2012 May 9

President Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage


After refusing to take a position on the issue, despite increasing pressure on him from lesbian and gay rights activists, President Barack Obama on this day announced that he supported same-sex marriage. On February 23, 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend in court proceedings the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which held that marriage only unions between a man and a woman. After being re-elected to a second term in 2012, he gave an even stronger endorsement in his Inaugural Address in January 2013.

The Supreme Court declared a major provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on June 26, 2013 in the case of Windsor v. United States, ruling that the federal government had to recognize legal same sex marriages. In the year following the Windsor decision, a number of federal courts declared state prohibitions of same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, and another major Supreme Court case on this issue seemed inevitable.

On June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hudson, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was constitutional in the entire United States under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The first lesbian and gay rights movement in the world originated in Berlin, Germany, in the 1860s. This included the invention of the word “homosexuality.” Read Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (2014).

Watch President Obama’s 2012 interview on same sex marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQGMTPab9GQ

Read about the history of the GLBT revolution: Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (2015)

Learn more at a timeline on same-sex marriagehttp://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/history-and-timeline-of-marriage

Read President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration speechhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/21/inaugural-address-president-barack-obama

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