2009 December 18

Washington, D.C. Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

 

Same-sex marriage became legal in the District of Columbia on this day when the mayor signed a bill, passed three days earlier by the Council of the District of Columbia permitting them. Licenses began to be issued on March 3rd of the next year, and the first marriages occurred on March 9th.

The political and legal climate regarding same-sex marriages changed dramatically in the 2000s, as an increasing number of states legalized same-sex marriages and federal courts began declaring unconstitutional state prohibitions on such marriages.

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.

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

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