Month: November 2017

The Continuing Fight for Marriage Equality

Gay Marriage

Same sex marriage has always been a controversial issue worth fighting for but not the kind of fight that would require you to call any Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, even being dragged into advocacy and platforms by politicians. Republicans usually oppose such a union, while the more liberal democrats clamor for its legality. There are various reasons why certain sections oppose gay marriage, mostly on the basis of religion. However, in governments where the separation of the Church and the State is clear, it is much easier for the parliament to pass laws allowing same sex union despite opposition from certain sectors in society. The fight for marriage equality has been a long and bitter fight, but substantial victories have been made along the way. The rights of the LGBTQI sector has been entering the mainstream discourse and it centers on creating the environment where they can live without discrimination on the basis of their chosen gender.

Countries where same sex marriage is legal

As of the second quarter of 2017, there are at least 25 countries which have legalized gay marriage. The first on this list of progressive countries is the Netherlands which accorded legal recognition to same sex marriage on 2000. Germany and Malta are among the latest additions to the counties where gay marriage is legal. Included also in the last are Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United States, and Uruguay. LGBTQI advocates have undergone various specific struggles to be able to attain this right. The most basic, essential yet encompassing argument for the legal recognition of same sex marriages is the provision on international human rights arguments disallowing governments from discriminating anyone based on gender. More countries are expected to follow suit given widespread clamor and strong support for the gay community.

Same Sex Marriage in the United States

There are instances where gay marriage is legal only in some jurisdictions. This is the case for Mexico and before 2015, this was also true for the United States. Prior to the US Supreme Court ruling which made same sex marriage a legal right across the country, there were at least 14 states which banned same-sex marriage. Of course, gay couples can simply go to a different state to marry, but the situation of course was difficult for many in the LGBTQI community.

After the Supreme Court ruling and following the constitutional right of every American citizen to enjoy “equal dignity in the eyes of the law”, a decade of legal battles resulted to the legalization of gay union in America. Those in the community and its supporters declared the ruling a victory, a decision that made the country closer to its ideal of being a dwelling for free and diverse people.

Marriage equality still has a long way to go, considering that only 25 out of the more than 190 countries has passed laws making gay union legal. However, there is a continuing and sustained support for the LGBTQI community and the world is seeing younger generations and current parliamentarians accepting and recognizing homosexual relationships.

Everything You Need to Know about the Development of the Gay Marriage Law

Courtesy of Supreme Court’s historic ruling of June 26, 2015, same sex marriages in USA have become legal now. This ruling prevents states from banning same sex marriages and also orders states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gay Marriage lawThe development in the law comes as a massive shift in the tide because only two decades back, USA had defined marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman’ by enacting the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’. This law came into action on September 21, 1996 and made same sex marriage unofficial.

So, the question is what happened in these two decades that forced the nation to completely change the laws surrounding gay marriage? Here we find the answer by tracing the development of the gay marriage law.

• Massachusetts Supreme Court’s ruling in 2003-

The first major blow to the Defense of Marriage Act came in 2003, when Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional. This ruling paved way for same sex couples to legalize their marriage and claim an official status to their relationship.

Of course there were instances of other state courts offering rulings that supported gay marriage before 2003, but they did not create much impact. The ruling from Massachusetts Supreme Court on the other hand garnered massive attention and stirred the movement.

• city council of Washington, D.C legalizes same sex marriage- 2010

Seven years after the verdict by Massachusetts Supreme Court, the city council of Washington, D.C legalized same sex marriage and it proved to be a huge boost for the same sex marriage movement. The fact that Washington D.C is the capital of the country added extra weightage to this development and also the manner in which the resolution was passed made news. Out of 13 votes, 11 were affirmative and only two votes went against marriage of the same sex.

• The historic supreme court verdict in June 2015-

The final development in the laws surrounding gay marriage came in June 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples can marry nation-wide. The ruling was passed 5-4 and is seen as a huge landmark ruling in the history of USA.

Before this verdict as many as 36 states had already legalized gay marriages in their respective states and this verdict only went one step further for same sex couples in enjoying their civil rights.

The Complete History of Same Sex Marriage in USA

Gay Marriage history

The Supreme Court with its ruling on July 26, 2015 legalized same sex marriage in USA and ordered all states not to ban gay marriages. This historic verdict although landmark wasn’t surprising as already 36 states in the country accept gay marriage as legal and seventy percent of the USA population resides in states where gay marriage is accepted.

This verdict is maybe the biggest win for gay rights activities that are fighting for equal states since decades. Their story reflects struggle, strong belief and an undying passion. Here we trace the history of gay marriage in USA by glancing at some key events in the past that shaped this movement.

• Gay couples appeal for marriage license-May 1970- Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were the first gay couple in USA to apply for a marriage license. Their appeal was turned down by Hennepin County, Minnesota but they eventually did receive the marriage license as another county from the same state accepted their claim.

• Arizona Supreme Court invalidates same sex marriage license, January 1975- The Arizona Supreme Court invalidated the marriage license granted to a same sex couple and ruled same sex marriage as unconstitutional.

• Same Sex marriage appears on the TV- 1991- The first instance of gay marriage appearing on the American TV was in 1991. The TV series ROC, produced by Fox studios showed the marriage between same sex couple. Uncle Russell, a character in the series married his partner.

• California offers limited rights to same-sex couple-Sept. 1999- The Californian government tilted towards same sex marriage as it offered some rights to gay couples. In 1999, The then governor of California Gray Davis paved way for the new law that accepted the claims of these couples and provided them limited rights.

• First legal same sex marriage ceremony happens in USA- 2004- The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom ordered the city hall to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. This decision resulted in the celebration of first gay marriage in USA. Dell Martin and Phyliis Lyon became the first gay couple to tie the knot and get official recognition to their relationship.

• The President voices his support- May 2012- A major boost to the same sex marriage movement came in 2012 as Barrack Obama, the president of the nation officially announced his support in the favor of gay marriage and became the first sitting American president to do so.

• A blow to Defense of Marriage Act- June 2013- The Defense of marriage Act which was the biggest hurdle in front of gay marriage activists was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. While giving a ruling in the Hollingsworth vs Perry case, the Supreme Court denounced the proposition 8 appeal which made same sex marriage legal.

• Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal in USA- July 2015- The date 26 July, 2015 will be inked in golden letters in the history of gay marriage in USA as on this day, the Supreme Court struck down all state bans on gay marriage. While offering a verdict in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, the court ordered the state to out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses.