Same-Sex Couples Throughout Recent History

Ever wonder about exactly when and where gay marriage became ‘acceptable’?

The Huffington Post reported Thursday that UCLA’s same-sex advocacy think tank’s, The Williams Institute, had released a study of same-sex couples across the country.

“The census research discovered that 901,997 same-sex couples live in 99 percent of American counties, in cities from West Hollywood, Calif. to New Hope, Pa. Sixty percent of the couples are female, and 22 percent currently raise children.”

That’s a lot of couples and pretty spread out, especially considering the lack of gay rights to be found in the majority of American states. I did some background research to find out the timeline of states’ and countries’ passage of gay marriage. Read below:

A condensed history of same-sex marriage compiled from Same Sex Marriage and the Constitution by Evan Gerstman, 2nd edition and Wikipedia’s Timeline of Same-Sex Marriage.

    1970- Two men were denied a marriage license in Minnesota, and appealed their denial all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Baker v. Nelson), which refused to hear the case. In 1971, another Minnesota county granted them a marriage license, and they were married before a Methodist minister in Minneapolis

    1973- Maryland 1st U.S. state to ban same-sex marriage, in §2–201 of the Family Law Act 1973 statute – “only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this State”

    1989- Denmark is the 1st country to recognize same-sex couples as “registered partners”

    1993- Hawaii Supreme Court ruled ban on same-sex marriage violated equal protection guarantee of the state constitution

    1996- Congress passed Defense of Marriage Act, denying federal rights of opposite-sex couples to same-sex couples in all states

    2000- Vermont Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples entitled to all legal benefits of marriage. State legislature created the term “civil unions”

    2001- Netherlands became first country to legalize same-sex marriage

    2003- Massachusetts Supreme Court cited Lawrence v. Texas decision in stating “no constitutional reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples” in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. Within a year, 6000 couples got married
    *1st state to allow same-sex marriage.

    Belgium followed suit

    2005- Canada and Spain as well

    2006- South Africa passed same-sex marriage

    2008- CT, CA and Norway legalized same-sex marriage

    2009- Mexico City, NH, DC, ME, VT, IO, and Sweden legalized same-sex marriage

    2010- Argentina, the Icelandic Althing, and Porugal legalized same-sex marriage

    2011- NY legalized same-sex marriage

According to Wikipedia, same-sex marriages are now performed in: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Mexico City, CT, DC, IA, MA, NH, NY, VT, Coquille and Suquamish tribes.


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Author: elly

Class of 2013 Writes crosswords for the Blowfish Writes sketches for Boris' Kitchen Writes show reviews for Justice Arts Does improv in her free time