What states are gay marriages legal?

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Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation protect or harm primarily lesbian, gay and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation. At the same time, opponents of same-sex marriage still have a much better record at the polls than supporters of gay marriage. Comparing that evolution with society's views on gays and lesbians, Kennedy noted that for years, a truthful statement by same-sex couples of what was in their hearts had to remain tacit.

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon become the first gay couple to get married and receive official recognition after being together for 50 years. The following year, the legislature passed a bill that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to form civil unions, which granted most of the legal rights of marriage, but not the title. While Proposed Constitutional Amendment Failed, Opponents of Gay Marriage Had Better Luck Statewide. While battles have been fought in many states over whether to accept or prohibit same-sex marriage, several states have enacted laws establishing civil unions or domestic partnerships, both of which aim to give gay and lesbian couples many or most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage without granting them the right to marry.

In fact, the ordination and marriage of gay people has been a growing wedge between the socially liberal and conservative wings of the Episcopal, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, leading some conservative congregations, and even entire dioceses, to separate from their national churches as make gay clergy and gay marriage more open. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people can identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Meanwhile, major Protestant churches are struggling between ordaining gay clergymen and performing same-sex wedding ceremonies. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that gay and lesbian couples were entitled to all the rights and protections associated with marriage.

The Circuit Court of Appeals gave supporters of same-sex marriage a big victory when it upheld a lower court ruling that a California referendum banning gay marriage (The proposition was unconstitutional). Questions about the legal treatment of gays and lesbians soon reached the courts, where they could be discussed in the formal speech of the law. The spark that started the debate occurred in Hawaii in 1993, when the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that an existing law banning same-sex marriage would be unconstitutional unless the state government could prove it had compelling reason to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. Prior to Friday's ruling, gay marriage had already been made legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia by legislative or electoral actions or by federal courts that overturned state bans.

But the topic suddenly made headlines again in November 2003, when Massachusetts's highest state court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. .