Court ruled that the Constitution did not support same-sex marriage
Hawaii Supreme Court Case (Baehr v. Lewin)
May 5, 1993
Court ruled that the state must show a compelling reason to ban same-sex marriage. The outcome of this case led states to specify that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Utah passes "recognition of Marriages" bill
The Utah Statute prohibited state recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and nations. This was the first of its kind in the U.S. More than 30 states followed with their own "Defense of Marriage" laws.
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) enacted
September 21, 1996
Clinton signed on this federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of the other states. DOMA defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman
Vermont legally recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples
Vermont was the first state to legally recognize civil unions between same-sex couples which entitled the couples to the same benefits as spouses. However, these unions were still not considered to be marriages.
Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court Case
June 26, 2003
Court rules sodomy laws to be unconstitutional. Justice Scalia (dissented) predicted the ruling would lead to legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
November 18, 2003
Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriages legal in Massachusetts
May 17, 2004
Legalization happened as a result of Goodridge v. Department of Health ruling
New York State appeals Court ruling
Court unanimously voted that valid same-sex marriages performed in other states must be recognized by employers in New York. This granted same-sex couples the same rights as other couples.
California Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex couples
May 15, 2008
Court rules same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
California voters approve Proposition 8
November 4, 2008
Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriages. However, marriages that occurred prior to the ruling were still recognized.
Washington, DC allows same-sex marriages
New York approves same-sex marriage
Maine, Maryland and Washington legalize same-sex marriage
Voters legalized same-sex marriage. Public beginning to allow same-sex marriage.
United Stats v. Windsor Court Case- Overturn of DOMA
Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that DOMA is unconstitutional. Federal benefits available to legally married same-sex couples.