Same-sex marriage history



A mass protest in New York against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, launches the gay rights movement.


The U.S. Supreme Court dismisses a challenge to a Minnesota court’s ruling that there is no legal provision for same-sex marriage.


Maryland is the first state to pass a statutory ban on same-sex marriage.


The U.S. Supreme Court in a Georgia case upholds laws against sodomy, even between consenting adults in private.


The Hawaii Supreme Court rules against a gay marriage ban. Voters later approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.


Congress passes, and President Bill Clinton signs, the Defense of Marriage Act, denying marriage rights under federal law to same-sex couples.


Vermont is the first state to allow same-sex civil unions.


In a Texas case, the Supreme Court reverses its 1986 sodomy ruling. The Massachusetts Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, which becomes legal in the state the following year.


San Francisco’s mayor, defying a California ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional, orders the issuance of wedding licenses to same-sex couples until the state Supreme Court rules that he has exceeded his authority.


California legislators pass a bill allowing gay marriage, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes it.


New Jersey adopts civil unions after the state Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples.


The Connecticut Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples may marry.

The California Supreme Court strikes down the state’s gay marriage ban, and same-sex weddings begin. They are halted after voters in November approve Proposition 8, adding an amendment against gay marriage to the state constitution.


The Iowa Supreme Court strikes down a gay marriage ban. Legislatures in New Hampshire and Vermont and the District of Columbia council pass laws permitting same-sex marriage.


The New York Legislature legalizes gay marriage. For the first time since it began tracking attitudes toward gay marriage in 1996, Gallup finds the majority of Americans favor it.


Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approve same-sex marriage.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a bill that would allow same-sex marriages in New Jersey.

President Barack Obama expresses support for gay marriage.


The Supreme Court rules 5-4 that same-sex couples have the right to the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.