Same-sex marriage in the United States explained

Same-sex marriage in the United States is not recognized by the federal government, but such marriages are recognized by some individual states. The lack of federal recognition was codified in 1996 by the Defense of Marriage Act, before Massachusetts became the first state to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004. Such licenses are granted by six states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. and Oregon's Coquille and Washington state's Suquamish Indian tribes. The states of Washington[1] and Maryland have passed laws to begin granting same-sex marriage licenses during 2012, but each may be delayed or derailed by November 2012 voter referenda. Same-sex marriages could be legally performed in California between June 16, 2008, and November 4, 2008, after which voters passed Proposition 8 prohibiting same-sex marriages. California also recognizes any same-sex marriage from around the world that took place before that end date, while Maryland recognizes all same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.[2] [3] The legalization of same-sex marriage has been achieved by court rulings and legislative action, but not through voter referendums.[4] [5] [6] [7], 12 states prohibit same-sex marriage via statute and 29 via the state's constitution.[8]

The movement to obtain marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples in the United States began in the early 1970s.[9] The issue became more prominent in U.S. politics in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court decided Baehr v. Lewin (holding that the state's ban probably violated the state's Constitution), which prompted the U.S. Congress to pass the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Through the first decade of the 21st century, public support for its legalization grew considerably,[10] and contemporary polls show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.[11] [12] [13] [14]

Legal issues

See also: Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States.

Federal law

The legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States are complicated by the nation's federal system of government. Prior to 1996, the federal government did not define marriage; any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, even if that marriage was not recognized by one or more other states (as was the case with interracial marriage before 1967 due to anti-miscegenation laws). With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, however, a marriage was explicitly defined in federal law as a union of one man and one woman. (See .)

DOMA has been under challenge in the federal courts, and on July 8, 2010, Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts held that the denial of federal rights and benefits to lawfully married Massachusetts same-sex couples under the DOMA is unconstitutional, under the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.[15] [16] This ruling is currently under a stay, but would affect residents residing within the federal district that covers Massachusetts if the stay is lifted. If this decision is appealed and affirmed, the ruling could apply elsewhere in the U.S. For now, no act or agency of the federal government—except within the state of Massachusetts if the stay is lifted—may recognize same-sex marriage.

According to the federal government's Government Accountability Office (GAO), more than 1,138 rights and protections are conferred to U.S. citizens upon marriage by the federal government; areas affected include Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave, and immigration law.[17]

However, many aspects of marriage law affecting the day to day lives of inhabitants of the United States are determined by the states, not the federal government, and the Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent individual states from defining marriage as they see fit.

The United States Supreme Court in 1972 dismissed Baker v. Nelson, a case originating in Minnesota, "for want of a substantial federal question". The Defense of Marriage Act, as well as marriage laws in 44 states, could be affected by the outcome of Perry v. Brown, a case challenging the validity of California's Proposition 8 under the United States Constitution.[18]

State law

See also: Same-sex marriage law in the United States by state. Same-sex marriage is recognized only at the state level, as the federal Defense of Marriage Act explicitly bars federal recognition of such marriages.

Six state governments (along with the District of Columbia, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish tribe) have passed laws offering same-sex marriage and currently offer same-sex marriages: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In all six states, same-sex marriage has been legalized through legislation or court ruling. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since May 17, 2004; in Connecticut since November 12, 2008;[19] in Iowa since April 27, 2009;[20] [21] in Vermont since September 1, 2009; New Hampshire since January 1, 2010; and New York since July 24, 2011.[22] In 2009, New England became the center of an organized push to legalize same-sex marriage,[23] with four of the six states in that region granting same-sex couples the legal right to marry.

Out of 28 states where constitutional amendments or initiatives that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman were put on the ballot in a voter referendum, voters in all 28 states voted to approve such amendments.[24] Arizonans voted down one such amendment in 2006,[25] but approved a different amendment to that effect in 2008.[26] In 1998, Hawaiian voters approved language allowing their legislature to ban same-sex marriage.[27] In 2009, Maine voters prevented legislation permitting same-sex marriage from going into effect.[28] [29]

, 29 states had constitutional provisions restricting marriage to one man and one woman, while 12 others had laws "restricting marriage to one man and one woman."[30] Nineteen states ban any legal recognition of same-sex unions that would be equivalent to civil marriage.[31]

Opponents of same-sex marriage have worked to prevent individual states from recognizing same-sex unions by attempting to amend the United States Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In 2006, the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote and was debated by the full United States Senate, but was ultimately defeated in both houses of Congress.[32]

The right to marry was first extended to same-sex couples by a United States jurisdiction on November 18, 2003, by a state Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Massachusetts.[33]

On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court of California issued a decision in which it effectively legalized same-sex marriage in California, holding that California's existing opposite-sex definition of marriage violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.[34] [35] Same-sex marriage opponents in California placed a state constitutional amendment known as Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot for the purpose of restoring an opposite-sex definition of marriage.[36] Proposition 8 was passed on Election Day 2008, as were proposed marriage-limiting amendments in Florida and Arizona.[37] On August 4, 2010, a decision by the U.S. District Court in Perry v. Schwarzenegger ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional.[38] The decision in that case is currently being appealed and the case is ultimately expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.[39]

On October 10, 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the state's civil-unions statute (2005), as unconstitutionally discriminating against same-sex couples, and required the state to recognize same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa following the unanimous ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court in Varnum v. Brien on April 3, 2009.[40] This decision was initially scheduled to take effect on April 24, but the date was changed to April 27 for administrative reasons.[21]

On April 7, 2009, Vermont legalized same-sex marriage through legislation. The Governor of Vermont had previously vetoed the measure, but the veto was overridden by the Legislature. Vermont became the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage through legislative means rather than litigation.

On May 6, 2009, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage, becoming the first state governor to do so.[41] However, the legislation was stayed pending a vote and never went into effect. It was repealed by referendum in November 2009.[29]

On June 3, 2009, New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.[42]

On December 18, 2009, a same-sex marriage bill was signed into law by the Mayor of the District of Columbia;[43] same-sex marriage licenses became available in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 2010.[44]

California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Washington have created legal unions for same-sex couples that offer varying subsets of the rights and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of those jurisdictions., New Jersey has created legal unions that, while not called marriages, are explicitly defined as offering all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state (though not federal) law to same-sex couples.

Maryland recognizes same-sex marriages formed in other jurisdictions, but does not allow forming such marriages within their own borders.[2] [3] New York had been in a similar situation as its courts had held that same-sex marriages conducted in states where they are legal must be recognized by those states, but that the state statutes did not allow the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses,[45] a situation which changed when its legislature legalized granting licenses to same-sex couples in 2011.

On February 13, 2012, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed legislation into law that would institute same-sex marriage in the state, effective June 2012, unless forced to a November 2012 voter referendum.[46]

The laws of New Mexico are largely silent on the subject of same-sex marriage, as they do not specifically allow nor prohibit same-sex marriages or other types of same-sex unions.

Debate

President Barack Obama has stated that he supports the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage[47] although at a personal level his beliefs place him in opposition to it;[48] he has recently stated that his current position is "evolving."[49] Obama remains sympathetic to the rights of individuals who identify as gay or lesbian.[50] In a 1996 newspaper interview, Obama stated "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."[47] However, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama stated, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. For me as a Christian, it is a sacred union. You know, God is in the mix."[51] One report indicates that Obama may have made comments in support of same-sex marriage during his Illinois Senate race in the 1990s.[52] The president "supports full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage,"[50] but stated in December 2010 that these civil unions from the perspective of same-sex couples are "not enough."[49] Obama opposes a federal mandate for same-sex marriage, and also opposes the Defense of Marriage Act, stating that individual states should decide the issue.[53] [54] Obama opposed Proposition 8—-California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage-—in 2008.[55] He has stated that he continues to personally wrestle with the issue of same-sex marriage.[49]

Many high-profile politicians and commentators have expressed their views on same-sex marriage. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are two of the most prominent conservative commentators based on recent listenership ratings.[56] In an O'Reilly Factor interview in August 2010, when Beck was asked if he "believe(s) that gay marriage is a threat to [this] country in any way", he stated, "No I don't…I believe that Thomas Jefferson said: 'If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket what difference is it to me?'"[57]

On his radio show in August 2010, Rush Limbaugh made the following comments on the then-recent decision by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker regarding Proposition 8 in California: "Marriage? There's a definition of it, for it. It means something. Marriage is a union of a man and woman. It's always been that. If you want to get married and you're a man, marry a woman. Nobody's stopping you. This is about tearing apart an institution."[58] Commenting on the same court decision, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich issued a statement in opposition to same-sex marriage, which read, in part, as follows: "Judge Walker's ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife... Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy."[59] Then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi expressed her support for Judge Walker's decision: "I am extremely encouraged by the ruling today, which found that Proposition 8 violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 8 has taken away individual rights and freedoms, and is a stain upon the California Constitution. We must continue to fight against discriminatory marriage amendments and work toward the day when all American families are treated equally."[60] In 2009, Pelosi described the difficulty in repealing the Defense of Marriage Act: "I would like to get rid of all of it. But the fact is we have to make decisions on what we can pass at a given time. It doesn't mean the other issues are not important. It is a matter of getting the votes and the legislative floor time to do it."[61] Congressman Barney Frank voiced his concern in September 2009 with regard to the ability to obtain sufficient votes to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act: "If we had a chance to pass that, it would be a different story, but I don't think it's a good idea to rekindle that debate when there's no chance of passage in the near term."[62]

During the 2008 presidential election campaign, then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin stated: "I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage."[63]

MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow expressed her frustration with the Obama Administration position on same-sex marriage in August 2010. In response to Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod's statement on President Obama's position: "The president does oppose same-sex marriage but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples in benefits and other issues", Maddow said, "Got that? So the line from the administration is that Barack Obama does not want gay people to be allowed to be married, but when gay people can be married and other people are trying to take away that right like in California, he doesn't want the right to be taken away. But, he's not in favor of that right in the first place. You got it? The president is against gay marriage but he is also against constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, which means that he'd apparently prefer that gay marriage be banned through flimsier tactical means? That's the president's position. Clear as mud. Ripe for criticism much?"[64]

Advocacy groups have entered the same-sex marriage debate in recent years, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[65] NOM lists strategies on its website for supporters to use, including the following statement: "Strong majorities of Americans oppose gay marriage. Supporters of SSM therefore seek to change the subject to just about anything: discrimination, benefits, homosexuality, gay rights, federalism, our sacred constitution. Our goal is simple: Shift the conversation rapidly back to marriage. Don't get sidetracked. Marriage is the issue. Marriage is what we care about. Marriage really matters. It's just common sense."[66] According to its website, the FRC opposes "the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools. Attempts to join two men or two women in 'marriage' constitute a radical redefinition and falsification of the institution, and FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent such redefinition by courts or legislatures."[67] The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the leading advocacy groups in support of same-sex marriage. According to the HRC's website, "Many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry because they are in love – many, in fact, have spent the last 10, 20 or 50 years with that person – and they want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer, by making a public commitment to stand together in good times and bad, through all the joys and challenges family life brings."[68]

Support

See also: List of supporters of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Same-sex marriage supporters make several arguments in support of their position. Gail Mathabane likens prohibitions on same-sex marriage to past U.S. prohibitions on interracial marriage.[69] Fernando Espuelas argues that same-sex marriage should be allowed because same-sex marriage extends a civil right to a minority group.[70] According to an American history scholar Nancy Cott "there really is no comparison, because there is nothing that is like marriage except marriage."[71]

According to the leading associations of psychological, psychiatric, medical, and social work professionals in the United States the claim that legal recognition of marriage for same–sex couples undermines the institution of marriage and harms their children is inconsistent with the scientific evidence which supports the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality that is not chosen, that gay and lesbian people form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects, and that same-sex couples are no less fit than heterosexual parents to raise children and their children are no less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted than children of opposite sex parents. The body of research strongly supports the conclusion that discrimination by the federal government between married same-sex couples and married opposite-sex couples in awarding benefits unfairly stigmatizes same-sex couples. The research also contravenes the stereotype-based rationales that were advanced to support passage of DOMA and that the Equal Protection Clause was designed to prohibit.[72]

Opposition

See also: Opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States ground their arguments on parenting concerns, religious concerns, and concerns that changes to the definition of marriage would lead to the inclusion of polygamy or incest. The Southern Baptist Convention says that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would undercut the conventional purpose of marriage.[73] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, and National Organization for Marriage argue that children do best when raised by a mother and father, and that legalizing same-sex marriage is, therefore, contrary to the best interests of children.[74] [75] [76] [77]  Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage has raised concerns about the impact of same-sex marriage upon religious liberty and upon faith-based charities in the United States.[78] Other arguments against same-sex marriage are based upon concerns that the process of redefining the institution would be a Pandora's box. Stanley Kurtz of the Weekly Standard has written that same-sex marriage would eventually lead to the legalization of polygamy and polyamory, or group marriage, in the United States.[79]

The most successful tactic to prevent gay marriage has been to implement constitutional referendums against same-sex marriages. Another has been to reverse or revoke gay marriage after it was granted—as in California (Proposition 8). The funding of such election campaigns has been an issue of great dispute. Both judges[80] [81] and the IRS[82] have ruled that it is either questionable or illegal for campaign contributions to be shielded by anonymity. In February 2012, the National Organization for Marriage vowed to spend $250,000 in Washington legislative races to defeat the Republican state senators who voted for same-sex marriage.[83]

Public opinion

See main article: Public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States. Public support for same-sex marriage has grown since the 1990s. In 1996, just 25% of Americans supported legalization. Today, public opinion polls show that Americans are either equally split on the issue or a slim majority are in support. Polling trends in 2010 and 2011 show support for same-sex marriage gaining a majority, although the difference is within the error limit of the analysis.[84] On May 20, 2011, Gallup reported majority support for gay marriage by a margin that exceeded the poll's margin of error.[85] In June 2011, two prominent polling organizations released an analysis of the changing trend in public opinion about same-sex marriage in the United States, concluding that "public support for the freedom to marry has increased, at an accelerating rate, with most polls showing that a majority of Americans now support full marriage rights for all Americans."[86]

Effects of same-sex marriage

Economic impact on same-sex couples

Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett, an economist and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has studied the impact of same-sex legal marriage on same-sex couples. According to a 1997 General Accounting Office study requested by Rep. Henry Hyde (R), at least 1,049 U.S. federal laws and regulations include reference to marital status.[87] A later 2004 study by the Congressional Budget Office finds 1,138 statutory provisions "in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving 'benefits, rights, and privileges.'"[88] Many of these laws govern property rights, benefits, and taxation. Same-sex couples, whose marriages are not recognized by the state, are ineligible for spousal and survivor Social Security benefits.[88] Badgett's research finds the resulting difference in Social Security income for same-sex couples compared to opposite-sex married couples is US$5,588 per year. The federal ban on same-sex marriage and benefits through the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) extends to federal government employee benefits.[88] According to Badgett's work, same-sex couples face the following other financial challenges against which legal marriage at least partially shields opposite-sex couples:[89]

While state laws grant full marriage rights (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont) or some or all of the benefits under another name (New Jersey, Washington, California, etc.), these state laws do not extend the benefits of marriage on the Federal level, and most states do not currently recognize same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions from other states.

Potential economic disadvantages

While the legal benefits of marriage are numerous, same-sex couples could face the same financial constraints of legal marriage as opposite-sex married couples. Such potential effects include the marriage penalty in taxation (if the federal government were to recognize same-sex marriage).[88] Similarly, while social service providers usually do not count one partner's assets toward the income means test for welfare and disability assistance for the other partner, a legally married couple's joint assets are normally used in calculating whether a married individual qualifies for assistance.[88]

Economic impact on the federal government

The 2004 Congressional Budget Office study, working from an assumption "that about 0.6 percent of adults would enter into same-sex marriages if they had the opportunity" (an assumption in which they admitted "significant uncertainty") estimated that legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States "would improve the budget's bottom line to a small extent: by less than $1 billion in each of the next 10 years". This result reflects an increase in net government revenues (increased income taxes due to marriage penalties more than offsetting decreased tax revenues arising from postponed estate taxes). Marriage recognition would increase the government expenses for Social Security and Federal Employee Health Benefits but that increase would be more than made up for by decreased expenses for Medicaid, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income.[88]

Mental health

Based in part on empirical research that has been conducted on the adverse effects of stigmatization, numerous prominent social science organizations have issued position statements supporting same-sex marriage and opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; these organizations include the American Psychoanalytic Association and the American Psychological Association.[72]

Several psychological studies[90] [91] [92] have shown that an increase in exposure to negative conversations and media messages about same-sex marriage creates a harmful environment for the LGBT population that may affect their health and well-being.

One study surveyed more than 1,500 lesbian, gay and bisexual adults across the nation and found that respondents from the 25 states that have outlawed same-sex marriage had the highest reports of "minority stress" — the chronic social stress that results from minority-group stigmatization — as well as general psychological distress. According to the study, the negative campaigning that comes with a ban is directly responsible for the increased stress. Past research has shown that minority stress is linked to health risks such as risky sexual behavior and substance abuse.[93]

Two other studies examined personal reports from LGBT adults and their families living in Memphis, Tennessee, immediately after a successful 2006 ballot campaign banned same-sex marriage. Most respondents reported feeling alienated from their communities, afraid that they would lose custody of their children and that they might become victims of violence. The studies also found that families experienced a kind of secondary minority stress, says Jennifer Arm, a counseling graduate student at the University of Memphis.[94]

Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law and expert on minority stress, has found through several empirical studies that gays and lesbians encounter a disproportionate level of stress and mental health difficulties because of discrimination and oppressive laws, and that these stresses amplify the social stigma that makes them more susceptible to depression, suicide and substance abuse.[95] In his testimony during the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, he stated that the mental health outcomes for gays and lesbians would improve if laws such as Proposition 8 did not exist because "when people are exposed to more stress...they are more likely to get sick..." and that particular situation is consistent with laws that say to gay people "you are not welcome here, your relationships are not valued." Such laws "[have] significant power," he says.[95] [96]

Physical health

In 2009, a pair of economists at Emory University tied the passage of state bans on same-sex marriage in the US to an increase in the rates of HIV infection.[97] [98] The study linked the passage of same-sex marriage ban in a state to an increase in the annual HIV rate within that state of roughly 4 cases per 100,000 population.

A study by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health found that gay men in Massachusetts visited health clinics significantly less often following the legalization of same-sex marriage in that state.[99]

Timeline of major events

1970–1999

2000–2009

2010–present

2010

2011

2012

Case law

United States case law regarding same-sex marriage:

See also

Legislation

Supporting organizations

Opposing organizations

Bibliography

. George Chauncey. 2004. Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality. Basic Books. New York. 0-465-00957-3.

. James Dobson. 2004. Marriage Under Fire. Multnomah. Sisters, Or.. 1-59052-431-4. Marriage under Fire: Why We Must Win This War.

. Evan Wolfson. 2004. Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry. Simon & Schuster. New York. 0-7432-6459-2.

External links

Notes and References

  1. http://www.thegavoice.com/news/national-news/4179-washington-becomes-seventh-state-to-recognize-same-sex-marriages/
  2. Web site: States. Freedom to Marry. April 16, 2010. June 27, 2010.
  3. The situation in Rhode Island is uncertain, despite a non-binding opinion by the state's Attorney General. New York Times: Katie Zezima, "Rhode Island Steps Toward Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage," February 22, 2007, accessed July 3, 2011: "Mr. Lynch said his interpretation permitted recognition of the marriages, although he acknowledged that it was just an opinion and did not have the force of law."; Human Rights Campaign: "Rhode Island Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law", accessed July 3, 2011: "This is not a binding opinion and the attorney general noted that this question will most likely be answered by the courts."; Web site: Marriage FAQ. Marriage Equality Rhode Island. July 3, 2011. it is still a complicated issue about whether these marriages will be respected in Rhode Island.. ; GLAD: "Marriage Guide for Rhode Island Same-Sex Couples", p. 8: "legal uncertainty remains in this area", accessed July 3, 2011
  4. Web site: David Gardner. Gay marriage thrown out by all 31 U.S. states where it has been put to vote. Dailymail.co.uk. November 4, 2009. February 8, 2012.
  5. Web site: New York a vote away from approving gay marriage. Articles.latimes.com. June 16, 2011. February 8, 2012.
  6. Web site: Maine Voters Reject Gay Marriage. Npr.org. November 4, 2009. February 8, 2012.
  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/us/politics/05maine.html "A Setback in Maine for Gay Marriage, but Medical Marijuana Law Expands"
  8. News: After New York, New Look at Defense of Marriage Act. John. Schwartz. The New York Times. June 27, 2011. June 29, 2011.
  9. Web site: Gumbel. Andrew. The Great Undoing?. Advocate. July 31, 2011.
  10. Web site: Gay Rights in the States: Public Opinion and Policy Responsiveness. PDF. December 20, 2011.
  11. http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/First-Time-Majority-Americans-Favor-Legal-Gay-Marriage.aspx For First Time, Majority of Americans Favor Legal Gay Marriage
  12. News: Poll: Majority in US back same-sex marriage. March 18, 2011. AFP. March 18, 2011.
  13. http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/1121a6%20Gay%20Marriage.pdf ABC News/Washington Post poll: same-sex marriage – March 18, 2011
  14. http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/04/19/rel6h.pdf CNN Opinion Research – April 9–10, 2011
  15. News: Judge Topples U.S. Rejection of Gay Unions. The New York Times. July 8, 2010. June 2, 2011. Abby. Goodnough. John. Schwartz.
  16. News: Judge rules federal same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. CNN. July 9, 2010. July 9, 2010.
  17. Web site: 2004 updated report of the GAO. PDF. December 20, 2011.
  18. Web site: Yes on 8 » Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Protect Marriage. June 16, 2010. June 27, 2010.
  19. "State Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage", Hartford Courant
  20. Web site: Iowa Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage ban | News Story on. http://web.archive.org/web/20110605140210/http://www.365gay.com/news/iowa-supreme-court-strikes-down-gay-marriage-ban/. June 5, 2011. 365gay.com. June 27, 2010.
  21. Web site: Iowa gay marriages delayed | News Story on. http://web.archive.org/web/20090410054756/http://www.365gay.com/news/iowa-gay-marriages-delayed/. April 10, 2009. 365gay.com. June 27, 2010.
  22. News: New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law. Nicholas. Confessore. Michael. Barbaro. The New York Times. June 24, 2011. June 25, 2011.
  23. The Washington Times

    Valerie Richardson, "Gay marriage backers target New England," January 4, 2009, Retrieved March 21, 2011

  24. Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin. See Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States#Attempts_to_establish_same-sex_unions_via_initiative_or_statewide_referendum
  25. Web site: Arizona Secretary of State: 2006 general election results. March 2, 2011.
  26. Web site: State of Arizona Official Canvass: 2008 General Election – November 4, 2008. December 1, 2008. March 2, 2011. PDF. Secretary of State of Arizona.
  27. Web site: Hawaii Office of Elections. General Election 1998. November 3, 1998. March 2, 2011.
  28. News: Gay marriage repealed in Maine. Miller. Kevin. Harrison. Judy. November 4, 2009. Bangor Daily News.
  29. Glenn Adams and David Crary, "Maine voters reject gay-marriage law", November 4, 2009
  30. Web site: Statewide Marriage Prohibitions. http://web.archive.org/web/20110728024900/http://www.hrc.org/documents/marriage_prohibitions_2009.pdf. July 28, 2011. Hrc.org. December 20, 2011.
  31. http://www.hrc.org/documents/marriage_prohibitions_2009.pdf Statewide Marriage Prohibitions
  32. "Senate blocks same-sex marriage ban", CNN, June 7, 2006, . Retrieved July 5, 2006.
  33. News: SJC: Gay marriage legal in Mass.. The Boston Globe. November 18, 2003. June 27, 2010. Kathleen. Burge.
  34. News: California same-sex marriage ban struck down. CNN. May 16, 2008. June 27, 2010.
  35. News: California Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. Mintz. Howard. May 15, 2008. Mercury News. May 15, 2008.
  36. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/16/us/15cnd-scene.html "Gay Couples Rejoice at Ruling"
  37. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/us/politics/06marriage.html "Bans in 3 States on Gay Marriage"
  38. Perry v. Schwarzenegger. US District Court, Northern California. August 4, 2010. http://www.scribd.com/goodasyou/d/35374462-California-Prop-8-Ruling-August-2010.
  39. News: Judge strikes down California's ban on same-sex marriage. CNN. August 4, 2010. August 5, 2010.
  40. Unanimous ruling: Iowa marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman, Des Moines Register, April 3, 2009.
  41. Web site: Office of the Governor: News & Events: News Releases. Maine.gov. May 6, 2009. June 27, 2010.
  42. Web site: House Bill 0436. Gencourt.state.nh.us. June 27, 2010.
  43. Web site: Mayor Adrian Fenty Signs DC Marriage Bill. http://web.archive.org/web/20110727225237/http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2009/12/mayor-adrian-fenty-signs-dc-marriage-bill/. July 27, 2011. Hrcbackstory.org. December 20, 2011.
  44. News: Post Store. D.C. same-sex marriage law takes effect. The Washington Post. March 3, 2010. January 28, 2011.
  45. http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad4/Clerk/Decisions/2008/02-01-08/PDF/1562.pdf Martinez, Patricia v County Of Monroe
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