Clerk Gerald Nelson rejected their application because they were a same-sex couple, and a trial court upheld his decision. When the couple appealed again, the U. In , for instance, Maryland became the first state to create a law that explicitly defines marriage as a union between a man and woman.
Other states quickly followed suit: Virginia in , and Florida , California and Wyoming in Though the gay rights movement saw some advancements in the s and s—such as Harvey Milk becoming the first openly gay man elected to public office in the country in —the fight for gay marriage made little headway for many years.
In the late s and early s, same-sex couples saw the first signs of hope on the marriage front in a long time. Three years later, the District of Columbia similarly passed a new law that allowed same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. The Hawaii Supreme Court sent the case—brought by a gay male couple and two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses in —back for further review to the lower First Circuit Court, which in originally dismissed the suit.
Opponents of gay marriage, however, did not sit on their haunches. The act was a huge setback for the marriage equality movement, but transient good news arose three months later: Hawaii Judge Kevin S.
micktrenartheicor.tk / News / Local / Mass. / SJC: Gay marriage legal in Mass.
Chang ordered the state to stop denying licenses to same-sex couples. Unfortunately for these couples looking to get married, the celebration was short-lived. In , Hawaii voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. The next decade saw a whirlwind of activity on the gay marriage front, beginning with the year , when Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions, a legal status that provides most of the state-level benefits of marriage.
The state finally introduced the country to gay marriage minus the federal benefits when it began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on May 17, Later that year, the U. Senate blocked a Constitutional amendment—supported by President George W. Bush —that would outlaw gay marriage across the country.
Kansas and Texas were next in , and saw seven more states passing Constitutional amendments against gay marriage. But towards the end of the decade, gay marriage became legal in Washington , D. Throughout the decade and the beginning of the next, California frequently made headlines for seesawing on the gay marriage issue. The state was the first to pass a domestic partnership statute in , and legislators tried to pass a same-sex marriage bill in and —the bills were vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger both times.
In May , the state Supreme Court struck down the state law banning same-sex marriage, but just a few months later voters approved Proposition 8, which again restricted marriage to heterosexual couples. The highly contentious ballot measure was declared unconstitutional two years later, but multiple appeals kept the matter unsettled until , when the U.
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15 years later, gay couple recalls their role in Massachusetts' historic marriage ruling
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The Impact of the Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision
Share via Email. Print this page. Yang Hsun, left, and Hsu Pei-chieh of Taipei plan to marry under a law passed Friday in Taiwan allowing same-sex marriages. Related Stories. East Asia Pacific. The vote Friday allows same-sex couples full legal marriage rights, including in areas such as taxes, insurance and child custody.
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