This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to state legislators. It introduces the topic and points to sources for further research. It is not intended to be exhaustive.
For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way.
On June 26,the U. The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, including in the 14 states that did not previously allow gays and lesbians to wed.
It is only fitting to end this timeline with the following quote from that decision:. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.
Advertisement Close X. The ruling effectively legalized gay marriage in every state. Just a few years ago, the fight for marriage equality looked incredibly bleak.
Reuters - Twelve of the 50 U. The U. Supreme Court was expected on Wednesday to issue rulings in two major cases relating to gay marriage.
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT rights in the United States have significantly progressed over time, with the majority of the progress on LGBT rights having taken place in the late 20th century and early 21st century. While the United States is considered by some a tolerant country with regards to LGBT rights, they continue to vary by jurisdictionand discrimination in jobs and housing is still legal in most states. The Equality Actwhich is currently proposed in the United States Congresswould outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide. Since June 26,sexual activity between consenting adults and adolescents of a close age of the same sex has been legal nationwide, pursuant to the U.
A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, more than two dozen countries 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.
Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, and federal court rulings. Same-sex marriage is also referred to as gay marriagewhile the political status in which the marriages of same-sex couples and the marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognized as equal by the law is referred to as marriage equality. The fifty states each have separate marriage lawswhich must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitutionas first established in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Civil rights campaigning in support of marriage without distinction as to sex or sexual orientation began in the s.