex marriage and ignited a debate about whether the movement to expand the rights of same-sex couples had hit a cultural brick wall, even at a time of another civil rights success, the election of a black president.
Hodges making same-sex marriage the law of the land, most states still have outdated laws on their books like the ones Virginia just repealed. Indiana is one of those states, though an attempt to remove its gay marriage ban was unsuccessful last month in the Republican-controlled state Legislature. In fact, GOP opposition to its removal derailed legislation seeking to raise the legal age to marry in the state from 15 to Only a male may marry a female. Matt Pierce, a Democrat, said in defense of the amendment.