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A Brief History Of Marriage Equality

Jan 13 2022




Marriage equality has come far over the past few decades. Most western countries have achieved marriage equality with more and more achieving it every year. It's a good idea to look back at how we got here.

1970s
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In the 70s the LGBT+ rights movement was still small, the Stonewall Inn riots had just happened and public opinion on homosexual people was still negative. In 1971 Michael McConnell and Jack Baker became the first sex couple to get married in modern times though the legal status is up for interpretation. Sadly Maryland became the first state to ban same sex marriage. Over the next few decades all the way up to 2015 more states would join Maryland in banning same sex marriage.

1980s
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There was little news of marriage equality in the 80s with the LGBT+ movement still small. In 1989 Denmark became the first legally recognize same sex unions. Same sex civil unions are a middle ground for places between nothing and full marriage. Civil unions often get less rights than marriages. During this time the first cities in the US would also implement domestic partnerships which are similar to civil unions.

1990s
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In the 90s talk are marriage equality began to grow. More countries would allow civil unions such as Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. With this growing support the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 in the US defining a marriage as between as a man and a woman on a federal level.

2000s
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The 2000s were a turning point for the LGBT+ movement and the push for marriage equality. In 2001 the Netherlands became the first county in the world to get marriage equality with the bill being passed by a surprising margin. Other counties would follow like Belgium in 2003 and Spain and Canada in 2005. Also in 2003 Lawrence v. Texas struck down sodomy laws in the US and Massachusetts was the first state in the US to gain marriage equality. Many states like Connecticut in 2008 and Iowa and New Hampshire in 2009 would follow. Many other states would allow for civil unions. California would famously achieve marriage equality but then repeal it with prop 8.

2010s
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In the 2010s marriage equality movement would continue to explode. In 2013 prop 8 was struck down and California would finally get marriage equality. In 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges would finally bring marriage equality to the US with it requiring all states to allow same sex marriage. Many other counties would follow.

2020s and going forward
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Despite 2020 and 2021 not being the best for LGBT+ rights there was still some good news. In 2021 Switzerland and Chile achieved marriage equality. Going forward it's likely more counties will allow same sex marriage or at least civil unions. It's also important going forward that we push more anti discrimination laws. For example in many states in the US discrimination is still allowed against LGBT+. For true equality we need a lot more than marriage.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_same-sex_marriage
https://www.hrc.org/our-work/stories/the-journey-to-marriage-equality-in-the-united-states
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_McConnell_and_Jack_Baker
https://web.archive.org/web/20120514144358/http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/statutes_respond.asp?article=gfl§ion=2-201&Extension=HTML
https://www.congress.gov/bill/104th-congress/house-bill/3396/text/enr
https://web.archive.org/web/20160128181758/http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gay-marriage-goes-dutch/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_Netherlands
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Belgium
http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2003/11/18/sjc_gay_marriage_legal_in_mass/
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/539/558/
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country_or_territory