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A Historical Introduction to Same Sex Marriage

History of same-sex unions

A same-sex marriage or gay marriage is one that involves the marrying of two individuals who are the same gender, thus two men or two women. It is also a marriage that has a history of issues related to being legally recognized until June 2015.

History of same-sex unions 

Prior to 2013, only 12 states and Washington DC recognized same-sex marriages as being legal. In 2013, a landmark case, Unites States v. Windsor, opened the doors to changing the state bans on same-sex marriage licenses and recognition. On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that it is unconstitutional for the federal government of the U.S. to deny federal recognition of same-sex marriage licenses if it is recognized or performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage. This led to gay marriages being legalized in 38 states, Washington DC, and Guam.

Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court issued another ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, thus, prohibiting states from blocking the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples or denying recognition of lawfully performed out-of-state marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Although these laws laid the foundation for same-sex marriages being legally recognized in the United States, there are still countries in three states that have refused to accept the ruling, thus not issuing licenses to same-sex couples. This includes counties in Alabama, Kentucky and Texas.

Beyond the counties refusing to accept the legal requirements for same-sex marriage, same-sex married couples still have other hurdles to jump. For instance, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida refuse to recognize same-sex marriage in regards to children. Couples in these states are left to provide only one parent’s name on the child’s birth certificate.

States that allow same-sex or gay marriages

On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the US Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry on all US states. Gay marriages are completely legalized in the US. Prior to this monumental ruling, prior to June 26, 2015, there were thirteen states that banned same-sex marriage including Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.


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