Same-Sex Marriage Laws

What Does the Supreme Court Ruling Mean

same sex marriage lawsOn June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states couldn’t ban same-sex marriage. This ruling essentially requires all states to issue marriage licenses to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Same-sex marriage has been referred to by supporters as either marriage equality or equal marriage. Opponents sometimes characterize same-sex marriage as re-defining marriage but at least the situation hasn’t devolved into anybody needing a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles yet. Same-sex marriages can take place in both religious and civil ceremonies.


A Brief History

There have been many changes across the nation in recent years. Perhaps none have caused such bitter divides as the decision of whether or not to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Sweeping discussion on this topic actually began back in 1993 when the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that laws denying a same-sex couple the right to marry were a violation of the constitution.

It was then that several more states began to steam toward their own legal outlooks, wanting to clearly define “marriage.” In most instances, marriage was defined as a relationship between a man and a woman. By the year 2000, 40 states had statutory or constitutional provisions, which limited marriages to couples of the opposite sex only.


The Ripple of Change

Beginning in 2000, some states began to recognize same-sex couples’ relationships. Vermont granted recognition to civil union between same-sex couples in April of 2000, which granted same-sex couples nearly all the benefits and responsibilities that married couples in the state faced. In 2005, Connecticut became another state that put into practice a state law providing same-sex couples civil unions.


The Aftermath

Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage was already legal in 37 states as well as Washington D.C. Now, same-sex unions are available across the nation. Public approval of same-sex marriage has shifted significantly from the 90’s to recent days. While opponents of same-sex unions continue to define marriage as being between a man and a woman due to the procreation aspect, proponents say that gay marriage bans are not only discriminatory but also unconstitutional. They also often suggest that same-sex couples should be granted the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples.

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