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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.
In a landmark ruling issued inthe U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution allows for same-sex marriage, effectively overturning remaining restrictions in place in states. Most other states had enacted constitutional or statutory bans on same-sex marriage, known as "Defense of Marriage" Acts.
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.
In a number of countries that have recently legalized same-sex marriage, the impetus for legal change came through the courts. In the United States, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in a ruling. Explore our fact sheet to learn more about same-sex laws around the world.
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.
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.
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.
In the landmark decision, the majority of justices ruled that states must license same-sex marriages and also recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. Each filed their own dissenting opinion.
Until Junesame-sex marriage was only recognized in select US states. Same-sex couples legally married in those states were still living with the knowledge that they would not be recognized as legally married anywhere that had yet to lift the ban. For many who traveled to the more progressive states to perform their nuptials and sign their marriage certificates in full compliance with state law, this meant going back home to a place that would not accept their legal union, though it is the very place where they live, work and pay taxes. However, on June 26 ththe Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a legal right throughout the United States, a decision that would move gay and lesbian couples closer to equality under the law, overruling the laws in states that were still holding out.