Gay marriage question nearing end with Supreme Court review
Growing up as a gay male during the late 1990s and 2000s in the United States wasn’t easy.
I faced bullies, got in fights almost weekly and had few role models to look up to.
I also knew I couldn’t get married, as same-sex marriage nation wide was illegal.
Currently 36 states and the District of Columbia legally recognizes same-sex marriage in the United States.
This is far from when the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTQ+) community started.
The Minnesota Supreme Court first ruled in 1971 that laws banning same-sex marriage didn’t violate the Constitution.
The view on marriage was still that of one man and one woman. Also happening then: some states banned homosexuality in general.
In 1993, the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but same-sex marriage wasn’t made legal.
Legality finally came to the United States in 2004, with Massachusetts leading the way.
After same-sex marriage became legal in one state, some cities and counties nationwide began issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
It was not until March 2008 that the Supreme Court of California legalized same-sex marriage.
Opponents challenged the ruling that California’s legalization, an intiative known as Prop 8, was placed on the Nov. 2008 ballot.
After many rallies, heated debates and countless arguments, Prop 8 passed stopping same-sex marriage in the same year it began.
Marriage equality started to make progress, though, and by 2010 five states allowed it.
A case claiming California’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional was taken to the Ninth district appellate in late 2010, leading to the ruling being overturned in 2013.
More slowly states are starting to continue to legalize same-sex marriage.
Opinions on the matter began to change for the better.
National polls taken since 2011 show a majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
In 2013, the Federal law stating the government didn’t recognize same-sex marriage was challenged with United States v. Windsor and the Defense of Marriage Act.
This case was heard by the United States Supreme Court and Federal recognition began.
Since the Windsor victory, various states have made same-sex marriage legal.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear four cases on appeal from the Sixth Circuit Court.
The cases are on whether states may constitutionally ban and, or refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state.
The final briefs are due April 17.
The time has come for same-sex marriage to be legalized nationwide.
Marriage is viewed as a fundamental right in the United States. Giving that right to all LGBTQ+ people would make me and others no longer feel like a second-class citizen.
This will change the way that LGBTQ+ people are viewed, similar to when interracial marriage was legalized.
If the rulings are handed down in favor of same-sex marriage then the United States will join the 17 countries that have already legalized same-sex marriage.